I started out making macaroons. I bought a fresh coconut, I grated the meat and toasted it and I used a weird recipe and I had weird macaroons. Naturally, I covered them in chocolate, because chocolate makes everything better. Then I realized (slash my mom told me) they looked like Mounds bars. So I added an almond and made them an almond joy. But to get back to the point, I initially followed a recipe for macaroons. It’s a pretty bad recipe for macaroons. They came out dense and chewy and moist. But it’s a pretty great recipe for Almond Joy bites. So, what started as macaroons took a scary twist when I realized they were not macaroons but took a happy twist when I realized they were still pretty darn great.
A while ago, I made fresh macaroons with freshly grated coconut and I wanted to recreate it. So I bought a coconut, cracked it open, grated/food processed (see below) the meat, then toasted it, and voila, I had fresh-unprocessed-no-preservative-added-coconut. Does life get better? Only when you add chocolate to that. This recipe is made with fresh unsweetened coconut but of course can be adapted for sweetened, store bought coconut.
So, without further ado, here is a wonderful recipe for homemade Almond Joys. Or Mounds and forgo the almond. Your choice.
Homemade Almond Joy
2 medium-to-large coconuts (to make 2 ½ cups shredded coconut)
4 large egg whites
1¼ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate chips
handful of almonds
To toast the coconut:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tap/drill holes in the coconuts and tip to drain the milk. Crack open the coconuts and place the meat in a bowl. Grate/shred the coconut (I did half of this by hand until my lovely mother told me we had a blade on the food processor which would do this. I’m pretty sure it saved my arm and fingers. No one wants bloody coconut). Lay the coconut out on a baking sheet evenly and bake for 25 minutes, stirring the coconut every 5-10 minutes to ensure even cooking and no burning. The coconut should start to brown evenly. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the “cookie”:
In a large pan, add the egg whites, sugar, honey, coconut, salt, and vanilla extract. Heat over low to medium heat until mixture becomes very sticky and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
Let cool (or use an ice cream scoop like I did) and form into balls about 1 ½ big, and bake (still at 350 degrees) for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let cookies cool, melt chocolate, and dip the cookies in chocolate. Add the almond on top while the chocolate sets.