Confectionery / Candy Bar / Chocolate Bar… whatever you choose to say, I love them all!! One of the first things I do when visiting a new country is pop down to a corner store and check out the chocolate bar selection. I must say, we have a pretty good selection here is Australia but I am always fascinated by the range in the USA and how you can find different bars on the east coast to the west coast. (Although I do think there is an excessive amount of peanut butter and chocolate combinations.)
I was in candy bar heaven when my husband and I stumbled across ’Dylan’s Candy Shop’ in New York. Two whole floors of confectionery! Not only did they stock a great range of US bars but they had a fair selection of international bars too.
So what is my favorite candy / chocolate bar? Hmmm…. that is a tough one! Well, I’m always up for some plain M&M’s (I know what your thinking…. Plain?? who likes Plain?? Well I DO!!) The Aussie bar ‘Twirl’ is also a favorite along with any kind of soft fondant center. From the USA – I love anything ‘Godiva’ but who doesn’t?! From the UK – Marks and Spencer’s frozen dried chocolate coated berries, admittedly they are a little bizarre but I couldn’t stop thinking about them for weeks after first trying them. (I would move to the UK just for Marks & Spencer! LOL)
My husbands favorite USA bars were the ‘Almond Joy’ and ‘Mounds’. We don’t get Hershey’s here in OZ but we do have ‘Bounty’. All three have flaky coconut centers coated in chocolate, Almond Joy also has almonds which is always a nice addition.
So here it is, a home made version of the Bounty / Mounds / Almond Joy. Everyone who tried these loved them… my Dad hasn’t been able to stop talking about them so I have promised to make him his very own batch this weekend
Coconut Almond Chocolate Bars
(see below for Cherry Variation)
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
- 200ml (7 fl oz) sweetended condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups icing (confectioners) sugar, sifted
- 225g (8 oz) sweetened moist flaked coconut or shredded coconut
- 175g (6oz) desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted (optional)
- 450g (16 oz ) dark chocolate suitable for coating
- Line a 23cm x 33cm (9 x13-inch) slice pan with baking paper.
- Combine condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl.
- Add icing sugar 1 cup at a time and stir with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated.
- Add coconut and stir until combined.
- Pour the mixture into the baking pan and press it into an even layer. Then press the almonds into the mixture in even rows. Chill candy in refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the candy into small rectangles.
- Line a cookie tray with baking paper.
- Melt the chocolate and dip the bars into the chocolate, covering completely, and place them on the prepared tray.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set.
Edit: 24/10/10: Cherry Variation
This version was DELICIOUS! During step 5 of the above recipe I pressed glace cherries into the coconut mixture instead of the almonds.