Thursday, January 24, 2013

Almond Joy Bars

These sweet treats were the perfect end to a lovely lunch with my parents and in-laws. Not to mention, they were quick enough to whip up with a 1-month-old and overnight houseguests!


From bottom to top: First you have a rich, buttery almond shortbread; that's essentially topped with a macaroon-like coconut layer; and the cherry on top is a layer of bittersweet chocolate and toasted almonds.

They're called Almond Joy Bars, but they are even more delicious because of the rich shortbread layer. It's even just a little bit salty, and counters the sweetness of the other layers perfectly!


Almond Joy Bars (makes a 9x13" pan)
Recipe borrowed from Glorious Treats

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups flour
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
14 oz. shredded, sweetened coconut (1 bag)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
12 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (chop if using bar chocolate; leave as is if using chips)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9x13" baking pan with foil or parchment, leaving some hanging over the edge for easy removal. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.

Toast the almonds in a thin layer on a baking sheet for 5-7 minutes until lightly golden. (Keep a close eye on them — they can burn quickly! Once you can smell the toasted almonds, it's probably time to take them out.)

Layer 1: Crust. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Then use a food processor or mixer to blend the butter and sugar until smooth and fully combined. Add the flour and salt, and blend lightly until almost incorporated. Add 1 cup of cooled toasted almonds and blend until just combined. Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake the crust for 5-6 minutes.

Layer 2: Coconut. In a bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and vanilla. Spoon the mixture onto the crust, spreading gently without disturbing the crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the coconut is golden brown.

Layer 3: Chocolate. Melt the chocolate in a glass, microwave-safe bowl. Add the chocolate to the bowl and cook for 30 second intervals on high, stirring in between intervals. Remove from microwave when the chocolate is almost, but not fully, melted. Stir until fully melted. Evenly spread the chocolate over the coconut layer. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of toasted almonds on top of the chocolate before it sets.

Place the baking pan in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until chocolate hardens. When fully chilled, lift the bars out of the pan using the overhanging parchment/foil liner. Slice into bars, using a sharp knife.

Serve at room temperature. Store remaining bars in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped for up to 3 days.


Click here for a printable recipe!

2 comments:

  1. Can you make a batch for me?? They were so delish!

    ReplyDelete
  2. They WERE delicious!!! :)

    ReplyDelete

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