NOTE: This recipe has been updated to be better than ever. Please hop on over to Homemade Almond Joy Bars – Revised (dairy free with sugar free option) to see the “new and improved” recipe.
Got a craving for something sweet and chocolatey? Do you love candy bars but wish that they were just a bit healthier?
We have some pretty intense sweet tooths in my family. Especially, that is, my kids and I do :-).
However, we have been attempting to be a sugar free family for quite awhile (some of us more sugar free than others), but Almond Joy bars are one of those things that really tug at my husband's heart. (Anything gummy does as well, like Dots, Ju Jubes, Skittles, but I haven't attempted substitutes for those yet!) And, we avoid processed foods as much as possible.
So, here is a delicious and healthy alternative for us and for you!
I suppose that many of you have read of the wonderful benefits of adding coconut oil to your diet. Well, here is a great way to get more of it into your diet.
As with all of my recipes, it is adaptable for any number of special diets. Feel free to play around with the sweeteners, oils and nut or seed butters. They all work great!
The base of this dessert is the same as my Homemade Chocolate or Carob Bar, and then it is topped with a coconut oil / coconut topping and whole or sliced almonds.
So, without further ado–
Homemade Almond Joy Bars
Chocolate / Carob Base:
8 Tbsp coconut oil (palm would work well too, or butter)
8 Tbsp almond butter (any nut or seed butter would work, but almond is extra special)
1/4 cup sugar or appropriate substitute (for candida diets, xylitol and erythritol work well. Approx 6 scoops stevia extract is a good alternative))
5 slightly rounded Tbsp carob or cocoa powder
9 tsp honey or other liquid sweetener, or adjust and use a granulated sweetener (for candida diets, use vegetable glycerine, xylitol, erythritol or any combination thereof)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
6 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup granulated sweetener (or 1/8 tsp stevia)
2 Tbsp liquid sweetener
1 1/2 vanilla
1/4 tsp additional flavoring (optional. Almond or coconut are good choices)
1 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder (cornstarch may be substituted)
1. Melt coconut oil and almond butter over a simmer. To ensure a smooth product, you may wish to sift your carob.
2. Stir in the carob and the granulated sweetener and combine thoroughly.
3. Mix in remaining ingredients except for vanilla. Continuously stir until it slightly thickens, then remove from heat.
4. Stir in the vanilla.
5. Pour the mixture into an 8×8 pan and place in freezer to harden while you make the topping.
1. Melt coconut oil in a small pan and add coconut flakes. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer and stir until it thickens a bit.
2. Once the chocolate is hardened, gently smooth the coconut mixture on top.
3. Place slivered or whole almonds onto the top. Place bars back in the freezer until completely hardened.
4. Slice into squares and enjoy!
You will need to keep these in the fridge or freezer (especially in the summer :-)) to keep them from softening, but if you are anything like us, it will be hard to have too much leftover after making them! In fact, I always at least double this recipe to have extras on hand for when we are out and need snacks or for dessert when we go to a potluck or other place where sugar and gluten-laden desserts will be served.
You may also wish to check out my store for great deals on coconut oil!
Do you have a favorite candy recipe that you can share?