Oh hi you guys! It's nearly the weekend and I am pumped. Raise your hands if you are a coconut lover! Perhaps there is someone out there who can devour an Almond Joy, a Mounds bar or a Bounty bar in a few seconds if given the chance?
Well YOU are the prime candidate for these brownie bars. Extra fudgy dark chocolate brownies topped with a sweet coconut filling, a scattering of roasted almonds and a layer of smooth milk chocolate - what's not to love? This is my ode to the American candy bar, the Almond Joy. Who knew coconut, almonds and chocolate went so well together?
I took these brownies to work and received raving reviews. It's alway nice when that happens because then I know they are as good as I thought they were. It is pretty obvious that I have a major sweet tooth, so hand me anything sweet and I am one happy girl. But if you thought regular brownies were good, just wait until you try these loaded brownie bars.
They take the beloved brownie to a whole other level. They are super fudgy with chewy edges, while the coconut is fresh and creamy, then there's the crunch of roasted almonds and the smooth coating of milk chocolate. Yes please!
I just love American candy. My friend recently returned from the states and bought me back a bucketload of American chocolate bars, which only took me a few days to devour. But one of them was an Almond Joy.
For those fellow Aussies out there, Almond Joys are almost identical to Bounty bars but with roasted almonds atop the coconut and beneath the chocolate coating - its brilliant. However, if you would like to make these nut free, you can simply leave the almonds out, they will still be magical because THAT coconut filling is amazing. Pass me a spoon!
Almond Joy Coconut Brownie Bars
Makes one 8 inch pan
Dark chocolate brownie
115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, chopped
200 grams (1 and 1/3 cup) good quality dark chocolate, pieces
100 grams (1/2 cup) caster sugar
90 grams (1/2 cup) brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
85 grams (2/3 cup) plain flour
2 cups (140 grams) shredded coconut
1/2 cup (60 grams) icing or powdered sugar
1 cup (320 grams) condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (40 grams) roasted almonds
1 cup (150 grams) good quality milk chocolate
Grease and line an 8 inch square tin with baking or parchment paper, ensuring two sides of the paper overhang. Pop the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a medium saucepan that is filled with a bit of water, say 5cm (2 inches) high or so. You need to ensure the bottom of the bowl will not touch the water below. Place on the stove on medium heat and stir while the chocolate and butter melt. Once the mixture is lovely and smooth, remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 160 C (320 F). Next, add the sugar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and beat with an electric beater until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat again. Then sift in the flour and beat until the brownie mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Very gently smooth over the top.
Bake the brownie for about 35-40 minutes or until cooked through. It should have a nice cracked top and no longer wobble in the middle. Leave to cool completely. Next, we need to make the coconut layer. In a large mixing bowl, add the coconut, icing or powdered sugar, condensed milk and vanilla and gently fold. Once the coconut is nice and wet, spread the mixture over the cooled brownie and smooth to form an even layer. Then press your roasted almonds into the top. Pop into the fridge.
Lastly, melt the milk chocolate in the microwave, stirring in between 20 second bursts. Once the chocolate is completely melted, pour it over the coconut, ensuring it covers the entire brownie. Then pop back into the fridge and leave it to set for at least two hours. Cut into small squares with a sharp knife to serve. To prevent the chocolate from cracking, dip the knife in boiling water and wipe dry with a paper towel in between each cut.