Merry Christmas! Cheers to a perfectly lazy day. I am so happy to be on my couch relaxing watching movies… and now football. After months of running around and standing on my feet in the kitchen (about 10x more than normal) this is such a treat. I think I made one too many Christmas cookies (437 to be exact) this year and it was time to make something better, something that I absolutely adore – CANDY! So a few days ago, I decided to create a few copycat versions of some of my family’s favorite candies, but homemade with higher quality ingredients. I made York Peppermint Patties (recipe to follow) and Salted Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Patties (a take on See’s Candy) and lastly and my most favorite – Almond Joy’s! I think it’s a love/hate thing, depending on if you are a coconut eater. If you are in my boat and adore these, then you should be so happy that you have landed here on this page.
The best part about these is that you don’t need any special pan or any type of form… these are literally just a coconut mixture formed into shape, briefly frozen, then dipped in tempered chocolate (so you can get that hard snap when you bite it, and can be left at room temp).
If you have ever eaten Ocho coconut bars, this taste so similar. Because in this recipe, we use a very high quality chocolate and the best coconut you can buy at the grocery store. The recipients of these candy bars were so incredibly thrilled and impressed. It’s definitely a nice surprise and a change from the usual cookie that people get burnt out on.
Line a baking sheet or tray with parchment paper. Spray lightly with non-stick spray.
In a food processor, pulse the coconut until its broken down a bit. You can also use a chopping knife, making several passes over the coconut to ensure it's chopped well. This step helps when you bite into the candy bar so you don't have long strings of coconut.
Combine all ingredients (except the almonds) in a medium bowl, mix well until well combined. Using gloved hands, take a small scoop of the coconut mixture and form into a rectangle in your hand and place on the parchment lined tray. Continue until all of the mixture is gone. Place two almonds side by side atop each bar, pressing into the bar and reforming the shape as needed.
Place in the tray in the freezer for 1 hour. When ready, temper the chocolate by melting 1 1/2 cups (half the chocolate) in a bowl for 1 minute in the microwave, stopping each 20 seconds to stir. Once fully melted, add the rest of the chocolate and mix well until smooth. It may take 1-2 minutes of stirring before it all melts. At this point the chocolate should be tempered. If there are still un-melted chunks of chocolate, reheat it for just 5 seconds and vigorously stir.
Dunk the entire coconut bar in the melted chocolate, remove with a fork, tapping to remove the excess chocolate, and place back onto the parchment paper. Continue until all are covered in chocolate. Since the chocolate is tempered, it should set up quickly and should be ready to serve within 10 minutes or so. Wrap individually for freshness and store in the fridge.