Almond Joy Bark is one of the best sweet treats to grace my kitchen in the last 6 months. AND it’s gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free and a breeze to make!
The combo I can’t get enough of right now:
Chocolate. Almond. Coconut.
I know what you’re thinking: Almond Joys and I were made for each other. These days that might be true but up until about 2 years ago, I was not a fan.
While I’ve always been a chocolate+almond fan, I was always a coconut hater until about 2 years ago when I saw the light. Now the world is a much brighter, happier place. How on earth did I ever live without it?
… but seriously. God’s gift to Leah-kind.
Also, on the actual real brand-name Almond Joy front, there’s that whole baby being intolerant to dairy and soy thing (so fun!) which keeps this gluten-free mama dairy-free and soy-free as well, and consequently far, far away from 99% of store bought goodies and processed foods.
BUT, when have I ever let that restrict me from indulging? I mean, C’mon folks. I’m the queen of making it happen (in an allergen safe way, of course) – sometimes it just means you have to get a little creative to get your fix.
So, one evening as I was having my usual nightly “dessert” – a little dish filled to the brim with a mix of top 8 allergen-free dark chocolate chips, roasted almonds, and toasted coconut flakes, which I all too often spill all over the place because have you TRIED getting three small items into your mouth at the same time with one hand, while holding an extremely grabby baby in the other? Yeah. Doesn’t end well – I thought: “there has to be a better/easier way to get all these flavors in my face at once without having to run the vacuum after myself every.dang.night.”
MAKE IT INTO A BARK!
The secret to making this Almond Joy Bark the best darn bark you’ve ever had? LOAD IT UP.
As you can see, this bark is best when it’s so packed full of the good stuff – roasted, chopped almonds, coconut flakes and shredded coconut -that you can barely even tell that there is chocolate involved.
The other secret? Well-toasted almonds and coconut flakes/shreds. While I’ve been known to dive head first into bags of raw unsweetened coconut flakes and raw almonds, this bark is best when the toppings are perfectly golden brown and toasty. Yes, it requires one extra step and a little extra time, but honestly, this “recipe” is all of three steps as it is, so I’m pretty sure you can handle it 😉
And trust me, it’s worth it.
Bark bonus: you can feel good about this sweet treat! All this gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free living has really changed the way I feel for the better and has made me reevaluate all of the processed junk I used to put into my body. Sure, this is still chocolate and still a treat – by no means “health food” – but it’s a heck of a lot better than it’s sugar and additive-laden namesake!
I’ll raise an almond joy bark to that!
- 1 12oz. bag top 8 allergen-free chocolate
- 1½ cup whole almonds, raw (or toasted but unsalted)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat and set aside for the chocolate.
- Using two separate rimmed baking sheets, place the whole almonds on one baking sheet (if using raw), and the coconut flakes only in the other. Bake for 5-10 minutes, stirring the coconut every few minutes, until both are just golden brown. The almond will likely take a couple more minutes than the coconut.
- Once the almonds have cooled, roughly chop them with a sharp knife.
- In a large, microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips by microwaving at 30 second increments, stirring between each increment, until all the chips have just barely melted.
- Spread the chocolate out on the prepared parchment-lined baking sheet, to about ⅛ inch thickness. Evenly sprinkle the chopped almonds, toasted coconut flakes and untoasted shredded coconut over the melted chocolate, pressing down very gently.
- Allow the chocolate to cool completely (you can put it in the refrigerator for up to 30 minutes to quicken the process) before breaking the chocolate into smaller bark chunks.