Into the Hamper: Coconut Almond Joys

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Candy making isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but these are very low stress. With Valentine’s right around the corner, these would make a lovely little something for the coconut lover in your life.

Coconut Almond Joys (makes 18-36 candies, depending on size)

I used a 1 Tablespoon scoop and got around 18 two-bite candies. I have also made them half that size.

2-1/2 cups (360ml) shredded unsweetened coconut*
2/3 cup (160ml) sugar
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon (1.25ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla
3 Tbsps. (45ml) all-purpose flour
4 oz. (118g) chocolate–milk or dark, divided into 3 oz. and 1 oz. portions and chopped into smallish pieces

Whole raw almonds–enough for the number of candies you’re making. Toast the almonds for 8-10 minutes in a 350F/175C degree oven watching to make sure they don’t burn. You can also use soaked/spouted/dehydrated almonds, following the method here.

*This is basically a macaroon and most call for sweetened shredded coconut. You can use that if you like. I had unsweetened flaked organic coconut on hand and it worked really well.

Preheat the oven to 325F/165C degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Mix all of the ingredients except the chocolate together until well blended. It might look like there isn’t enough egg white to bind things together, but there is, just keep mixing…

Using a cookie scoop, measuring spoon or your hands, form balls with the mixture. To get the mixture out of a measuring spoon, press into one side near the edge and it should rotate out easily. You want them to be compressed as much as possible, so pack the mixture into the scoop or spoon, or compress with your hands, otherwise the candies will spread too much. Space them 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.

Press an almond into each mound.

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Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Check at about 7 minutes to see if the sheet should be rotated for even browning. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely, transferring to a rack or plate when cool enough to handle. Let cool completely before adding the chocolate.

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In a small saucepan melt 3 oz. of the chocolate over a water bath or very low heat until just melted. Take off the heat and add the remaining 1 oz. of chocolate. Stir until completely melted. Tempering the chocolate allows it to set properly and have a nice shiny finish. This will allow you to pile the candies in a container and not have the chocolate smear. And the chocolate is also less inclined to melt when you touch it.

You can either drizzle the chocolate over the top using a spoon, or use a piping bag with the smallest tip or a plastic bag with a small snip taken out of a corner. I recommend the later two for the most efficient and decorative results. It might not seem like a lot of chocolate, but it’s enough to cover them all. Let the chocolate set/harden before putting the candies in wrappers or up against each other in a box.

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If these are a gift, they are best within two to three days, but they should keep for a week or more without much deterioration as long as you keep them in a cool dark place.

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