Homemade Mounds and Almond Joys
The “fine print” on the back of a Hershey’s Almond Joy wrapper reads, “Corn syrup, sugar, coconut, vegetable oil (Palm, Shea, Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil), Almonds, Chocolate, Whey (Milk); Contains 2% or less of: Nonfat Milk, Partially Hydrogenated Oil (Soybean and Palm Oil), Milk Fat, Salt, Cocoa, Soy Lecithin, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Sodium Metabisulfite and Sulfur Dioxide to maintain freshness, Caramel Color”.
Need I say more?
Make your own absolutely delicious homemade Hershey favorites without the additives and preservatives. The only downside is that your homemade Mounds or Almond Joys won’t last on the shelf into the next millennium….
Coconut Mounds or Almond Joys
(Yields 24-30 candies)
¾ cup light corn syrup
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
2 heaping cups of shredded sweetened coconut
Whole almonds (for Almond Joys only)
For Mounds Bars: 12 ounces of a good bittersweet chocolate, chopped and tempered***
For Almond Joys: 12 ounces of a good semisweet chocolate, chopped and tempered ***
Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart sauce pan. Into the pan, combine the corn syrup, sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.
Attach your calibrated candy thermometer to the inside of the pan and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees (F). Add the coconut and continue cooking, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees (F).
Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl and set it aside to cool completely. This will take about 4 hours and leave it alone. After this 4-hour rest, you may refrigerate the candy for another hour or so to make it easier to handle and shape.
Butter a large cookie sheet and line it with waxed paper. Butter the waxed paper and set the cookie sheet aside.
Using your very clean hands, pinch off a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and shape it into a small rectangle 1-inch wide by 2-inches long. Repeat shaping the candy with the remaining mixture, placing each shaped piece onto the buttered waxed paper.
For Almond Joy candies, press one or two whole almonds into the top of the candies, slightly imbedding them in the coconut. (I do this individually as I shape each candy, so as not to distort the rectangular shape.)
*** Melt and temper your chocolate. Then dip each piece.
Using a dinner fork, place a candy onto the fork and dip into the chocolate then lift out and rake the base of the fork against the edge of the chocolate bowl to remove the excess chocolate. Then, using a second fork for assistance, carefully slide the candy off of the fork and back onto the cookie sheet to harden.
Allow the dipped candies to rest at room temperature for 4 hours for the chocolate to harden.
Store in an airtight container in layers, separated by waxed paper, at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bring the candies to room temperature before serving.