Peanut Butter Almond Joy Bars

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by Chris on August 1, 2011

gridare di gioia/shout for joy

My friends are beginning to reach “that” mile marker. 40. It’s staring us down like a hawk on its prey. Weren’t we just celebrating our 30s? What happened to the last decade? I know, it’s not that bad. But, its 40 now, then bam, middle age rushes in with a snarky grin.

And if the 40 year old hawk is not scary enough…how about a husband and family wanted to celebrate that marker?

It all began two months ago with an email: “Christina, I had to drag Sharona May kicking and screaming into having a party for her 40th. One of the conditions for her having the party is that you cater the desserts! Can you do it? She specifically mentioned something about cake-pops? ”

Desserts? For Sharon May? She was one of the first girls I met when I moved into my home some years ago. She contributed to my blog before starting hers. We have cooked together. She’s been a wonderful friend. So, the short answer? Yes! (That was a no-brainer, for sure…)

With the exception of the cake-pops request, I had total freedom with what to make. Her husband just said…have at it! Love that. I decided to go with an array of minis, including some old favorites and several new ones that will be posted in the future.

When all is said and done, these coconut bars taste like an Almond Joy Bar, with a crunch. While there were several revisions of this bar, adding here, subtracting there,

earlier versions: a much thinner layer of coconut filling

the last and final version is my favorite. And, I think it was a favorite at Sharon’s as well.

Even so, I must confess. This summer has tested my patience with chocolate. I have had the worst problem with blooming and it makes a beautiful dessert look positively dreadful! It first happened with the Twix and then the Whatchamacalits, too! Those weren’t for a party, though. You can imagine my horror when I saw the fat bloom, the cocoa separation’s rise to the surface, on the morning of the party.

There wasn’t any time to remake the bars. Desperate to save the desserts, I used the chocolate melts left over from the cake pops to cover the bloomed layer. Phew! ( I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a double layer of chocolate, right?)


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

JoVonn August 2, 2011 at 2:46 AM

Those look great! You planned a yummy dessert menu for your friend.

Reply

Chris August 2, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Thanks JoVonn!!

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Kat Conn August 2, 2011 at 6:43 AM

Why the peanut butter in the chocolate layer? I’m not allergic but I have an aversion to hidden peanut taste when I am not expecting it, i.e., a traditional Almond Joy. Is a substitute necessary – e.g. shortening? They do look delicious but due to the cost of the ingredients I want to make them great the first time around. Many thanks.

Reply

Chris August 2, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Thanks for your inquiry, Kat. I meant to add Peanut Butter in the title. That’s what happens when I write posts too late! The peanut butter was added because it was a request during one of the trials. But, you can just leave it out. I would add additional chocolate to increase the amount of topping. Or, you can add cream to make a thick ganache. About 2 1/2 cups of ganache should suffice.

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Dianne Snow February 18, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I just sprinkle choc. chips on and pop it back in the oven for a minute or two then spread. Easier!

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DessertForTwo August 2, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Yum! Wish you could cater my birthday party :)

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Chris August 2, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Any time Christina! I can be there in a few hours, by plane. :)

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Kate August 2, 2011 at 12:17 PM

The addition of peanut butter makes everything better

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Marisa April 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

These were delicious!!! Since there was no almond flavor, a friend had a suggestion to add either almond extract or use almond butter. Might try that next time!

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Carrie June 18, 2012 at 6:02 PM

I cannot thank you enough. We loved loved loved these. SOOO delicious, and dangerous.

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tilley October 20, 2013 at 6:55 AM

is the sweetened condensed milk by weight or 28 ounces of liquid measure?
Thanks!

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