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Homemade Paleo Almond Joys

Today I’m thankful for tasty tap water, my black glitter purse that I break out every October, the giraffe tights I’m about to buy from American Apparel for Halloween, and that dark chocolate is deemed Paleo-friendly.

So when I go on roadtrips …and my sweet tooth speaks up …and a square of extra dark chocolate won’t cut it …I grab an Almond Joy from the closest gas station. What? It’s just coconut, chocolate, and an almond …right? Sounds Paleo to me!

Here are the ingredients found in an Almond Joy:

CORN SYRUP; MILK CHOCOLATE (SUGAR; COCOA BUTTER; CHOCOLATE; MILK; LACTOSE; MILK FAT; NONFAT MILK; SOY LECITHIN; PGPR, EMULSIFIER) ; COCONUT; SUGAR; ALMONDS (ROASTED IN COCOA BUTTER AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL) ; CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN AND PALM OIL); WHEY (MILK); COCOA; SALT; NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR ; CHOCOLATE; SOY LECITHIN; HYDROLYZED MILK PROTEIN; SODIUM METABISULFITE, TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS; SULFUR DIOXIDE, TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS; CARAMEL COLOR

Whoa.

So it’s mostly corn syrup, more sugar, some dairy, and trace amounts of scary, really bad for us ingredients. I’m out.

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What’s next? Homemade versions! Why haven’t I done this before??

Guys, they taste JUST like the real thing {if not better} and are so flippin’ easy. They freeze well too if you want to make a huge batch and defrost a few at a time. It’s the perfect sweet tooth satisfier.

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Here are the ingredients found in MY Paleo-friendly Almond Joy:

UNSWEETENED SHREDDED COCONUT; EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL; ENJOY LIFE CHOCOLATE CHIPS; NATURAL ALMONDS; MAPLE SYRUP

Boom!

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They’re tasty, way healthier than the alternative, and wrap up in wax paper nicely for passing out at your Halloween party.

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Let’s make ‘em!

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First, you’re going to need a food processor and some unsweetened shredded coconut.

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Add 3 cups of the coconut goodness to the food processor.

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Next, the sweetener! I love maple syrup. If you don’t have any on hand, honey will work too.

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Add 3 Tbl to the processor.

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Next, extra virgin coconut oil!

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Add 6 Tbl to the processor and then let it run for about 2 minutes.

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It’ll look like this when it’s done. You may need to stop it halfway through and scrape down the sides.

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Ta-da! The filling is done. Wasn’t that EASY?!

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I’m about to blow your mind. Dust off those ice trays you stubbornly saved from college for the “one day I’ll need them.” You need them! They’re the molds for your almond joys! Wee!!

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Really, they make the perfect mold. If you don’t have any, you can also use a mini cupcake pan. {{Note: If you go the mini cupcake pan route, I recommend you use parchment paper liners to help the candies release.}}

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Spoon the mixture into the 16 ice cube molds.

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Pat it down with your fingers and then fill with more mixture if you have some left. Doesn’t it drive you nuts when you get a manicure and they leave half your nail unpainted? This manicure is 2 days old. My nails do not grow that fast. #firstworldproblems

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All done? Pop it in the freezer while you make your chocolate coating.

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I opted for the recognized Paleo-friendly Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips but YOU should use what you’re most comfortable with. I recommend dark chocolate chips if you can find them.

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Y’all… we’re going to get serious about melting this chocolate. I did some research, did lots of experimenting, and came up with the most efficient way to correctly temper chocolate. Why does it matter? Properly tempering chocolate allows you to have that hard, shiny chocolate finish that doesn’t melt in your hands.

If this sounds like too much work, I’ll understand if you give a bowl of chocolate a few whirls in the microwave until it’s liquid.

I even broke out my grandmother’s candy thermometer for the occasion. She’d be so proud.

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Fill a small pot 1/3 – 1/2 way with water, cover, and put over medium/high heat. We want it to simmer, not boil.

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Got a good simmer?

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Measure out 1 cup and ½ cup of chocolate chips.

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Add the cup of chocolate chips to a glass bowl that is large enough to rest on the pot of water.

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Place the bowl over the water.

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Over medium/low heat, stir the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula constantly.

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Keep stirring!

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Now we’re getting somewhere.

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Either stir it for about 1 more minute once it gets velvety smooth or test the temperature with your candy thermometer. You want the chocolate to be between 110 F and 115 F.

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Once it’s at temperature, remove it from the heat and set it on a towel. Let the temperature come down to about 95 F {or just stir it again for another minute}.

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Add in the ½ cup of remaining chocolate chips.

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Stir it into the mixture until smooth. You have officially tempered your chocolate! Don’t you feel fancy? I felt like I needed a photo finish with a big marble slab, chef’s hat, and metal spatula {like the commercials}.

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Pull the coconut ice tray out of the freezer, give it a twist {just like when it’s full of ice}, and set a cooling rack over the top.

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Flip it upside down.

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And pull the tray off the filling. Aren’t they cute?

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Using a butter knife, scrape off any ridges you don’t want.

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Now, dip the bottom of each candy in the chocolate, let it drip off, then place it back on the cooking rack.

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Got ‘em all dipped?

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Grab some natural, unsalted almonds!

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The best way to make the almonds stay in place is with a tiny dot of chocolate for glue.

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After you blob the chocolate, grab an almond.

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And place it firmly on top of the candy.

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Work your way through the whole batch.

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Got ‘em all done?

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Your perfectly tempered chocolate is ready for its big debut.

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Grab a spoonful.

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And drizzle it over one of the candies.

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Let it drip over the sides and then using the back of your spoon, make sure the whole candy is covered.

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Repeat for the whole batch.

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Taa-dAAA.

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Next, I recommend you transfer your dripped chocolates from the wire cooling racks to parchment paper. This way, you don’t have to scrape them off the racks and they’ll peel off nicely from the paper.

Place in the refrigerator for one hour, or until set.

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When they’re done, plate up! They make for a great, gourmet candy for your Halloween {or any time of the year} party.

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You could also wrap them up in wax paper for hand-outs.

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Cut wax paper into squares and fold over the candies.

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Twist one side closed.

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Then the other. Done!

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Put them in a cute basket for Halloween night or your party.

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Or plate with some unwrapped Almond Joys.

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These are so delicious. I hope you love every minute of making and enjoying them.

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Cheers!

Homemade Paleo Almond Joys

Makes 16 Candies

Ingredients:

3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

3 Tbl maple syrup

6 Tbl extra virgin coconut oil

1.5 cups Enjoy Life chocolate chips

½ cup natural almonds

Directions:

Combine the coconut, maple syrup, and coconut oil in a food processor. Blend for 2 minutes, pausing halfway to scrape down the sides.

Spoon the mixture into a 16-slotted plastic ice tray and press down. Place in the freezer while you prepare the melted chocolate.

To temper the chocolate, place 1 cup of the chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a simmering pot of water. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until melted or between 110 F and 115 F.

Remove from heat and place on a towel, let the chocolate cool to 95 F and add the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips. Stir until smooth with the rubber spatula.

Break the coconut candy from the ice trays then dip the bottom of each one in the melted chocolate and place on a wire cooling wrack. Place a dot of the melted chocolate on top of each candy to serve as glue, then place an almond on the dot.

Grab a spoonful of the chocolate and pour it over each candy, smoothing it over each side until totally covered.

Transfer the candies from the wire rack to parchment paper then place in the refrigerator for one hour or until set.

Wrap in squares of wax paper and twist the ends shut for giving away at parties or on Halloween.

Enjoy!

Time: 30 minutes active, 1 hour to set

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