I hit the grocery store this weekend to begin getting stocked up for my marathon Christmas goody preparations - not much baking involved. As mentioned last week, I am going to give you my Mini Almond Joy recipe - these are fairly easy to make but very time intensive as you will see.
In a large bowl:
1 large bag flaked coconut
1 2lb bag powdered sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cubes margarine, melted
Mix this all together thoroughly and divide into small plastic containers and put in freezer. Why? As you may notice, this mixture is very gooey and unless frozen, very hard to work with. It thaws quickly, so as it softens, you can switch out containers.
Now, if your coconut mixture is hard enough, take a whole almond and roll some of the coconut mixture around it. Place on a wax paper coated cookie sheet. Keep making bite size balls, switching out your containers of coconut mixture as they get too gooey to work with. Place loaded sheets back into the freezer until ready to dip.
While your balls are freezing, in a double boiler (I use one of those mini crockpots), melt a bag of chocolate chips and about 1/2 a slab of household parafin wax. What? Wax? Yes, this makes the chocolate harden fast and keeps it from melting in your hand. Or you can use dipping chocolate (almond bark) that you can find in the cake making section of Michael's or Joann's.
Taking one sheet out at a time - well frozen - dip your balls into the chocolate mixture and return to the cookie sheet. When sheet is full, return to the freezer for a final freeze. You can then put them into your gift containers. Keep them refrigerated. If you want to get really fancy, melt some white chocolate chips in a ziplock bag and snip a very small corner off the bag and drizzle white chocolate over them.
Now, if you aren't wanting to make individual balls, you can use chopped almonds and mix them in with your coconut mix and pour into a greased cookie sheet pan and freeze. Then cut into small squares and dip those.
Now you all know why I take the week off before Christmas - I make about four batches of these and each year it seems I add more people to the list of who wants them. As I said last week, my family won't let me come to family Christmas without them!
Don't forget to send me your favorite holiday recipes - firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to see them! I will be on vacation for the next two Tuesdays but should have a little something to share.
Have a great week!