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Coconut Almond Balls

No recipe image available.Festive chocolate covered coconut balls with a whole almond pressed decoratively into the tops.

Recipe Ingredients:

26 whole blanched or unblanched almonds*
4 cups (8.5-ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 (12-ounce) package milk chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Line two large baking sheets with waxed paper. Set wire racks over waxed paper; set aside.
  2. Spread almonds onto another baking sheet and toast in oven at 350°F (175°C) for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring nuts occasionally, or until lightly browned. Let cool.
  3. Place coconut in large bowl; set aside.
  4. Place corn syrup in a 1-cup glass measure. Microwave on HIGH (100%) 1 minute or until syrup boils. Immediately pour over coconut. Work warm syrup into coconut using the back of a wooden spoon until coconut is thoroughly coated, mixture will be stiff as you work.
  5. Using 1 level measuring tablespoon of coconut for each, shape coconut mixture around 1 toasted almond to make a ball. Place the balls 2-inches apart on wire racks. Let dry for 10 minutes and then re-roll for more uniform balls.
  6. Place milk chocolate and shortening in a 4 cup glass measure or microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until
    mixture can be stirred smooth. Be careful not to heat too long or chocolate will burn.
  7. Working quickly, spoon 1 level measuring tablespoon of the chocolate over each coconut ball, coating well and letting excess chocolate drip down onto waxed paper.
  8. While chocolate coating is still soft, lightly press whole almond on top of each. Let stand at room temperature to set. Store in a single layer in airtight container.

Makes 26 candies.

*Tip: For best flavor and a crisper crunch, toast the almonds. To toast in the oven: Place in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10 to 15 minutes or until nuts are lightly browned, stirring often (watch closely, nuts will burn quickly once their hot). To toast in a skillet: Place in skillet over medium heat and toast almonds, stirring constantly, until golden in color. Be careful not to burn the nuts. Cool completely before using.