It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.
Since I live in Canada, I don’t have close access to the supermarket of a certain trader named Joe. When I do cross over into those aisles flanked with helpful staff in Hawaiian shirts, I make a beeline for the chocolate-covered almonds with sea salt and raw sugar every time. The combination of dark chocolate, crunchy almond, and sprinkles of coarse salt and sugar is the stuff of obsession. With the value of the American dollar up and our tendency to polish off a container in 5 days up, too, I needed to figure out how to make these at home.
I read a few recipes for this kind of treat that started off by coating the almonds in simple syrup before getting to the chocolate coating, but I decided to skip this step -- the chocolate is so indulgent and sweet already and I knew that if I included a little dab of coconut oil in the coating, it would adhere to the nuts just fine. Since coconut oil is high in saturated fat, it goes firm at cooler ranges of room temperature. This makes for silky chocolate and an even coating.
More: Make homemade almond joy candy bars for another edible gift.
To incorporate my favorite part -- the flaky salt and coarse sugar -- I went with a cocoa dusting. Much like truffles, homemade chocolate-covered almonds fare better over time if they’re pre-rolled in unsweetened cocoa powder. I simply stirred some raw sugar and flaky sea salt into the mix before tossing the chocolate-coated almonds in the cocoa. Alternatively, you could also just sprinkle the sugar and salt over the almonds while they’re still a bit wet from the chocolate coating.
If you plan on giving little bundles of these as gifts or favors, I would keep them refrigerated for as long as possible, right up until you give them away.
Makes 2 cups
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
2 cups dry-roasted, unsalted almonds
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons raw turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
In a small saucepan, bring a couple inches of water to a simmer over medium heat. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a medium, non-reactive bowl.
Place the bowl over the simmering water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl isn't in direct contact with the water. Stir together the chocolate and oil with a spatula until everything is melted. Carefully remove the bowl with the melted chocolate from the stove.
Toss the dry-roasted almonds into the bowl and quickly stir with a spatula to coat in the chocolate.
Transfer the chocolate-coated almonds to the parchment-lined baking sheet, scraping them out of the bowl with the spatula. Using two forks, quickly separate the almonds as best you can.
Set the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 20 minutes so that the chocolate can firm up.
Meanwhile, in a slightly deep dinner plate, stir together the cocoa powder, raw turbinado sugar, and flaky sea salt.
Remove the almonds from the refrigerator and, in batches, toss them in the cocoa mixture to coat.
Shake off excess cocoa by placing covered almonds in a fine mesh sieve and shaking lightly. Repeat with remaining almonds.
Store chocolate covered almonds in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Photos by Laura Wright