Gourmandistan

Sometimes you feel like a dark chocolate almond coconut bar, sometimes you don’t

Chocolate almond coconut bar Those outside of America may be unaware of either Almond Joy® or Mounds® candy bars. This means they are also unaware of the “sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t” debate that would have torn America apart decades ago if not for shelf after shelf groaning with other candy options. Rest assured, however, there is a divide over which bar is best, which remained alive in Gourmandistan until Michelle created a delightful compromise. Chocolate almond coconut bar Both Michelle and Steve chose the coconut treats quite often when growing up, but as sometimes happens in Gourmandistan, went separate ways with our preferences. Michelle liked the dark chocolate covering on her sugary pressed coconut Mounds bar. Steve also has always liked dark chocolate. But, to his thrifty eye, the addition of two almonds per purchase made the less tasty milk chocolate coating of Almond Joy a better value. Chocolate almond coconut bar These days, of course, we don’t really buy candy bars, as our kitchen is quite well equipped to crank out sweet things. Combining dark chocolate, almonds and coconut made what to us was the ultimate Almond Joy/Mounds mashup—a rich, sweet and chewy concoction we cut into bars, froze and enjoyed for quite a while. Have we eliminated the option of not feeling like a nut? Yes, but it’s Gourmandistan. That option left our realm a long time ago.

CHOCOLATE ALMOND COCONUT BARS

  • Servings: one 9-inch pan of brownies (you decide)
  • Print

(adapted from Alice Medrich’s “Lacy Coconut-Topped Brownies” in Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies)

Topping:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1-1/4 c. unsweetened dried flaked coconut
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • large pinch of salt
  • 1/4 c. slivered almonds

Combine egg white, coconut, sugar, vanilla and salt in a stainless steel (or other heatproof) mixing bowl. Set the bowl in a large skillet of simmering water. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the bowl, for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is hot and the egg whites have become opaque. Remove bowl from water and stir in almonds. Set aside.

Brownies:

  • 1 stick (8 TB) unsalted butter, in pieces
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 c. + 2 TB sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 350° F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9″ square pan with foil. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Set in the skillet of simmering water. Stir frequently until melted and hot. Remove bowl from water.

With a wooden spoon, stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Add eggs, stirring well. Stir in flour and beat vigorously until batter becomes glossy and smooth. Scrape batter into prepared baking pan and level out with a spatula. Using your fingers, drop the topping mixture over the brownie batter, distributing the nuts and coconut evenly.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until topping is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, then remove from pan.

Drizzle:

  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 3/4 tsp. coconut oil or solid vegetable shortening

Melt chocolate and coconut oil together in a small saucepan over low heat. Place in a plastic sandwich bag. Cut off a tiny bit of the corner of the bag. (Or use an icing bag with a small round tip.) Drizzle chocolate mixture over tops of brownies.

Refrigerate brownies until chocolate is set. Then cut into squares.

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46 comments

    • Oh, it was! But, as industrial candy bars go, those (along with Heath bars) aren’t too bad. At least that’s what my memory tells me. I’m certain I haven’t had either a Mounds or an Almond Joy since, oh, maybe 1985?

  1. You´re right, as a non-American, I don´t know either of these bars, but I surely know your fusion of both is a winner. No need to taste the original !

  2. “Almond Joy’s gots nuts…Mounds don’t” I remember that little ditty! I always sneak the Almond Joy’s out of my son’s Halloween bag…they are the best. What a lovely recipe, I don’t think I would stop with just one.

  3. Haha that commercial – I’m a 90’s kid so I never saw that before. Almond Joy is definitely my favorite. I just love eating nuts too much! I adore this mashup, it looks so good!

    • You know, I’m sort of glad to know that there are a few things that haven’t gone into world-wide distribution. You haven’t missed much. They’re much like most other industrial candies—too sweet with too waxy chocolate. But, as those things go, they’re not bad. Just try these instead. 😉

    • Thanks! Isn’t it somewhat reassuring to know that there are a few things that aren’t found everywhere on earth? (It’s just industrial candy. You aren’t missing that much.)

  4. This is hilarious. I’m reading the comments and it’s amazing that people don’t know the jingle. It was a fundamental part of Americana. Either way, these look like an amazing dessert. I preferred no nuts growing up, but now I realize the beauty of texture. Love these.

    • I know! I was so surprised that Hershey didn’t send Mounds and Almond Joys (much less the awful commercials) all over the world. I mean, think of the (gross … apologies to all Brits) Cadbury eggs. They’re everywhere! I was always torn between the better dark chocolate of Mounds and the crunchy almonds though too sweet milk chocolate of AJs. Glad I no longer have to decide. 🙂

  5. Lord, give me strength. I really, really would like to swap my dinner for one of these! Almond joy is called Bounty here in Europe and that’s quite a reminder of the taste of childhood. N xx

  6. Mounds and Almond Joy bars were equally exciting to me as a kid after a successful Halloween. In the hierarchy of candy, I think Almond Joys would win because of the almonds but either one was a prize. I am currently doing a really stupid no sugar thing, but as soon as that is done I am making these! They look like everything that is right in the world.

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