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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Homemade Mounds or Almond Joy candy bars

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Yes, yet another chocolate recipe — this one for a blast from our collective past. I love Mounds bars. Though it's been 30 years since I had one I can still dream! And besides, I can make these for Mother of Rula. I think homemade candy is a great treat, so why not try these. They are not difficult and it involves dipping your fingers in warm liquid chocolate. How can that be bad?

Some history, while I'm at it: The Almond Joy was invented in 1946 by the Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing Company. The Mounds bar was the original version of the candy, premiering in 1921. Peter Paul used the unusual strategy of creating two very similar candies and advertising them as competing versions, encouraging consumers to pick a favorite. This tactic worked — Almond Joy and Mounds became two of the best-selling candies in the 1920s.

7 fluid ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
14 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
16 ounces dark chocolate

Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with parchment and coat it with nonstick cooking spray. Combine condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl. Add confectioners' 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. Chill candy in refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour. Using a sharp chef's knife, cut the candy into small rectangles. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Melt the dark chocolate, or simply melt the coating chocolate. Dip the bars into the chocolate, covering completely, and place them on the prepared sheet. Refrigerate candy for 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set. You do have the options of topping the coconut filling with toasted almonds (like the Almond Joy) if you like. You also could use milk chocolate ... if you're that kind of person.