The Perfect Almond Joy

January 31, 2011

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I think you all know how much I love my chocolate.  I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I am not addicting to shopping, but I do confess to overindulging when it comes to chocolate.  I have always loved chocolate and I pretty much need it everyday.  I do admit to being addicted and it isn’t an addiction I care to break.

Sees candy was my first love.  It was always the same selection; California Brittle, Scotchmallow, and Almond Royal. A trip to Sherman Oaks Fashion Square wasn’t complete with out a visit to Sees.  Bess, an elderly lady with short white hair, was always behind the counter and as she saw me opening the door, she would start filling a little bag with all of my favorites. Bess was one of the special ones.  I was blessed to have found her and would have loved her even if she didn’t work behind the glass counter at Sees.

Other favorites included Honey Comb at Little Johns in The Original Farmers Market, the perfect melt in your mouth truffles from Kron and now, as an adult I treat myself to Recchiuti caramels, and anything from Fran’s.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I am thinking about what to give to all of those that I adore.  Last year I made caramels, heart shaped butter cookies, and a rocky road fudge(originally chocolate covered marshmallows that turned into a disaster). Truly, I am not there yet, but I wanted to start with one of M’s childhood favorites; Almond Joy.

I found a few recipes on the Internet, but I am starting with one I found on Epicurious.com.  I liked how simple the ingredients were, it didn’t require too much of my time, and I had everything in the pantry.  Eli loves helping in the kitchen when the task at hand requires using the tempering machine, I enlisted him in melting the chocolate.

I swapped out milk chocolate for bittersweet, only because I prefer that and the end results were incredibly addicting. I am going to make another batch, using silicone molds.  Hopefully, my next batch will taste just as good, but be a tad prettier!

Almond Joy
recipe can be found here
yield: 36 pieces

ingredients:
7 fluid oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. sea salt
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
14 oz. sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup whole, raw almonds, toasted
16-20 oz. bittersweet chocolate(I like Callebaut)

instructions:
• line a 9 x 13″ baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
• in a large bowl combine the condensed milk, vanilla, and salt.  mix to combine.
• add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, mix until smooth.
• add the coconut and mix well.
• pour into prepared baking pan and press it firmly into the pan.  press the almonds, firmly, in even rows into the coconut mixture.
• chill in the fridge for an hour.  remove from fridge and cut into desired shapes.  freeze while you are temper the chocolate.
• if you don’t have a tempering machine, see here on how to temper chocolate.
• when the chocolate is ready, take candies out of the freezer, 10 at a time, and dip into the tempered chocolate. shake off excess and place on silpat mats or parchment lined baking sheets.
• once chocolate has set, place candy in an airtight container.  they will store for a week, but they won’t last two days!

want more? check out more chocolate recipes:

Fuji Nana’s English Toffee – La Fuji Mama
Red Wine Chocolate Truffle – Sprinkle Bakes
Chocolate + Coconut Milk Cream – La Tartine Gourmande
Chocolate Truffles – Simply Recipes
S’mores Ice Box Candy Bars – Joy the Baker
Boxed Chocolate Mini Cakes - Sweetapolita

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maria January 31, 2011 at 8:18 am

These would be dangerous in my reach:)

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2 Amanda January 31, 2011 at 8:21 am

You are SOOOOOOO inspiring me!!! I love how these look and can just about imagine how they would taste, and I must have one now!!! YOU ROCK!! I love your blog. I get all dreamy and sappy when I think about it, cause you always make me so happy!!!!

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3 Susan January 31, 2011 at 8:25 am

amanda – i feel exactly the same way about you! when I was in college I would read all these amazing authors( I was a literature major) and I would hang onto the their every word, admiring their writing and their pros and think to myself, if only I could write like that. When I see your cookies, your cakes, your cupcakes, I feel exactly the same way. If only I could aspire to create the way Amanda does, I will achieve something. You inspire me to want to step outside of my comfort zone! xxxx

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4 Lucy Lean January 31, 2011 at 8:29 am

reminds me of your chocolate habit in Mexico ; ) delicious x

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5 Susan January 31, 2011 at 9:52 pm

my name is Susan and I am a chocolate addict! There…I said it!

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6 Deliciously Organic January 31, 2011 at 9:10 am

I love homemade candy! Totally my kind of recipe!

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7 Nancy@acommunaltable January 31, 2011 at 10:11 am

Growing up, I was never a fan of Almond Joy – the chocolate was just too sweet. But swapping it out for the bittersweet could possibly make this my all time favorite candy!!!

P.S. I think the candies are pretty just as they are!!

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8 Susan January 31, 2011 at 9:53 pm

There are very few candies that I don’t like, Nancy! This is why I don’t get mad at my kids when there sweet tooth gets in the way. It’s my fault!

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9 Kim January 31, 2011 at 10:12 am

WOW! These almond joy bites looks SOOOOOOOO good, I think I would eat all of these… I so feel like baking these… Thanks you to inspire me so often:)

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10 Liz January 31, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I love the idea of giving homemade gifts and especially if they are edible! You have inspired me to create some delicious treats this Valentine’s Day…and I think I’ll start with these yummy looking almond joy bars!

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11 Susan January 31, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Liz – these are really good and so easy! If you want to use my tempering machine, let me know! Makes life so much easier!

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12 Susan January 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm

OMG! I love See’s California Brittle, Dark Chocolate Bordeau and Butterscotch Squares are my favorite, but I’d eat any of them! When we lived overseas, my aunt & uncle used to send boxes to us for Christmas. It isn’t a holiday @ our home with out See’s!

Beautiful post.

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13 Susan January 31, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Susan – I love, love, love butterscotch squares. It is not one of the popular ones, but it is so dang good!!!

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14 Allison [Haute Box] January 31, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I need chocolate everyday too. No joke about it girl! I would love to see Mounds too….love those! You’re on a roll :)

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15 Susan January 31, 2011 at 9:51 pm

A trip to Sees; me-you, the little white bag with the black graphics! It could be fun!

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16 marla {family fresh cooking} January 31, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Susan, your kids are dang lucky to have a mama like you! These homemade almond joy bars are more amazing than anything packaged because you can use all the BEST ingredients!

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17 Susan January 31, 2011 at 9:50 pm

ahh, shucks! thanks! Making candy with the kids is so much more fun that baking with them. Especially when loads and loads of chocolate is involved!

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18 Megan @ FeastingonArt February 1, 2011 at 3:22 am

One word, YUM!

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19 Patricia Scarpin February 1, 2011 at 10:53 am

These are adorable, Suz! I am totally biased here, because I love both almonds and coconut with all my heart. Not to mention that sweetened condensed milk is a key ingredient in several Brazilian desserts.
Delicious combo of flavors!

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20 Susan February 2, 2011 at 8:11 am

Patricia, these are so easy and so delicious. I had to give them away, otherwise I would have eaten the whole batch!

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21 Kulsum at JourneyKitchen February 1, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Totally understand your obsession with chocolate. I’m one among them. One of my major weakness is nuts with chocolate. Almonds, walnuts – any darn nut and chocolate is my fav thing in the world! I love this little bites

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22 Susan February 2, 2011 at 8:10 am

I know how you feel. The chocolate/nut thing is truly a winning combo!!

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23 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen February 2, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I share your love of See’s, it’s one of my regular indulgences. Have you tried the toffee at Little John’s before? It’s great as well as the fudge. My husband is the big coconut lover, he always gets the pieces with coconut in them, I’m sure he would love it if I made him these for Valentine’s Day!

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