My super awesome friend Heidi. Is that a random way to start a blog post about “almond joy” bars? You may think so… But let me take you back to a time long long ago when a few friends were enjoying a nice meal together…
JUST KIDDING! This happened last week. And the friends were my friends and I. Including… drum roll… Heidi! She had mentioned she made these amazing coconut chocolate almond bars at work to sell and said she got a hold of a few to take with her to a dinner our friends were having for us. The night passed, we ate our Saudi friends’ amazing home-made Kebsah, (blog post about this coming out in the near future), laughed a lot, did some crazy friend stuff and finally, as we are sitting down doing our own things, I start zoning out imagining of a world made of coconut clouds dipped in chocolate…
Then, suddenly, I wake up and realize these exact beauties are waiting for me in the freezer… I sneak around to the kitchen and try one. Except, I couldn’t just have one, I had to have a second one. As much as I could have easily eaten my third, fourth, and fifth pieces, I realized there were only six pieces in the container and if I had any more, there would not be any left for anybody else and they would definitely have known I was a fat-ass who gobbled down all of the pieces.
I went back home. I laid in bed. I fell asleep… and dreamt about the coconut goodness.
The next day, I couldn’t keep it to myself anymore. I decided I would try them out in my own kitchen. I called Heidi and asked for the recipe. They turned out so flawlessly that I had to share them with the world, so you’re welcome:
For about 16-18 individually sized rectangles, I used,
2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (if you live in a terribly cold place like me just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds)
3 TBSP of pure maple syrup (none of that fake, Aunt Gemima crap)
1 cup dark/ semi-sweet (vegan) chocolate chips
2 TSP coconut oil
Roasted whole almonds
First I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, in a bowl I mixed the coconut with the 1/2 cup of coconut oil and the maple syrup and stirred with a large wooden/ rubber spoon until it all turned into a homogenous shape-holding mixture. I dumped this mixture onto my line-baking sheet and with my clean hands, pressed this mixture into a large rectangular shape of about 1/4 inch thickness. I placed this into the freezer for about 20 minutes while I worked on my chocolate.
Using a double boiler/ bain-marie, I stirred the chocolate chips with the 2 teaspoons of coconut oil until this turned liquid and melted into a beautifully velvety chocolate sauce. You can temper the chocolate at this point if it isn’t already tempered, or if you know how to do this, but if not, don’t worry about it (just make sure to store the final product- the bars in the fridge).
As the chocolate melted slowly, I took out the coconut rectangle from the freezer and cut it into smaller rectangles with care, as they tend to break easily.
I lined another baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside, next to my melted chocolate bowl. Finally, I started dipping the bars into the chocolate with my hands and placed the dipped bars onto the clean, lined baking sheet. Next, I plopped two tiny circles of chocolate on top of each bar and placed the almonds on top of the chocolate to stick.
Finally, I drizzled chocolate over the bars for the finishing touch.
WARNING: If you attempt to make these, be warned they are hard to resist.
GO BANANAS! Or… CocoNUTS! Oh, and the best part about them? They are 100% vegan!!!