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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