In a medium saucepan, mix together sugar, butter, cocoa, milk, & salt.
Stir and heat over medium heat until in the early soft-ball candy stage (230 degrees), about 5 minutes.
Immediately remove from heat and stir in oats, coconut flakes, and vanilla or peppermint extract if using.
Using a small cookie scoop, drop small mounds of cooked mixture onto a sheet of wax paper.
When cooled, store in an airtight container.