Coconut Almond Balls
Festive chocolate covered coconut balls with a whole almond pressed decoratively into the tops.
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)
- Line two large baking sheets with waxed paper. Set wire racks over waxed paper; set aside.
- 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.
- Place coconut in large bowl; set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.