When I’m invited to share a special meal with friends, whether holiday feast or birthday party, I always bring something.
Made with unsweetened coconut and hickory-smoked almonds, the Bring Joy Coconut Chocolate Candy is a modern twist on the beloved Almond Joy. As far as gifts go, with no baking and no chocolate tempering necessary, they are pantry-friendly and a breeze to pull together, even with little notice. On point for either Easter or Passover, they can be made up to two weeks in advance, too.
Unsweetened coconut is sold in airy, crunchy flakes — great in granola but a little large for candy. I used my high-speed blender to blitz the flakes into small bits, careful not to pulverize. Using the same blender, I chopped the smoked almonds into equally small bits. The almonds and coconut are bound with powdered sugar and sweetened condensed milk, then kneaded like bread dough until cohesive and stiff.
I used a small juice glass with a flat bottom to press the dough into the loaf pan, forming a solid block. The filling is chewy and dense, so it needs to be compacted. After chilling, the dough is much easier to cut into crisp-edged squares. If egg-shaped candies are your goal, use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion, then with slightly damp hands, form them before chilling.
I added shortening (or butter) to melted chips to make a dipping sauce that sets up in the refrigerator. No thermometers needed. Working with half the chips at a time keeps the chocolate the correct texture for enrobing (coating).
Finely chopped nuts and flaky salt make for a chic, grown-up party treat, but sprinkles and edible glitter aren’t outside the realm of possibility.