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« Mango Lassi | Main | Homemade Pita Chips »
Sunday
Apr072013

Almond Joy Candy Bars

Almond Joy Candy Bars

Coconut never used to be a familiar word in my vocabulary nor did the fruit itself often find its way into my stomach. As landlocked as one could be, coconuts were as foreign of an idea as palm trees and tropical seas—the subject of many a daydream, but not of an everyday reality. I remember looking over the brown coconut shells in the supermarket, hard beneath my hands, and I was curious how long the coconuts had been sitting on the shelf (I had never witnessed a person purchase one before). A sign overhead asserted that the coconut could be opened best with an ice pick, pointed proof showing how far this little coconut was from home.

As I placed the coconut back on the shelf, I wondered if people in tropical climates carried around ice picks for this specific purpose. The thought struck me as silly, but I could not think of a tool better suited than the one for winter weather.

Almond Joy Candy Bars

Eventually, my curiosity got the best of me and I bought a supermarket coconut of my own. I was skeptical of the coconut, as perhaps I should have been, but willing to keep an open mind. In the hot summer sun, I brought it back to my dorm room where my friends and I stared at it, wondering if we would be able to find an ice pick during this time of year. As we passed it between each other, pondering the usage of butcher knives and sharp rocks, my friend accidentally dropped it on the tile floor. Neatly splitting in two, the coconut water began to puddle around it.

A coconut, it seemed, hardly needed any motivation to open at all.

Almond Joy Candy Bars Almond Joy Candy Bars

We stared at the coconut shell on the floor for a moment or two, in disbelief that the coconut was so fragile. My friend, who had lived in Hawaii the year before, took this as a bad omen. We scooped the supermarket coconut off the tile, trying to salvage as much as possible. The smell was musky and unpleasant. The taste, even worse. A bad coconut, my friend declared, as she cleanly tossed it in a nearby trash can.

Though my introduction to fresh coconut was less than ideal, it was the start of a coconut affair that would only grow and flourish. While fresh coconut may be out of the picture, dried coconut has become a pantry staple.

Almond Joy Candy Bars

Homemade Almond Joy Candy Bars are much healthier and taste just as wonderful as the store-bought version. The coconut center is made with unsweetened shredded coconut, honey, and coconut oil to bind it together. With an almond on top and a chocolate coating, the candy bar is complete. While I placed almonds both inside and on top of the chocolate coating, I would suggest placing the almonds inside the chocolate coating. The almonds placed on top of the chocolate coating have a tendency to fall off during preparation. A no-bake treat, these candy bars can be ready in thirty minutes time.

One Year Ago: Irene's Orange Rolls (a family tradition)
Two Years Ago: Thin Mint Brownies and Strawberry Pancakes

Almond Joy Candy Bars

Yields 1 dozen candy bars

1 cup (90 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly packed
3 tablespoons 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

In a food processor, process the shredded coconut, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and salt until it forms a thick paste, about 2-3 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 1-2 more minutes.

Drop the coconut mixture by the tablespoon onto a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper. Form each ball into a small rectangle by pressing it into formation. Press an almond on top of the coconut rectangles. Freeze the coconut for 15-30 minutes, or until solid.

Melt the chopped chocolate in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring between each increment until the chocolate is smooth. Skewer each frozen candy bar onto a toothpick and dip into the melted chocolate, tapping off any excess chocolate. Wait for the chocolate to dry before removing from the toothpick.

Serve immediately or store at room temperature for several days (if they last that long).

Reader Comments (20)

Delicious! I am all over these like peanut butter on jelly. I think I would be heavy on the pinch of salt; there's not much finer than salty chocolate.
04.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan Thomas
Almond Joys are one of my top two favorite candies (along with Reese's). As I read the beginning of your post, I was hoping these would not call for fresh coconut, as I am quite landlocked as well and have little hope of getting my hands on a fresh coconut. I can't wait to make these, they look absolutely fantastic!
My dad is the biggest almond joy fan! I'll definitely make these for father's day!! Thank you for the recipe! It looks AMAZING!!
04.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAi
I love that you used honey and coconut oil in these! I love candy made healthier. :)

And aww, that stinks about the coconut from the grocery store. I see them there sometimes and wonder if it's worth it. I'm sure I'd get a bad coconut too so I suppose I can feel more confident when I pass on them next time. Yay!
This recipe looks great! And I love your photos, too. My mother used to make "almost joys" with mashed potato to bind the coconut. I think it is a Midwest thing :-/ but it was pretty great! The honey and coconut oil sound perfect to me. I can't wait to try these out.
04.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenn
I am in sooooo much trouble! These look fabulous! Thanks for sharing.
04.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Marie
Wow, that must be soooo delicious :)
04.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStrefa Smaku
Absolutely gorgeous! I used to wish that Almond Joys would have a dark chocolate coating (like Mounds) - I will just have to use your recipe to make my own perfect candy bar!
04.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCateyLou
I've never seen a coconut at the store, but always have dried on hand just like you mentioned. I remember when coconut was a mystery, but now I love it. I hope to make this weekend, but I do hate how messy chocolate can be. I'm sure it would be worth it for these.
04.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan @ megbakes
we dont have almond joy bars in New Zealand, clearly we are missing out. Am looking at making these, the coconut oil that is easise available has been made to have no flavour, are you using neutral coconut oil, or the one that still tates like coconut?
04.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFiona
It's like Bounty, isn't it, just much much better.
These look amazing! I just made cookies with almond butter, dark chocolate, and coconut so Almond Joy bars have been on my mind. http://www.strawberryplum.com/almond-butter-dark-chocolate-coconut-cookies/
04.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
perfect recreation!
04.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDina
These look absolutely gorgeous!
I ADORE Almond Joys. I have the coffee creamer in the fridge as I type this....sooo not kidding, so I could literally kiss your for a healthier version that I can make at home! Yay!

By the way I featured this recipe on my Top 15 Healthiest Tasty Treats list. If you want a badge for your site or just to check it out feel free to look at it out here: http://nickieslittlebubble.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-top-15-healthies-tasty-treats.html Have a good day!
04.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNickie H.
These were A-MAZ-ING! I used to love Almond Joys but steer clear of them because of the ingredients. I just made these tonight--so easy and quick--and they are delicious. I am a firm believer than anything home made is better than a store bought item. Thank you!

I also used the leftover melted chocolate to cover walnut-stuffed dried figs...if you need a new treat idea...they are to die for.
04.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKara
Amazing!! I need to give these a try!!
Hi, just found your blog! I like that you put your photos alongside a food-related quote. There's nothing I love more than food and words. :)

Your almond bars look delicious! I wasn't fan of coconut until college. Shredded coconut is the way to go! I tried fresh coconut, and it just wasn't that tasty. I also had a hell of a time trying to open it. My roommate and I tried a cleaver, a nail and hammar, and dropping it from our balcony....
05.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlice
Is it bad that I want to lick the screen. Obviously joking, but I have also recently discovered a love of coconut and it's taking over my kitchen. My mom has always loved coconut and that love didn't transfer over to me when I was young. However, for this past mother's day I decided to try a lemon coconut muffin recipe and it turned out delicious. Since then I haven't looked back; I can't wait to try this recipe! Great job.
07.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
Oh how fantastic, and thank you for this. I love a truly great fresh candies in candy boxes.
08.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCandy Boxes

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