This week, I attempted a recipe I found at Joy the Baker. She has created a homemade version of my very favorite candy bar, Almond Joy. Her post for this delectable sweet contains great step-by-step photos (great photos, by the way), and a wonderful sense of humor. My completed version of her recipe turned out to look more like Almond Joys on steroids, so my try at them resulted in only about 20 candy bars instead of her 30. Ah well. They are delicious, the perfect homage to my candy bar of choice. Thank you, Joy!
Homemade Almond Joy
Yield: makes about 30 little bars
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 raw almonds
about 20 ounces (a bag and a half) of good quality semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, spread raw almonds onto a baking sheet and toast 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 will be thick. Place mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes for tom make the mixture easier to work with.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the coconut mixture from the 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. Rinse hands occasionally if they get too sticky. Press an almond on top of each coconut log. (I pressed the almond into the mixture a bit.) It might not completely stick. That's ok. Place the baking sheet in the fridge to chill 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. nbsp;Turn off the flame once the chocolate has melted but keep the bowl of melted chocolate over the hot water. (I melted the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. I started with 1-1/2 minutes at High power, and continued at 10 second intervals, until the chocolate was thoroughly melted.)
Remove the coconut candies from the fridge. Place one coconut almond log on a fork. Use a spoon to scoop a bit of chocolate over the almond. This will help the almond stick to the candy and not fall off during dipping.
Lower fork into chocolate and spoon chocolate over candy to coat. Lift fork and gently shake to release some of the chocolate. Scrape the bottom of the fork along the side of the bowl and place on the lined baking sheet. You might need a toothpick to help get the candy off the fork. Repeat until all candy is coated in chocolate. If chocolate gets thick, just turn on the flame and heat slightly. (I used a candy-dipping utensil for a bit more ease of use.)
Let dipped candy harden in the fridge for 45 minutes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. If you need to layer the candy in a container, use waxed paper to separate the layers.
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