Coconut Bars with Almonds and Dark Chocolate

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes about 4 dozen (2 1/2- by 2-inch) bars
Coconut bars with almonds and dark chocolate
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times )
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These coconut bars are nothing more than a combination of shredded or grated sweetened coconut mixed with powdered sugar and condensed milk — the richness of the milk helps to balance the sweetness of the candy. Add a touch of vanilla or vanilla seeds for added flavor.

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In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the condensed milk, vanilla, sugar and coconut until combined. This makes about 8 cups filling. Cover and refrigerate the filling until very firm, preferably overnight.


Dust the filling well with powdered sugar and place it between two large sheets of parchment or wax paper. Roll the filling to a thickness of about 1/2-inch. Dust a cookie or biscuit cutter with powdered sugar and cut the filling into shapes, making sure to cut through all of the coconut so the sides are smooth. Top each shape with a toasted almond. Re-roll the filling and cut again as needed. Place the shapes on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet or pan (place a sheet of parchment between each layer of cutouts), wrap the sheet in plastic wrap and freeze until the cutouts are frozen solid, preferably overnight.


Melt the chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds until evenly melted. If the melted chips feel a little too thick, stir in a little coconut oil to thin the melted chocolate.


Remove just a few cutouts at a time (keep the rest of the filling frozen), and dip them, one at a time, in the melted chocolate. Tap the candy a few times to remove excess chocolate and place on a parchment- or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat, removing a few frozen fillings and coating with chocolate, until all of the patties are made. Refrigerate the trays, uncovered, until the chocolate is hardened before serving.