Thursday, February 23, 2012

Homemade Almond Joy

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I know, I know. It's just barely the end of February. I shouldn't be talking about such a tropical flavor as this. But as stockpile bottles upon bottles of coconut-scented sun repellent, I can't help myself. Coconut is in the air! I'm off to Jamaica in less than two weeks and I'm beyond excited!

So, for you, my friends, who I unfortunately can't take with me, I wanted to give you all a reason to celebrate. To experience that summertime bliss in the middle of winter. To bite into some joy!

Almond Joy [click to print]
Makes about 2 dozen bars

24-30 almonds
1 c. powdered sugar
7 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 T. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
3 c. flaked coconut
20 oz. (about 1-1/2 bags) milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread almonds on baking sheet and roast in oven for about 10 minutes. They will look slightly darker and you'll be able to smell almonds in the air! Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. Add coconut and stir until evenly combined. The mixture will be thick. Place in freezer for about 30 minutes so it's easier to work with.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Remove coconut mixture from freezer and shape heaping tablespoons into logs; press a single almond in the top of each and place on baking sheet. Allow to set in refrigerator while you melt your chocolate. In small microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips in 30 second intervals, stirring well between each nuke. Remove baking sheet from fridge.

Place one log on a fork; using a spoon, scoop a little chocolate over almond (this will help hold the almond in place) and dip entire candy in chocolate to coat. Gently lift candy from bowl and tap fork to remove any excess chocolate. Use a toothpick to slide candy from fork to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining candies. Once all are coated, place baking sheet in fridge to set, about 45 minutes. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Source: Adapted from Joy the Baker

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