In an effort to apparently completely destroy my attempts to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight by the dreaded nine-month weigh-in, I’ve become completely obsessed with making candy. I blame Halloween (?). I pretty much never eat candy*, but somehow if you make a chocolate bar with your own hands, it’s much healthier**.
When I found this recipe for Coconut and Almond Candy (better know as Almond Joys) while browsing Epicurious, I couldn’t get it out of my head until I made them. The results are amazing. For the most part.
Coconut and Almond Candy
7 fluid oz sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
14 oz sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted
16 oz milk chocolate or coating chocolate
Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine condensed milk, vanilla extract and salt in a bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time and stir with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. Add coconut and stir until combined.
Pour the mixture into the baking pan and press into an even layer. Then press the almonds into the mixture in even rows. (Do not do what I did, which was get distracted by an adorable baby while the almonds were toasting, and come to find them basically in flames. I scraped off the charred edges from the ones I could, and decided to only use half of the almonds. So half of my candies are Almond Joys, and I guess the other half are Bounty bars).
Chill candy in refrigerator until firm, about one hour. Using a sharp knife, cut the candy into small rectangles. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
Melt and temper the chocolate, or simply melt the coating chocolate. I did not know what tempering chocolate was, but it is heating and reheating the chocolate within a careful temperature range to ensure the chocolate has a lovely glossy look and a nice snap when you bite into it. That sounded like way too much work for me, but I did melt it over a make-shift bain-marie rather than in the microwave, so I congratulated myself for that anyway.
Dip the bars into the chocolate, covering completely, and place them on a prepared sheet. Refrigerate candy for 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set.
Oh my goodness, these are good. And really sweet. Like, hurt your teeth sweet, but in a good way. You can’t really have more than one, which kind of works out well. Maybe there’s still a chance I can squeak in to that pre-pregnancy weight, and enjoy decadent candy!
* Except for Twizzlers. Twizzlers don’t count, obviously.
** It isn’t.
Word of the day:
Maudlin: tearfully or weakly emotional; foolishly sentimental; foolishly or mawkishly sentimental because of drunkenness