Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Homemade Almond Joy Candies

So, here are the Almond Joy Candies.  Sorry that this picture isn't the greatest, but it will give you a closer look.  


Years ago, my aunt Dorothy made candies similar to these.  They were lovingly named Do-Do Balls, and she was quite famous for them.  She rolled them into balls, rather than forming them into logs.  I don't recall that they had almonds in them.

These candies are so good and taste much like the real thing, only better, since they are so FRESH!  I found the recipe at Cooking with K

I admit that they are time consuming, since they make a lot of candies.  The somewhat difficult part it dipping them in the chocolate.  I would advise that you keep a bowl of the chocolate over very warm, simmering water, to keep the chocolate melted so that it does not cool off so much that it begins to set up.  I found a tip on Pinterest, suggesting that when dipping candies in chocolate, that you heat up water and then put it in a crock pot and set the bowl of melted chocolate over that.  I don't know if you'd want to set it to high, or low, but that would probably be a good idea and is should keep the chocolate melted the entire time.  I will try it the next time I make these.

I suggest making them small.  When pressing the almond on top before dipping, don't press down too hard, because you want to be able to see the almond underneath the chocolate.

Printable Recipe

2 (14-oz) bags sweetened shredded coconut
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

2 (24-oz) packages chocolate almond bark
1 - 1 1/2 cups whole almonds, roasted (I used Blue Diamond Roasted Salted Diamonds)

In a large bowl, blend the coconut, powdered sugar, butter, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.  You can do this with a heavy-duty spoon or you may have to actually combine it by hand.  At Cooking With K, she uses a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment and combines the ingredients a little at a time.  The mixture will be thick.  Chill it for about 30 minutes or more for easier handling.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Remove the coconut mixture from the refrigerator and form them into logs, about 2 inches long and 3/4 of an inch thick.  I actually prefer them smaller than that.  Press the coconut mixture together well, so that they don't fall apart or crack while being dipped.  Place the candies on another parchment-lined cookie sheet and continue until all the coconut mixture is gone. You will need to periodically rinse off your hands as they will get sticky from the mixture.  Press an almond in the center of each candy, but not down too far, because you want the almond to be visible underneath the chocolate.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in the top of a double boiler until it is completely melted and smooth.  Place a candy on a meat fork and dip the bottom into the chocolate.  Using a spoon, scoop the chocolate over the candy until covered.  Gently tap the fork onto the sides of the bowl to release the extra chocolate.  Using a toothpick, gently slide the candy off of the fork and onto another parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Chill once again until the chocolate is hardened.  If the chocolate sets up too much and hardens, place the bowl into the microwave for about 20-30 seconds.  As I suggested in my notes above, place the bowl of chocolate over a crock pot of very warm to hot water and set the crock pot to low (or high) to keep the chocolate melted during the entire process.  When I made these, I did not do this, and I had trouble keeping the chocolate melted long enough.  I will try this trick the next time.  This is the part of the process that is so time consuming, but be patient and get someone to help you if you can.  They are very worth all the work.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container with waxed paper separating the layers.  They also freeze well.

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