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Pecan Joy Candy Bars


Most of the time I try to avoid making candy in the summertime, but this recipe has completely changed my mind. There's no standing over a bubbling pot of sugar and no candy thermometer involved. In fact, the only cooking required can be done in the microwave.

I call these candy bars Pecan Joys. Consider them the southern cousin of that other ubiquitous almond variety. (smile)


Below you'll find a short video of the candy-making process to give you an idea of the work involved. It's pretty simple and straight-forward. I was thisclose to adding some caramel bits to the coconut candy, but I decided to keep the recipe basic. But wouldn't that be awesome? I imagine it would be like a cross between a caramel-pecan turtle and a Mounds chocolate bar... mmmmm!

Honestly, I can't wait to make these at Christmastime.  I know. Who thinks about Christmas in July? Confession: me to the 900th power. There is never a time when I'm not thinking about holiday baking and confectionery. I live for it.


See? Simple ingredients, uncomplicated instructions. You can do this!

The dipping part is the messiest. Whenever there's melted chocolate involved, I will somehow walk away with a smear on both elbows. How does that always happen? (Is it just me?)


Store these in the refrigerator in an air-tight container and they'll keep for 7 to 10 days. I like to eat them cold sometimes, but the flavors are more developed if you let the candy bars come to room temperature before eating them.

Pecan Joy Candy Bars
Yields about 26 pieces

1 pound sweetened flake coconut
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
3 ounces pecan pieces
1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
78 pecan halves (about 6 ounces)
24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (two 12-ounce bags)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, divided

Combine the coconut and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Stir well with a rubber spatula. If you see clumps of coconut sticking together as you stir, break them apart with your fingers or will the edge of a spatula. Stir in the 3 ounces pecan pieces until evenly dispersed.

Add the sweetened condensed milk and stir with a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon. The mixture will be very thick. Use your hands to incorporate all the ingredients when it gets too difficult to stir together using a utensil. When all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, gather the candy in to a ball and place it on a sheet of parchment. Divide the ball in two pieces. Working with one piece at a time, shape the dough by rolling it under your palms and squeezing it into a 13-inch long tube/log shape. Roll each log in a piece of waxed paper and twist the ends; freeze until firm, about 40 minutes.

Work with one piece of frozen dough at a time. Unroll it from the waxed paper and flatten it gently. Cut each piece into 1x3-inch pieces using a bench scraper or pizza cutter. Arrange the pieces on large baking sheet covered in waxed paper. Repeat the cutting/arranging process with remaining candy log.

Place 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening. Heat in the microwave at 100% power at 30 second increments until the candy and shortening can be stirred smooth. Let cool slightly. Dip cut pieces of candy, one at a time, into the chocolate using two forks to turn the candy. Place the dipped candy back onto the waxed paper. While the chocolate is unset, add 3 pecan halves on top. Repeat until 13 candy bars are dipped and decorated with the pecan halves. Let the candy bars set, about 3 hours, or speed setting time by refrigerating them.

Repeat the process with the second 12 ounces and 2 tablespoons of shortening, and the remaining 13 pieces of coconut candy.

Store the candy bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Note: In the instructional video I place the candy bars on a grid cooling rack over a baking sheet. This works well for catching excess/run-off chocolate, but after the candy bars set they are difficult to remove from the rack. I suggest placing dipped candy on waxed paper – they peel right off!

link Pecan Joy Candy Bars By Published: Pecan Joy Candy Bars


6 comments :

  1. Heavenly and irresistible!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Hello, Heather! I´ve been following your blog for some time now, but it´s my first comment! It´s not very common to see american blogs using condensed milk. I´m telling you this because I´m brazilian, and we use it a lot in our recipes! Your blog is the first one that I see using it - and with coconuts! You should see our cocada recipes. I do really like your blog, most of the times I can do your recipes without having to look around for unusual ingredients (at least here in Brazil). Thank you! :)

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  3. Almond Joy just got told off big time!

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  4. You always have the best stuff on your blog. I will have to make these!

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  5. Loved the video! They look yummy! Will give them a try.

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  6. 7-10 days! That is just not possible! I am sure they are just too good :D

    ReplyDelete

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