|Copycat Almond Joy Bars|
With the flavors of coconut, almonds, and chocolate the Almond Joy bar hits a homerun every time. This copycat version takes it one step further by nixing the milk chocolate in favor of a darker variety. Everyone knows that dark chocolate is better for you with less fat and sugar and more antioxidants and flavonoids. But truthfully I just like it more. I’m also using a little less of the sugary coconut center in relation to the chocolate and almonds to give this treat a healthier update. If the Almond Joy hits a home run then this copycat version hits a grand slam. And I’m not just pulling your leg here. When your 10 year old daughter proclaims in a side by side taste test that your version is better than the original, you know you’ve hit it out of the park.
· 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
· ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
· ½ cup cornstarch
· 1 tbsp vanilla
· 14 oz sweetened flaked coconut
· 24 oz semisweet chocolate chips
· 3 tbsp vegetable oil
· 72 almonds (or 2 per bar depending on how you cut the bars)
1. Line a 7x11 inch pan, or something close to that size with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl stir the sweetened condensed milk, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla together until it is very smooth then stir in the coconut until it is well mixed.
3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and press it down with the back of a spoon then spray the top with nonstick spray and cover it with a second sheet of plastic wrap. Firmly press down the top with a spatula to pack the mixture into the pan very tightly before placing the pan into the freezer to firm up for 1 hour.
4. When the pan comes out of the freezer peel off the top sheet of plastic then invert the pan onto a cutting board lined with parchment. Remove the pan and the second sheet of plastic.
5. Use a large chef’s knife to cut straight down into the candy. Do not use a sawing motion. Spray the knife with nonstick spray to help keep the knife from sticking. Also you can lightly mark the candy with your knife prior to cutting to help you get more even pieces. I cut mine into 36 pieces or 6x6.
6. Melt about 4 oz of the chocolate by microwaving it on high for 1 minute then stirring until smooth.
7. Dip the almonds into the melted chocolate and apply 2 almonds to each bar. Once all of the candy has its almonds applied you might want to re-cut the lines prior to placing the candy back into the freezer for another hour to harden up again.
8. To melt the dipping chocolate place the remainder of the chocolate into a large heat proof bowl and put it on top of a pot with an inch or two of simmering water. Stir the chocolate as it melts then add the oil 1 tablespoon at a time continuing to stir until it is smooth and well incorporated.
9. For dipping the candy you can use a fork or a candy forceps. Place one log onto your fork and lower it into the chocolate then spoon some chocolate over the top. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off then using another fork slide the candy onto a baking sheet or cutting board lined with waxed paper.
10. Continue dipping the bars until the entire batch is coated then chill them for about an hour and they’re ready to serve.
11. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge with waxed paper between the layers to keep them fresh and looking good.
Notes: To make a homemade candy forceps, snap off the middle two tines of a plastic fork.
I like to err on the side of caution whenever I am making a candy dipped in chocolate. 24 oz of chocolate will ensure that you do not run short. You will most likely have some leftover chocolate. I like to utilize the leftover melted chocolate by stirring in some slivers of dried fruit and nuts then pouring it out onto a piece of parchment to make a healthier bark candy. If you’d prefer you could experiment with using less chocolate instead.
|Impromptu Apricot Almond Raisin Bark |
(made with the leftover melted chocolate)