Ever since I made the homemade Twix brownie bars, I've been wanting to make a homemade Almond Joy brownie version as well. Almond Joys are another favorite candy from childhood because they're milk chocolate, coconut and almonds. I don't like Mounds as well because they're dark chocolate but I love Almond Joys. Nowadays I don't really eat them except as a topping to a brownie but I thought it would be fun to make these. They turned out a bit bigger than I expect so I decided to name them Almond Joy Brownie Bombshells.
I basically just put two recipes together to make these. Coincidentally, they both had Florida in their titles so that seemed to cry out to put them together. I made the coconut filling from the Florida Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Patties recipe below, except I left out the milk chocolate coating and used milk chocolate candy melts instead.
For the brownies, I used Nick Malgieri's recipe from his latest book, Bake, that I had borrowed from the library awhile back. I didn't beat the batter as much as the recipe directed though as I didn't want really light and airy brownies. I just needed a good brownie base for the coconut topping to sit on. Instead of a 9 x 13 pan, I half-filled mini muffin tins for a little round base, centered a whole roasted almond on top of each one and topped with a small scoop of the coconut filling. I still had a lot of batter leftover even after making 48 mini brownie bases so I poured the rest into a 9 x 9 pan and made them as regular brownies which I then topped with the nutella crunch topping.
|bad lighting at night, pic a little blurry|
|Left the almond out of the taste test piece because it wouldn't stay put|
Florida Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Patties
1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg white
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups (5 ounces) coconut, unsweetened or sweetened, packed
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, cut into small pieces (if using milk chocolate, add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil while melting)
1. Make the coconut filling: In a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, butter, egg white, and salt until very liquid and warm to the touch, about 10 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and, with a spoon, stir in the coconut and vanilla until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, up to overnight.
3. When ready to coat the coconut, in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. When almost melted, turn off the heat and let the chocolate continue to melt completely, stirring occasionally. Keep the bowl over the warm water.
4. Form the balls: line a small tray with parchment paper. Using a scant ounce of the coconut mixture, roll into a small ball and place on the parchment-lined tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture, forming 18 balls.
5. Arrange 18 paper or foil minicups on the tray. Gently place one of the balls into the warm melted chocolate and, using two forks, roll the ball in the chocolate until well coated. Lift (do not pierce) the coated coconut ball with one of the forks, allowing some of the chocolate to drip back into the bowl, and carefully place in one of the prepared cups. Repeat with the remaining coconut balls and melted chocolate. Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened and use as desired.
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
8 ounces premium unsweetened chocolate, cut into ¼-inch pieces
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
3 ¾ cups sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
One 9 x 13-inch baking pan, lined with buttered foil
1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375⁰F.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let the butter get hot and start to sizzle after it’s melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate all at once. Gentle shake the pan to submerge all the chocolate in the butter. Set aside.
3. Combine the eggs, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. First whisk by hand to mix. Whisk in the sugar by hand.
4. Whip on medium-high speed for 10 minutes, until very light.
5. Whisk the butter and chocolate smooth and scrape into the mixer bowl. Whip on lowest speed just until smooth, then stop the mixer.
6. Sift the flour onto a piece of paper, bend the paper and slide the flour into the bowl. Mix again on lowest speed until the flour is absorbed.
7. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to give a final mixing to the batter.
8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
9. Bake the brownies until they are firm, but not dry, and the point of a paring knife inserted in the center of the pan emerges with moist crumbs clinging to it, about 35 minutes.
10. Cool in a pan on a rack. Unmold the brownies to a cutting board and remove the pan and paper. Cover with another board and invert the whole stack. Remove the top board and wrap the brownies on their board in a double thickness of plastic wrap. Keep the brownies at cool room temperature overnight before cutting.