Oh heavenly almonds, chocolate, and coconut!
If you like Almond Joy candy bars, then these are for YOU! I was eating a piece of my son's Halloween candy, an Almond Joy, and as I was thoroughly enjoying it I was thinking, "Hmm. I wonder if I could make these." I did a search online and Bingo! I found a recipe. The next day I whipped up a batch and WOW. Well, do yourself a yummy favor! You just have to try them.
P.S. You might have to share them. This recipe makes a lot.
Chocolate Almond Coconut Bars
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk (half a can)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
7 oz. (half a pkg.) shredded, sweetened coconut
7 oz. shredded, unsweetened coconut (I got this at the health food store)
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
12 oz. bitter sweet chocolate chips (or you can do 24 oz. total of just semisweet chips)
1 cup whole dry roasted almonds*
Blend the condensed milk and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until smooth.
Grind up the coconut in the blender until the coconut pieces are really small. Stir the coconut into the condensed milk mixture. The mixture should be firm and roll into a ball.
Press the coconut mixture firmly into a greased 9x13x2 inch pan. (a smaller pan for thicker coconut bars) Greasing your fingers with butter helps. Chill in the fridge until quite firm, about 2 hours.
In a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water, melt the chocolate stirring often until smooth and all the chocolate is melted. (I put the chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of water.)
Remove the coconut mixture from the fridge and cut into 1x2 inch bars. Put 2 whole almonds atop each bar.
(For this next part work quickly because if the coconut mixture gets too warm it starts to fall apart.)
Set each coconut bar with almonds onto a fork and dip it into the chocolate. Tap the fork against the side of the pan or bowl to remove any excess chocolate. (Be careful. The almonds will slide off!) Place on a waxed paper-lined tray to set. Once the chocolate is hard, enjoy! Makes about 38 bars.
(I had to put mine in the fridge to set. I don't think I let my chocolate temper long enough.)
* For homemade dry roasted almonds, put raw, whole almonds on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 350ºF oven and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes. Allow to cool before using. After cooling, test an almond to make sure it's done. It should be very crunchy and not chewy at all.
NOTE - 11/02/2010: Dipping the bars tended to be really difficult and a friend of mine who tried it also had a hard time. I think if you poured some chocolate in a bowl, put the bar on that with the almonds, and then poured the chocolate over it, then lifted it out with a fork, it would be much easier. I'll have to try that next year.