Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Homemade Almond Joy

Maybe I should have titled this post "What Not To Do.... When Making Homemade Almond Joys."  These would have turned out sooo well, had I just followed the directions.  (They still tasted good, just looked funky!!)  Instead, I thought I was being all smarty-pants by mixing up the coconut filling the night before and sticking it in the fridge.  That way, I thought, it'll be ready for me in the morning when I have more time!  Well.... bad idea, folks!  Even though I stuck the filling in an airtight container, it dried out and hardened pretty bad.  It was really hard to form the little "logs".  I tried adding some moisture as I was forming the logs, but it didn't really help.  They were crumbling in my hands! 
I still pressed forward, though, even though I probably should have just stopped and called it good.  Trying to dip them was just a joke... as you can see from the photo above, I only got one "good" one, out of the batch, and it's not even that good, lol!  I was getting frustrated by trying to do the rest, so I just glopped chocolate on top of the rest of the logs. 

But, I'm still putting this on my blog, because I'm sure if you follow the directions (from one of my fave bloggers, Joy the Baker), these will turn out great!  The "dough", when I first made it, was moist and perfect.  Plus, I spent quite a while on these and I liked how the pics turned out!  ;)  I need to document these!  I made this whole recipe wearing my baby on my back in my Boba baby carrier- my newest carrier, and I love it! 

PS:  Since the dippage went awry, I had a lot of leftover chocolate.  I stored it in an airtight container on the counter for a few days, and when I felt up to it, decided to make it into something else.  I took it, coconut chunks and all, and re-melted it with some peanut butter.  Then I filled tiny mini wax (or foil) muffin cups (the size of a mini Reeses pb cup) with the mixture.  The result- homemade, EASY, pb 'cups'.  They were very popular and gone in no time!  I thought I had the recipe here on my blog but I can't find it.  There's a pic of them here though (the gold foil ones).
Homemade Almond Joy
adapted from Joy the Baker

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
30 almonds
about 20 ounces (a bag and a half) of good quality semi sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, spread raw almonds onto a baking sheet and toast for about 8-10 minutes. Don't let them get too brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Stir in the unsweetened coconut. The mixture will be thick; I used my Kitchenaid. Place mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. It’s easier to work with if it’s a little cold, but not too long- it will get too hard and dry out.

3.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the coconut mixture from the fridge. With clean hands, shape one tablespoon of coconut into a little log about 2 inches long and 3/4-inch thick. Press the logs together very well so they don’t crack when dipped. Place the log on the lined baking sheet and continue until all of the coconut mixture is gone. Rinse hands occasionally if they get too sticky. Press an almond on top of each coconut log.  It's ok if it does not completely stick. Place the baking sheet in the fridge to chill while you melt the chocolate.

4.  Place a medium pot with two inches of water over a medium flame. Bring the water to a simmer. Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and place the bowl over the simmering water (a homemade double boiler). Stir the chocolate as it melts. Turn off the flame once the chocolate has melted but keep the bowl of melted chocolate over the hot water.

5.  Remove the coconut candies from the fridge. Place one coconut almond log on a fork. Use a spoon to scoop a bit of chocolate over the almond. This will help the almond stick to the candy and not fall off during dipping. Lower fork into chocolate and spoon chocolate over candy to coat. Lift fork and gently shake to release some of the chocolate. Scrape the bottom of the fork along the side of the bowl and place on the lined baking sheet. You might need a toothpick to help get the candy off the fork. Repeat until all candy is coated in chocolate. If chocolate gets thick, just turn on the flame and heat slightly.

6.  Let dipped candy harden in the fridge for 45 minutes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. If you need to layer the candy in a container, use waxed paper to separate the layers.
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