Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Pinterest is scroll after scroll of DIY heart-shaped pillows, cutsey valentine cards, and pink everything. Not to mention the center aisles at the grocery store are packed with every sugary treat imaginable in bite-size form, wrapped in pink cellophane and heart-shaped cardboard boxes.
I prefer my sweet treats homemade, prepared with love. One of my absolute favorite candy bars growing up was Almond Joy. Creamy, buttery coconut filling wrapped in rich chocolate and topped with an almond. That’s just perfection. I set out to recreate this melt in your mouth candy with as few ingredients, and as simply, as possible. I lost a few in sticky melted chocolate as I figured out the best way to coat the coconut. Not that that’s a bad thing, just more taste-testers for me and K! Can’t get enough…
These little nuggets of awesome are pretty sugary, but they’re really a once-in-a-while treat for us. Eating a strawberry or two for every chocolate treat makes it all better, right? Okay, maybe not. We eat pretty well most of the time, so okay to indulge a bit every once in a while. And strawberries are kind of heart-shaped, too. So this dish is Valentines-y in my book!
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp melted vegan butter (we like Smart Balance)
- 1 Tbsp water
- ½ tsp coconut extract
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (made with coco butter)
- 25-30 roasted unsalted almonds (optional)
- In a bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, butter, water, and coconut extract, mixing until it forms a rough paste.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Moisten your fingertips with a little water or nonstick cooking spray, and start forming the coconut mixture into rectangles (or any shape you like, really!).
- Use about 2 tsp of the mixture per rectangle.
- Arrange the rectangles on the baking sheet about an inch apart.
- Place in the refrigerator to firm up while you melt the chocolate.
- Place the chocolate chips in a sauce pan over low heat, and heat slowly stirring constantly, until the chocolate has melted completely. Turn off the heat.
- Take the coconut rectangles out of the refrigerator.
- Lift a coconut rectangle off the baking sheet and, with the back of a spoon, spread a thin layer of chocolate on the parchment paper in the shape of a rectangle a little larger than the coconut rectangle.
- Place the coconut rectangle on top of its chocolate bottom.
- Spoon 1 tsp of chocolate on top of the coconut rectangle, spreading carefully with the back of a spoon, allowing the chocolate to spill over the sides and adhere to the chocolate bottom. Add more chocolate as necessary to cover completely.
- Once covered in chocolate, top with an almond if using.
- Repeat to finish the remaining candies.
- If the melted chocolate starts to get too think and sticky, you can reheat it over low heat, stirring constantly, until it has reached the right consistency again.
- Once the candies are all coated in chocolate, place back in the refrigerator to harden – about 20 minutes.