My friend Vicki makes these every year for the holidays, and I’ve been the lucky recipient of many a care package that included these tasty homemade candies. This year, instead of making my usual Bourbon Balls to give as host/ess gifts, I decided to try making them myself. Vicki, I hope, would be proud!
This recipe will yield about 30 bars depending on the size of each bar (I made mine a little on the large side), with some chocolate left over, which I used to make almond bark.
- 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup sweet butter, softened
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. good quality (Madagascar/Mexican) vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 14 oz. sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
- 24 oz. dark/semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips (the Peter Paul version uses milk chocolate, but I prefer dark)
- 3/4 cup whole almonds
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread raw almonds on baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
In a large mixing bowl, blend milk, butter, salt and vanilla. Add powdered sugar a little at a time to cream. Add coconut a little at a time and mix until combined. The mixture will be thick. Place mixture in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper (I used non-stick aluminum foil, which is silicone coated) – DO NOT USE wax paper, as the wax may stick to the bottom of the bars. Remove coconut mixture from the frig. Using your hands, shape one tablespoon of coconut into small log – 2 inches long and 3/4-inch thick. Press coconut mixture tightly together. Place logs on lined baking sheet and continue until all coconut mixture is finished.
Press an almond on top of each coconut log. Place baking sheet in freezer to chill while you melt chocolate.
Melt the chocoloate using a double boiler. Alternately, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave for 2-4 minutes at 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted, but you may have to reheat it as you’re dipping the bars, and it’s easier to just leave the chocolate in the double boiler, to keep it melted until you’re finished. Remove coconut logs from freezer.
Dip each bar in the chocolate: Place one coconut almond log on a fork. Use a spoon to scoop a bit of chocolate over over the bar. Lower fork into chocolate and spoon chocolate over candy to coat. Lift fork and gently tap it against the sides of the bowl to release some of the excess chocolate. Scrape bottom of fork along the side of bowl and place the bar on the lined baking sheet. Use a toothpick to help get the bar off the fork. Repeat until all candy is coated in chocolate. Let the dipped candy harden for 45 minutes.
Store in airtight container at room temperature. If gifting, be sure to use food-safe bags or tins.