If you were to ask me what my favorite candy is, I honestly don’t know what I would say. I almost think I would answer that question differently depending on my mood, the month, or whatever was closest to me… and by that last one I mean, whichever candy was stashed in my purse. Yes, I am that lady that carries candy in her purse. Just in case. You never know when you just won’t be yourself.
Please tell me you picked up that Snickers reference? If you did, ignore this sentence completely, but if you didn’t, go watch a Snickers commercial. It’s kind of funny. And, very true.
I’ve had affairs with Snickers, Twix, Reese’s, and Gummy Bears throughout my life. I seem to always come back to one of these four. I can count on them. They never let me down. Ever. Which is why I have never really been tempted to grab a different candy bar in the aisle.
Until one day an Almond Joy walked up. Well, really, my mom bought an Almond Joy and I tried a bite, and lets just say it was actually pretty darn good. I really liked the combination of coconut, almond, and chocolate. A lot. But, I’m far to loyal (or too in love with) my other four favorites, that there is simply no way Almond Joy’s could become part of my candy routine. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t become part of my baking routine. Or, at least that the ingredients can’t. I’m a problem solver people. I know how to make things work in our (fine, my) favor.
Oh hey there, Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies or, more simply put, Almond Joy Blondies—I don’t know which name to pick, mainly because I don’t want you to think these bars have Almond Joy’s in them. They have all the ingredients of an Almond Joy, but no physical Almond Joy candy was present during the making process. So, I’m going to let you officially pick the name of these bars. Keep in mind, that this is kind of a big honor. I must really like you.
Can we take a brief minute to talk about blondies. Okay, so blondies. Yeah, I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about. I’m a brownie girl. I like my bars fudgy, gooey, and filled to the max with chocolate flavor. Blondies weren’t even a thought to me for the simple reason that they didn’t have fudge in them. They were acting like brownie imposters. And no one likes imposters. No one.
I now see the error in my ways. Blondies aren’t trying to be brownies. In fact, they have their own amazingly delicious thing going on, that they don’t even need to think about being someone else. Blondies are gooey and soft, taste buttery and rich, and are the perfect base for mixing in other ingredients. Why are they the perfect base you ask? Mainly because blondies allow all mixed in flavors, including its buttery self, to come through in each bite. They don’t overpower other ingredients and they definitely don’t let other ingredients overpower them. That’s why these bars are so good. Each bite is a combination of toasted coconut, some crunch from the almond pieces, rich chocolate creaminess, and a buttery gooeyness that keeps you coming back for more.
So, no, it’s not an Almond Joy candy, but I think I’ll dare to say, it’s better. Much better. As in, if this became a candy bar you could buy, I would gladly add it to my candy bar routine. In fact, it might work its way up to be my favorite candy affair.
Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate (aka Almond Joy) Blondies
Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks
Yields: 12 bars
1 cup unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)
2 cups golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon coconut extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut flakes, toasted
¾ to 1 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9×13-inch pan by lining it with foil and spraying generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar, until no clumps of brown sugar remain.
Add eggs, one at a time, and then whisk in vanilla and coconut extract.
Whisk in flour and salt, until just combined—try not to over stir the batter or it will become tough to work with.
Using a spatula, fold in toasted coconut flakes and then the almonds. Fold in chocolate chips until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top, if needed, lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick, stuck in the middle, comes out clean.
Let cool completely before slicing into bars.