Almond Joy Candy Bars

April 19, 2013

Every Friday, a DIY expert spares us a trip to the grocery store and shows us how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Kristin Rosenau of Pastry Affair introduces us to Candy Bar Friday with homemade Almond Joys, ready in just 30 minutes.

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A few years ago, I started a weekly tradition known as Candy Bar Friday. Over the course of a year I discovered a wide range of chocolate and fruity treats, but my longstanding favorite became the Almond Joy. I’m not sure why it took so long to bring Almond Joys into my life, but I have certainly made up for it in strides ever since.

Recently, I wondered if I could recreate Almond Joys in my own kitchen. After playing around with ingredients and methods, I found a combination that fit the bill, turning my favorite candy bar into a no-bake treat that's ready in thirty minutes.

These homemade Almond Joys are a healthier take on the original, but they taste just as delightful as the store-bought version. The coconut center is made with unsweetened shredded coconut, honey, and a little coconut oil to bind it together. With an almond on top and a thick chocolate coating, the candy bar is complete. While I placed almonds both inside and on top of the chocolate, I would highly suggest the former to keep the almonds attached.

By simply substituting maple syrup for the honey, these can also be made vegan, turning them into a perfect treat for anyone with dietary restrictions.

More: Another no-bake vegan treat -- Coconut Butter Cups with Peanut Butter Filling.

Almond Joy Candy Bars

Makes 1 dozen candy bars

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly packed
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey (or pure maple syrup)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
12 (or more) whole almonds
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

In a food processor, process the shredded coconut, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and salt until it forms a thick paste. If the coconut is still too loose to hold together well, continue to process for 1 to 2 more minutes.

Drop tablespoon-sized balls of the coconut mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat. Press each ball into a small, compact rectangle, and top each rectangle with an almond. 

Place the coconut rectangles in the freezer and freeze the coconut for 15 to 30 minutes, or until hard.

Once the coconut is frozen, microwave the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 15-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate is smooth.

Carefully skewer each frozen bar onto a toothpick and dip it into the melted chocolate, tapping off any excess. Return the candy to the parchment or silpat and wait for the chocolate to dry before removing the toothpick -- this should only take about 30 seconds.

Allow the coconut to thaw before serving. The candies will keep for several days in an airtight container at room temperature.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Kristin Rosenau

Looking for more homemade candies? Try these:
Cow Tales

Tootsie Rolls
Cadbury Cream Eggs

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The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

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I'm a student, photographer, and science teacher with a sweet tooth. As a self-taught baker, my love affair with pastries began in my own kitchen. The voice behind the blog Pastry Affair, I develop recipes for the home baker, combining a mixture of rusticity, homespun flavors, and honesty.


nanw. April 22, 2013
looks delish! it will be on my Food-52 yum list
lwinikow April 22, 2013
The ingredients remind me of See's Cocoanut Special except that theirs is made with dark chocolate...I will try to make yours with dark chocolate to create the love child of the Almond Joy and Mounds Bars.

Ayano S. April 21, 2013
Can't wait!
Patty K. April 21, 2013
I don't have the temperament for tempering. Does adding the coconut oil help keep these babies from "drying streaky"?
Tucker &. April 21, 2013
They didn't dry "streaky" without the coconut oil. The chocolate melted in hand easily, but that really wasn't a problem since they were gone in a flash.
squack April 21, 2013
looks so yummy. thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas!!
msophelia April 21, 2013
definitely adding this to the 'must make' list. my favorite part of the recipe - 'The candies will keep for several days in an airtight container at room temperature.' that will not be an issue in my house. :)
Tucker &. April 21, 2013
These are totally amazing. I might add a bit of the coconut oil to the chocolate to give it a little more body when it dries, but maybe not.
Christina @. April 21, 2013
My aunt in Scotland taught me how to make Homemade Bounty/Mounds bars, similar to your Almond Joy, albeit, not as "healthy" ;)
gaelc April 21, 2013
Okay, I made these yesterday and they were fantastic! I used maple syrup and dark chocolate which I tempered a bit. Everyone went nuts and wanted more. Thanks so much for sharing this gem of a recipe!
JacquieMDFR April 21, 2013
and Paleo
ajalice April 20, 2013
Oh my goodness!! These were a lifesaver yesterday. I live in Boston and was stuck in the house during the Lockdown. Almond Joys are the only "commercial" candy bar I will actually eat, so when I saw this I knew I had to make them. I luckily happened to have all the ingredients on hand and I promptly made a batch. After we were finally allowed to leave our houses, I brought them with me to share with the staff of my local bar, since I knew they would be super busy and needing treats. Everyone said they were the best candy bars ever, even better than the original Almond Joys! Thank you so so much for sharing this recipe!!
walkie74 April 22, 2013
WOW!!! Now that's an adventure! And good for you for sharing!
Sharon April 19, 2013
Fran's coconut Gold Bars are the great grown up version of an almond joy
mrslarkin April 19, 2013
I usually have to wait till Halloween when my kids willingly unload their Almond Joy and Mounds bars. This can be dangerous!
AntoniaJames April 19, 2013
Mrs L, I will confess here and now, for all the world to see, that I actually buy Almond Joys to give out to the trick-or-treaters, and then hoard a bunch for myself. If I could only have one candy, this would be it. I think I'm going to make these to include in my holiday treat packages next December. ;o)
mrslarkin April 19, 2013
oh I hope I get YOU as my secret santa, AJ! ;)
amysarah April 19, 2013
Call me shameless, but I've been known to buy and eat Almond Joys in full view! Hands down my fave candy since forever. In fact, they've inspired many sweets I've concocted over the years: passover coconut macaroons, dipped in chocolate, topped with toasted almonds; hot fudge sundaes made with coconut ice cream, sprinkled with toasted almonds...anything that combines the coconut/chocolate/almond trifecta, I'm there. You can bet I'll be making these.
AntoniaJames April 19, 2013
Ditto, Mrs L!! ;o)
Sophia H. April 19, 2013
I think these would also taste great,but a little different if you used soft honey dates purred and mixed into the coconut mixture. A little more fruity, but really good.
AntoniaJames April 19, 2013
Sounds deadly, Sophia, but delicious. So clever. ;o)
Sue M. April 19, 2013
These look so good, that dark chocolate is calling to me! I made a similar treat in bar form...
ChefJune April 19, 2013
Ohmygoodness! Kristin, you were sent from Heaven!!! Thank you SO much!!!! Will be making these this weekend, just as soon as I buy some coconut oil. and now MOUNDS are only a step away, as well.
em-i-lis April 19, 2013
OHMYGOD!! Favorite candy ever. MUST make these now. Thank you!!