It was the end of a verrrrry long week at work. I was short on sleep (when I crave sugar the most). I was holding an almond joy that I found in the huge stash of candy that the engineers at the office keep in the cupboard, thinking (more like really, really wishing), this can’t be that bad, right? It’s just chocolate, coconut, almonds and some sugar? Um, wrong… All I had to do was flip it over to read the long list of frankenfoods to deter myself from stuffing my face with it.
|CORN SYRUP; MILK CHOCOLATE ( SUGAR; COCOA BUTTER; CHOCOLATE; MILK; LACTOSE; MILK FAT; NONFAT MILK; SOY LECITHIN; PGPR, EMULSIFIER) ; COCONUT; SUGAR; ALMONDS (ROASTED IN COCOA BUTTER AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL) ; CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN AND PALM OIL); WHEY (MILK); COCOA; SALT; NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR ; CHOCOLATE; SOY LECITHIN; HYDROLYZED MILK PROTEIN; SODIUM METABISULFITE, TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS; SULFUR DIOXIDE, TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS; CARAMEL COLOR|
I decided to come home and experiment with making a healthier version. This is not like the easy-peasy recipes that I normally post. It is a little more involved, but so so worth it!
This recipe has sweet coconut, delicious almonds, and a silky chocolate coating. The end result tastes like an elevated version of the ones you buy at the store and without any questionable ingredients.
Paleo Almond Joy
Makes ~25 mini-bars
1 cup coconut butter, melted (I use this kind)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (I use this kind)
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla (I use this brand because it’s gluten-free and organic)
pinch of sea salt
1 – 8 ounce package unsweetened shredded coconut (I use this kind)
50 raw almonds
18 ounces semi-sweet dark chocolate chips (I like this kind because they are dairy and soy-free)
1 tablespoon of palm shortening (I get mine here)
- Toast almonds: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread almonds onto a baking sheet and toast for 10 mins. Remove from oven and set aside. Toast some extra to account for the ones, you’ll be munching during the cooking process. 😉
- Melt coconut butter and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Then add honey, vanilla and salt. Whisk together.
- Stir in the coconut. The mixture will be thick.
- Line a glass baking dish that is approximately 7 x 11 with parchment paper. I use this 2 quart oblong one from Pyrex. Place the mixture in there tight. Then, use the back of a spoon to pack it in there tight. Now, line the coconut mixture with your roasted almonds. Press them down in there.
- Place mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes. This really helps it bind and makes it much easier to work with.
- While your mixture is in the freezer, melt your chocolate chips and palm shortening in a double-boiler.
- If you don’t have one, you can place 2 inches of water in a medium pot and bring the water to a boil. Place chocolate chips and palm shortening in a heat proof bowl and place the bowl in the pot. Stir the chocolate as it melts.
- Once the chocolate melts, turn off the stove, but keep the bowl of chocolate over the hot water.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
- Remove the candy from the freezer. Use a sharp knife to cut your logs. I like to make longer logs with 2 almonds in each. Place one log on a fork and roll it into the chocolate, so all sides are covered. This is a messy process & takes a few tries, before you get the hang of it.
- Place covered chocolates on lined baking sheet.
- Place baking sheet in fridge for 1 hour, to let the candy harden.
- Store chocolate in an air-tight container in the fridge.
*Note: Store these in the fridge, as they melt easily. They are really good fresh, but I found them to be even more amazing the next day!
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Hi Arsy – I met you at Lisa’s counter culture workshop last month. I really enjoy your posts. Just wanted to share a really easy treat that I made just last night. I get the large coconut shavings (from Whole Foods) and toast them in the oven on parchment. I melt 85% dark chocolate in double boiler. I have soaked and roasted almonds on hand, as well as raw pumpkin seeds, and a little bit of dried cranberry. I use the mallet to break up the almonds a little bit. When the coconut is toasted, take the chocolate and drizzle over the batch (I usually use 2 bars) then you add your nuts, seeds, and any other goodies you want to add. After you’ve finished, put the whole tray in the freezer for about 20 to 30 minutes. When you take it out, I break it up and put in a container and keep in the fridge. It’s kinda my take on chocolate bark, but alot less dense. It’s an awesome treat and super easy. Happy Holidays! Babies first Christmas right??
Hi Jennifer! It was great to meet you! Maybe we will bump into each other again at another one of Lisa’s workshops! That sounds delicious! I am definitely going to try that! Yes, it is Indyanna’s first Christmas. Thanks for remembering. We are really excited about it!
Randall Dale says
You say in #2 to add milk but there is no milk in you recipe?
Hi RD – That was a typo, thanks for catching it. It’s fixed now.
Hi there. I would like to try these but can you clarify some things for me please? How much coconut is a ‘package’? (i’m in Australia..different products you America :)Also you have Coconut butter, melted and coconut oil, melted…what is the difference? I’ve only bought coconut butter once, and it really turned out to be coconut oil, set in the fridge! and i made a version of coconut butter from an online recipe which simply blended dessicated coconut for about 10 minutes until it became a liquid. Is this what you’re calling coconut butter? Really appreciate it if you can clarify these points for me so I can give this a go! thanks for sharing! glad i found your blog tonight 🙂
Hi Jessie! Those are great questions. I didn’t realize that I forgot to specify the amount of coconut. I fixed that! It’s 8 ounces or 1 cup.
Coconut Butter is actually different than coconut oil. It’s made from the flesh. It is creamier. I think if you substitute coconut oil, the mixture may become too wet and greasy. Why I ended up adding coconut oil in the end was because my mixture still had too many coconut flakes that weren’t sticking together and needed a little bit of moisture. I thought the combination of the 2 worked quite well. With all that said, you might be able to make this using coconut oil. If you place your logs in the freezer, the coconut oil will harden, making it easier to work with.
If you end up using coconut oil, instead of butter, please let me know how it turns out!
This is the coconut butter that I used – http://www.amazon.com/Artisana-100-Organic-Coconut-Butter/dp/B000WV153I/ref=pd_sim_b_58
Will coco nut oil work as well as Palm oil or ghee?
Arsy Vartanian says
Hi Sue – Do you mean for adding to the chocolate? If so, yes .. you can use coconut oil.
Hi Arsy! These sound amazing and I can wait to try them! I am so happy that I found a “treat” recipe that doesn’t call for almond flour because I was getting a bit bored with it. These seem perfect for on the go!
Thanks for posting!