Happy Monday everyone!
This morning you get to meet one of my new darlings.
Homemade Almond Joy Bars.
But not just any old almond joy bars… these ones don’t hardly have any added sugar… just a smidge of honey.
What’s more, they are Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free, and even GAPS-legal if you use honey-sweetened chocolate.
As I reduce the sugar further in my diet, I still love my treats but I like my sweets less and less sweet. Yeah, I realize it’s just a little schizo… but that’s how I roll.
So anyway, when I first got my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil in the mail, I took one taste and immediately knew I was going to make these.
Tropical Traditions coconut oil is rich, coconutty, with a smooth texture that tastes sweet without being sweetened.
It’s the perfect addition to homemade sweets and it’s even good for you to boot! With these bars, I wanted to make a “very coconut” filling and coat them with a mixture of dark chocolate and coconut oil.
The end result turned out interesting – the filling is not chewy like the candy bar namesake but is more hard & crumbly. The texture reminds me of Russian Teacakes. They were quite addictive!
There were several different phases to making this stuff.
Phase 1 – Toasting the Coconut & Almonds
I toasted a whole bunch of unsweetened coconut in the oven until it was mostly golden brown. I then took a couple cups of it and ran it through my Ninja 1100 blender until it turned into coconut butter. This takes a REALLY long time, by the way.
While I was mixing the coconut butter, I also toasted the almonds on a cookie sheet in the oven.
I then mixed said coconut butter with MORE toasty coconut and a wee bit of coconut oil. Using wax paper, I shaped the mass into a square that was about an inch high (the height I wanted for my bars). I threw it into the fridge.
Next time I make these, I will only make them half as thick, since at the time I was forgetting the height the almonds would give.
Phase 2 – Setting up the bars
I took the square and cut it once all the way through, and then cut each rectangle into bars. This took some power!
I started melting the chocolate & coconut oil together in a double-boiler. One thing I wanted to do before dipping the bars was to attach the almonds to the filling.
I’ve noticed a lot of homemade almond joy bar recipes don’t include that step, but I’m pretty sure if memory serves me correctly that the commercial candy bars have a layer of chocolate between the almonds and the filling.
In any case, I just thought it would make it easier to coat the bars if the almonds were already attached via little dots of chocolate.
So I took an old baby medicine thermometer, filled it with the melted chocolate coating mixture, and put a dot on it where I wanted each almond to be.
I then set the almonds on top of each dot and put the whole shebang into the fridge for the chocolate to set up.
Once the bars were set up, it was dippin’ time.
Phase 3 – Dipping the bars
Not too hard here… I held each bar with tongs and dipped them into the chocolate mixture, then set them onto a tray to cool.
And there you have it! These were really good, not sugary-sweet but a little different. I think toasting the coconut beforehand really gave it an amped-up flavor.
I also think that these would be chewier and maybe like the original bars if you use sweetened flaked coconut and chopped it up in the blender first, but I wanted to use unsweetened. I liked them a lot so I’ll keep making them this way
Anyway, on to the recipe & giveaway. The giveaway info is below the recipe.
Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway
I realize that many, if not most of you, don’t happen to have coconut oil on hand. So – Tropical Traditions is going to sort of sponsor this recipe in a way by giving away a FREE quart of their Gold Label Coconut oil (retail value $40) to one of you.
You can read my original review of the stuff here – it’s pretty awesome and has a really long shelf life in case you are wondering what you’ll do with two POUNDS of the stuff.
Anyway, so it’s pretty simple. Just enter via the rafflecopter widget below. The only required entry is to subscribe to the TT newsletter which you can find here.
Other entries are listed in the Rafflecopter.
Oh and quick hint – you can subscribe to my mailing list AND leave a comment at the same time – just check the box that says “Subscribe for recipes, updates, tips and more!” when you are commenting.
If you are already subscribed or follow, etc. just state that you do and mark the entry completed. We’ll verify everything before we do the drawing.
The drawing will end at 12:01 am on Monday 4/16, so you’ll have until then. We’ll announce the winner on Monday morning
If you have any problems, you can leave a comment or email me.