Oh, Joy the Baker, you evil temptress! For those of you who have never read Joy the Baker’s blog, please do! It is absolutely delightful! The recipes are great, the photos exciting. One glance and you will be hooked on Joy as well.
A week or so ago, Joy made Almond Joy (apropos, don’t ya think?). I had been obsessing about making these little beauties since first glance. I love Almond Joy, Obsessively so. I knew this would be one of those make and distribute goodies. If not, they would be made, devoured and straight to my tush goodies!
I had a hard time finding the unsweetened coconut, but I finally found it at a health food store.
I have to say from the outset, I can already see Ernie reading this, shaking her head, wondering….’why?why?why?’ We’ll see if she still says that after she tastes them. Now, my Dad, on the other hand, looked at me when I handed hom a glassine envelope with Almond Joy nestled within, and frankly stated, “You know, they sell these in the store now.” Then bit into one and said, “Oh,no, they don’t sell THESE in a store.” It’s all perspective.
Anyway, off to the races…
This recipe makes about 30 little bars. I had 29, but who’s splitting hairs.
- 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
- 30 almonds
- about 20 ounces (a bag and a half) of good quality semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread raw almonds onto a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Stir in the unsweetened coconut. The mixture is thick. Place mixture in freezer for 3o minutes. It’s easier to work with if it’s a little cold.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the coconut mixture from freezer. With clean hands shape one tablespoon of coconut into a little log about 2 inches long and 3/4-inch thick. Press the logs together very well so they don’t crack when dipped. Place the log on the lined baking sheet and continue until all of the coconut mixture is gone. If your hands get sticky, rinse and go back at it.
NOTE: I used a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to do this part, I pressed it against the side of the bowl so it was pretty well packed when I popped it out of the scoop. From there it was a little push here and a little smoosh there to make a log shape.
Press an almond on top of each coconut log. It won’t completely stick. Don’t worry about that. Place the baking sheet in the fridge to chill and set again while you melt the chocolate.
Place a medium pot with two inches of water over a medium flame. Bring the water to a simmer. Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and place the bowl over the simmering water. Stir the chocolate as it melts. Turn off the flame once the chocolate has melted, but keep the bowl of melted chocolate over the hot water so it stays loose.
Remove the coconut logs from the fridge. The easiest way to get the chocolate onto the logs is dipping. This is a messy, tedious process, but persevere, it’s worth it. Put one of the logs on a fork, and using a spoon drizzle a bit of the chocolate over the almond. This will make the almond stick to the log. Next, lower fork into chocolate and spoon chocolate over candy to coat.
Lift fork and shake (gently or the log will topple over into the chocolate as mine did MANY times) to release some of the chocolate. Scrape the bottom of the fork along the side of the bowl and place the chocolate coated log back on the lined baking sheet. I used a toothpick to help get the candy off the fork. Repeat until all candy is coated in chocolate. If chocolate gets thick again, just turn on the flame and heat slightly.
Let dipped candy harden in the fridge for 45 minutes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. If you have any left and need to layer the candy in a container, use waxed paper to separate the layers.
NOTE: This was definitely worth the time. It’s a long time standing and repetitive dipping, but fun to do just the same. And, yes, I can buy them in a store but not that taste like these! Thank you, Joy for bringing some Joy into my kitchen (cheesey, yes, but heartfelt).