Hand-Crafted Candy Bars
Joseph De Leo
If you're a fan of Almond Joy or Mounds bars, you'll love these homemade treats, which evoke the same flavors, but taste a heckuva lot better. The recipe comes from Hand-Crafted Candy Bars (Chronicle), by Susie Norris and Susan Heeger, a cookbook filled with similar treats.
Time Needed: 1 hour
1 cup whole almonds
3⁄4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
1⁄2 tsp salt
1 batch Tempered Dark Chocolate
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (for decoration)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2. Place the almonds on one baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until they are aromatic and lightly brown.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the sifted powdered sugar and cream with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until you have a paste. Stir in the coconut and salt. Shape into 2-in firmly packed logs, each with a slightly flattened top, and put the logs on the second baking sheet. Put 2 almonds on top of each log and push them gently but firmly into the coconut mixture. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
4. Remove the logs from the refrigerator. Have the tempered chocolate at 90 degrees F. Dip each log into the chocolate. Use two dinner forks or chocolate dipping forks to fish the log out. Shake the logs carefully with the forks until excess chocolate drips off, then slide them onto the baking sheet originally used to toast the nuts, after brushing it off or relining with parchment paper. Using a sifter or tea strainer, dust each bar with a little cocoa powder while the chocolate is still moist. Let the chocolate set at room temperature (a rotary fan aimed toward the bars speeds this up) or refrigerate for about 10 minutes. Once the chocolate sets, serve the bars at room temperature.
Store in an airtight container, a zip-top plastic bag, or plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 2 months.
Makes about 16 bars
Excerpted from Hand-Crafted Candy Bars © 2013 by Susie Norris and Susan Heeger. Reprinted with permission from Chronicle Books. Photographs courtesy of Joseph De Leo.
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