homemade almond joy

It's become a tradition that hubby gets homemade chocolates for Valentine's Day.  I was looking for something different this time, having already made truffles a number of times, and homemade Ferrero's last year.
I considered homemade turtles but then realized the caramel and pecans would be more for me than my love. When I found this recipe for homemade almond joy from Joy the Baker, I thought it was the perfect idea.
It didn't take long and the chocolates tasted so close to the real thing.  Of course, my little man had to get a box too!  I made his a little smaller and he was so excited to get some homemade chocolates from his mamma.

Homemade Almond Joy
From Joy the Baker

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
30 roasted almonds
about 20 ounces of good quality semi sweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract.  Stir in the unsweetened coconut.  The mixture will be thick.  Place mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Remove the coconut mixture from the freezer.  With clean hands shape one tablespoon of coconut into a little log about 2 inches long and 3/4-inch thick.  Press the logs together very well so they don’t crack when dipped.    Place the log on the lined baking sheet and continue until all of the coconut mixture is gone.  Place the baking sheet in the fridge to chill while you melt the chocolate.

Place a medium  pot with two inches of water over a medium flame.  Bring the water to a simmer.  Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and place the bowl over the simmering water.  Stir the chocolate as it melts.  Turn off the flame once the chocolate has melted but keep the bowl of melted chocolate over the hot water.

Remove the formed coconut from the fridge.  Place one coconut almond log on a fork.  Use a spoon to scoop a bit of chocolate over the almond.  This will help the almond stick to the candy and not fall off during dipping.  Lower fork into chocolate and spoon chocolate over candy to coat.  Lift fork and gently shake to release some of the chocolate.  Scrape the bottom of the fork along the side of the bowl and place on the lined baking sheet. 

Let dipped candy harden in the fridge for 45 minutes.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.  If you need to layer the candy in a container, use waxed paper to separate the layers

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