I absolutely love this time of year. It really inspires me to think of creative ways to make treats that are absolutely delicious but good for you too! I grew up loving this traditional candy bar as a child but as Rose-Marie Swift recently said, “We live in a world where chemicals are gods and naturals are ridiculed.” It got me thinking about how I could make a delicious version of the traditional “Almond Joy” favorite without all the extra ingredients that we don’t need. I love how this recipe turned out because they are not too sweet and are the perfect combination of crunchy almonds, coconut flakes, sea salt and chocolate.
There are a little tricky to make because of the cocoa butter but if you have the patience, they are well worth it and I think your up for the challenge. I’ve been really enjoying one of these babies with a hot cup of tea in the afternoon and it really hits the spot! I can’t wait for you to try them too.
Vegan Dark Chocolate Almond Joys
2 cups organic cocoa butter
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened shredded organic coconut flakes
3 tbs organic real maple syrup
5 to 6 of your favorite dark chocolate bars for melting
16 organic almonds
Take a double boiler or two pots of the same size. Place water in the pot that will be on the bottom, then place the other pot on top. Add the cocoa butter and place heat on medium. The cocoa butter will begin to melt slowly. As it is melting, add a pinch of sea salt and the vanilla extract. Once the cocoa butter is completely melted, add the coconut flakes, maple syrup and stir with a spoon till all the ingredients are fully combined. Take a 8 by 8 by 2″ pan and line it with parchment paper. Take the coconut, cocoa butter mixture and press it into the bottom of the pan evenly so that fills the whole pan. Place it in the freezer for 30 minutes till the mixture becomes nice and firm.
While the mixture is getting firm, clean your double boiler or two pots and now once again place water in the pot on the bottom. Place the other pot on top and add the chocolate, then place the heat on medium. Let the chocolate completely melt. Then set aside.
Once the coconut, cocoa butter mixture is hard, remove it from the refrigerator. Lift it carefully out of the pan keeping the parchment paper on the back. Use a sharp knife and cut them into rectangular bars. This recipe made 8 bars. Place 2 almonds on top of each bar.
Now lets get to the tricky part because you need to work quickly because the melted chocolate will start to melt the cocoa butter in the bars! Place a clean piece of parchment paper down next to your melted chocolate, then also have a spoon ready for your melted chocolate. Use a spatula and place one of the rectangular bars at a time onto the spatula then very gently place it into the melted chocolate using a spoon to pour the chocolate over the top of the bar so that it is fully covered with chocolate. Then let is rest on the parchment paper and repeat till you’ve done this with all the bars. I like to sprinkle additional sea salt on each bar but this is a preference. Now quickly slide the parchment paper onto a firm flat surface like a cookie sheet and then place into your refrigerator and let chill for 30 minutes till hard.
Once hard, remove from refrigerator and use a sharp knife to cut around each one so that they are in nicely shaped rectangular bars. Now use a firm spatula and remove each bar from parchment paper and store in an airtight glass container with a top in your refrigerator or at room temperature. These will last in the refrigerator for at least 9-10 days and at room temperature for 5-7 days.
Enjoy with all my love from my kitchen to yours! – Chef Emery oxoxox
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