Friday, May 24, 2013

Sometimes you feel like a nut...sometimes you make your own candy bars!

What do you get when you combine coconut, condensed milk, powdered sugar, almonds, and dark chocolate?  The answer is homemade Almond Joy candy bars!   
Yeah!  Hurray!!  Huzzah!!! 

These candies are so easy and they don't have all the bad stuff that the store bought candy bars have. Because I am an organic confectioner and chocolatier, I use only organic ingredients.  That means that my candies don't include all the ingredients I cannot pronounce.  Yet they still taste  just like the Almond Joys we all know and love.

I also use dark chocolate to enrobe by candy bars. I love the rich, less sweet contrast of a good dark chocolate to balance out the sweet coconut inside.  But you can use either milk or dark chocolate according to your taste.

Homemade Almond Joy candy bars
16 oz shredded coconut
16 oz powdered sugar
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 cups almonds
24 oz good dark chocolate
2 T butter

Mix the coconut, powdered sugar, and condensed milk together.  The dough will be stiff and sticky.  Once it is mixed thoroughly, place it in the refrigerator for several hours.  It is easier to work with when it is cold.  Once the dough is cold, with buttered fingers, just pinch off the amount of dough you want to make the size you like.  You can shape these into little bite-size balls or make them oval like the size we are familiar with, or any size and shape you like.  Press an almond or two into each coconut piece.  (I put two almonds in mine, because I like all that crunch.)

And guess what?!  If you leave the almonds out, then you have a Mounds bar!  
Yeah!  Hurray!!  Huzzah!!!, again!

Now it's time for dipping.

Either using a double boiler or the micowave, melt the chocolate and butter.  DO NOT over heat the chocolate or it will seize up on you.   

If using a double boiler, bring the water to a simmer and let the chocolate gradually melt.  Remove from heat after the chocolate is melted and smooth, stir vigorously. 

If using a microwave to melt your chocolate, use 25 second intervals and stir each time.  Repeat as needed.  When most of the chocolate is melted, use 10 second intervals.  All microwaves have hot spots so make sure you stir the chocolate well. 

Using dipping tools or two forks, dip the coconut bar completely in the chocolate and then bring it up, dragging it on the lip of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place it on parchment paper and repeat with the remaining candy.

Put the dipped candy back in refrigerator until the chocolate has set.

This recipe makes a lot of candy pieces, especially if you make them bite sized.  The good news is that the dough can be frozen.  So you can freeze half the dough for later use and just dipped what you need right now.

You can also freeze the candies after they are dipped and eat them frozen....yummy!

So be a nut and make your own candy bars.  They are a novel treat and easy to make.  ENJOY!!!

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