BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Copycat, Copycat

41 Comments

The trouble with “recreating” classic candies that will strike a chord with both nostalgic adults and sweets-seeking kids, is that I was never really ate many of those original concoctions in the first place. After every Halloween conquest, my sister and I had a very specific ritual, painstakingly lining up our plunder on the living room floor, making what we would later call a “candy parade.” Sweets were grouped by type and content, in order of preference, of course. Once that was all done, and we both had time to admire each other’s take, the swapping would begin. Down to the end of the line we would both bound, eager to pawn off our least favorite treats in return for something a bit more palatable. Pretty much anything with nuts was out for me, as I had trouble with the concept of crunchy bits inside anything else at the time, so that severely limited the number of varieties I ever tried, to say the least.

And if there was a particular bar or patty that contained coconut? Well, you could just forget about it; Neither of us wanted anything to do with those distasteful nuggets, and would resort to trading with a less discriminating candy enthusiast, such as our mom or dad. Sure, they usually only had hard candies to barter, which fell very low on the scale of candy value, but anything was better than coconut.

Oh, how things change. The problem, it turned out, wasn’t the coconut itself, but that nauseatingly over-sweetened stuff, sticky with corn syrup and chemical perservatives. So I’ve never had a Mounds Bar, and definitely no Almond Joy‘s have ever passed my lips, but they still intrigue me enough that I set out to try making something similar. The sad two or three almonds in an Almond Joy confuse me to no end, and while I still think it would be more apt to call it a Coconut Joy, I decided to go with the flow, and make my own version, with cashews instead.

Definitely no copycat recipe, but one inspired by the classic, this chocolate bar is a delicious treat in its own right.

Cashew (Coconut) Joy

3 Tablespoons Full Fat Coconut Milk
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, Melted
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
8 Ounces (About 2 2/3 Cups) Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 Cup Chopped, Toasted Cashews
1/2 Cup Whole Toasted Cashews

12 Ounces Rice Milk Chocolate, or Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Finely Chopped

In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar. Once smooth, switch over to a spatula, and stir in the shredded coconut and chopped cashews, until fully incorporated and no dry patches in the mixture remain.

Transfer the mix into a lightly greased 8 x 8-inch square pan, and use the bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass to press down and smooth out the top. Place the whole cashews at regular intervals in even lines down the pan, pressing them in gently. Move the pan in the freezer for at least 3 hours, until chilled and firm.

When you’re ready to enrobe your bars, melt down your chosen chocolate in the microwave, stirring thoroughly at 30 second intervals, until smooth. Set out a silpat or piece of parchment paper, and go retrieve the frozen coconut centers. Slice into bars, and then carefully dip them into the chocolate. A few flakes of coconut may come off, but just fish them out of the pool of chocolate and continue. You may wish to store the pieces in the freezer until the moment that you’re ready to dip them, if them seem particularly fragile.

Tap off the excess chocolate, and place the bars on your silpat or parchment paper, and let cool until set. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container.

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

41 thoughts on “Copycat, Copycat

  1. Wow!! This looks so delicious. I’m going to try making these and your other candies soon!

  2. My dad will LOVE these! :-D

  3. I am SO excited to try out this recipe! Like you, I never would have eaten this type of candy bar as a kid, but I absolutely love coconut and cashews now. Perfect timing for Halloween!

  4. Oh and I always loved mounds and almond joys as a child, so I am sure this one would be a winner with me. Thanks for this one!

  5. Great post. My sister and I often did something very similar with our candy so I can relate. However we were very different in our habits. I would eat mine almost immediately, while she would save (or hoard in my opinion) hers until it reached the point of being stale. I love the visual of that bar cut in half. It’s so pretty, especially with the flakes of coconut underneath.

  6. This looks amazing! Almond joys were my favorite candy bar during my prevegan days. I cannot wait to try this over the weekend!

  7. You never cease to amaze me! I love the idea of pairing cashew with coconut instead of the “traditional” almond.

  8. I don t know what is almond joy but surely anything with coconut or almonds is delicious. these look so good :)

    http://maltesebakes.blogspot.com/

  9. I used to love almond joy back in my childhood days. On Halloween, I would always trade candy with my sister to get my hands on all her mounds bars and almond joys. Your cashew version looks incredible, I can’t wait to try it!

  10. Almond Joys are my favorite candy bar…and cashews are my favorite nut…you are an evil genius ;).

  11. That looks awesome, must make!

  12. A cashew joy! How is it that nobody ever thought of it before?

    I’ve noticed that lots of kids don’t like coconut. Coconut is a strong food and very allergenic. If you’re the least bit allergic it can cause tummy reactions. That could it explain it. Or maybe it’s the sort of icky wormy texture of it, which is the same reason why kids often don’t like rice.

    Anyway, more for us grownups.

  13. I never ate many of these when I was growing up, but like all things veganized, I bet I’d love this vegan version!

  14. My heart just skipped a beat. Your blog is easily one of my favorite blogs – and I’m including non-food blogs in this claim, too.

  15. love this! I am trying my hand at candy too. so far so good–I hope.

  16. Sounds so lovly! The one thing marketers need out there is some more good, decadent cruelty-free candy recipes… :)

  17. What a lovely idea- I havenĀ“t had anything alike since turning vegan. A must try!

  18. I couldn’t imagine myself making candy. This looks deliciously perfect!

  19. I’d never thought of making a chocolate bar before, but this looks utterly wonderful. It looks soooo temptingly delicious in your photo!

  20. What an amazingly sweet treat. Anything with coconut milk, I will surely love.

  21. I grew up liking the mounds and almond joy- hated butterfingers! LOL… your version is undeniably better, though! Happy Halloween, and thanks for sharing your tricks for making the treats ;)

  22. I want one of these RIGHT NOW!!

  23. I also hated any candies with nuts and coconut! Now I don’t mind the nuts so much, although I still steer clear of coconut! This is such a great idea, I love how pretty that picture is.

  24. Awesome job on the recreation, it looks amazing!

    Rose

  25. Yummy, I love coconut sweets! Thanks for the recipe Hannah!

  26. You are a genius. Truly.

  27. Oh wow. You and I could have been the best of swapping buddies! Almond Joy was always my favorite. A Mahalo sits in my fridge as a I type this.

    I’m very excited about this recipe. Thanks!

  28. I’ve never liked almond joys but these…I MUST try!

  29. Oooh…I love almond joys and I can just taste it with the cashews – YUM!

  30. sounds great! I love almond joys.

  31. Oh wow! I was always into sweets (sadly I still am!). We don’t have Almond Joys here though. Only Bounty’s (which are just coconut and chocolate). These look absolutely amazing Hannah!!

  32. When I became a vegan and started a blog one of the first things I posted there was a recipe for vegan homemade bounty/almond joy. It was one of the few things I really missed. After that I sort of forgot about them…but now I would love to try your recipe as it sounds so specila. I love the idea of adding cashews.

  33. Your cashew bar is genius!

  34. Oh yum! This looks so delicious!

  35. Yours looks way better than the original!

  36. Pingback: Cashew (Coconut) Joy « Foodshots

  37. I must admit that I love the overly sweetened coconut chocolate bar (in Canada it’s called a Bounty bar)! Your bar sounds amazing too though and looks just perfect. I love how you shaped them like little chocolate bars!

  38. Awesome! How much fun I can’t wait to make these!

  39. Love your blog, lady! Your candy bar creations look delish!!

    If you’re interested, take a look at my Raw Candy Bars–they’re similar to yours, but raw! :)

  40. Even as a kid I rationalized that these were “healthy” due to the coconut (?) Gotta try yr recipe!

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