I’ve been wanting to learn the art of making candy for a while now, but most of them have this complex and intimidating air about them. I simply don’t think I can manipulate sugar if I haven’t even been successful in making caramel. Luckily I came across this recipe for easy-peasy Almond Joys any coconut-lover wouldn’t want to miss! I didn’t use to be a fan of the coconut flavour myself but when I discovered exactly how well it went with chocolate, I began to have a change of heart.
In this recipe, desiccated coconut is mixed with honey and coconut oil to create something lightly sweet and chocolatey, but with a full-on coconut flavour.
Remember when I talked about the health benefits of Minola Coconut Oil in my previous post? Well in this one I’ll be showing you the versatility of coconut oil in something sweet and delightful. Coconut oil is the secret ingredient that helps bind the desiccated coconut and allows it to harden into shape. And the best part is since this is homemade, it’s tons healthier than the store-bought version!
These Almond Joys draw its candy bar sweetness from the chocolate coating, but mostly it’s from the honey or maple syrup added alongside the coconut. I recommend going with your favourite sweetener, as the flavour of either the maple or honey will really be apparent when you bite into the Almond Joys. I used pure maple in this instance and it coloured my coconut a light brown; the sweet earthiness permeating both the taste and smell of my bars before giving way to that beautiful coconut flavour.
It took me surprisingly longer to shape these babies because I kept wanting to make them look absolutely perfect. (I’m sometimes obsessive-compulsive about these things.) Annoyingly, this new chocolate I used for coating (and I’m debating whether I should share the brand or not) melted terribly and would not become the correct consistency. I had to salvage it. Messily. I should’ve stuck with my favourite Goya Dark Chocolate Buttons instead. Oh well, you live and you learn inside the kitchen too.
- 1 cup (90 grams) unsweetened shredded or dessicated coconut, lightly packed
- 3 tablespoons Minola coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons honey (or pure maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 12 (or more) whole almonds
- 4 ounces (110 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1. In a food processor, process the shredded coconut, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and salt until it forms a thick paste, about 2 to 3 minutes. Test the coconut to see if it holds together by squeezing it in your palm. If the coconut is still too loose, continue to process for 1 to 2 more minutes.
- 2. Drop the coconut mixture by the tablespoon onto a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper. Form each ball into a small rectangle and press an almond on top at the center of each piece.
- 3. Freeze the coconut for 15 to 30 minutes, or until solid.
- 4. Melt the chopped chocolate using the double broiler method (or using the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring between each increment) until the chocolate is smooth. Using a fork, dip each piece of frozen candy bar into the melted chocolate, letting the excess drip off before setting on the parchment paper. Allow chocolate coating to dry for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- 5. Serve immediately or store at room temperature for several days.
Couldn’t resist taking a bite before the photoshoot was through. Can you blame me?
Full disclosure: This post is sponsored by Minola Coconut Oil.