Chocolate Almond Rock Candy

One of my favorite channels on youtube, Cooking With Alia, features recipes that showcase the tastes of Morocco. One of the recipes presented that caught my eye was for Chocolate Peanut Rocks, which are small chocolate candies that have roasted peanuts and coconut in them. I thought it would be the perfect thing for a Valentine's gift package to send to my boyfriend all the way in Indiana. I swapped the peanuts for the almonds, since that's what he prefers, and used dark chocolate (60% cacao). I also decorated them with Valentine sprinkles. The result was a deep, dark cocoa flavor along with chewy coconut and crunchy almonds. They're definetely addicting. The sprinkles kept them in the Valentine theme, but are totally optional. They were pretty cute, though...

Chocolate Almond Rock Candy

9 oz good-quality chocolate chips or small chunks (dark or milk chocolate)
1 1/2 cups whole unsalted toasted almonds
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut (or 1 cup unsweetened coconut + 2 tbsp powdered sugar)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp canola oil
mini cupcake paper liners
colored sprinkles, optional

1. To toast the almonds, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread the almonds in a single layer. Place in the oven and roast, 8 min, or until they are a little darker brown. Coarsely chop and set aside.
2. Bring the water in a double boiler to boil (or in a medium saucepan). Place the chocolate in the bowl that fits over top (or if using a saucepan, a glass or stainless steel bowl that fits completely over the top) and allow it to melt. Remove from heat and blend in the oil, vanilla, sweetened coconut (or unsweetened coconut + powdered sugar), and chopped almonds.
3. Using two spoons, add a small amount to the paper liners. Sprinkle each with some sprinkles. It's easiest if you line the cups up on a cookie sheet, and then start filling. Then, you can rap the pan on the work surface to make sure the chocolate mixture settles. I made about 35 total, but this depends on how full you fill your cups. Mine were at about 3/4 of the way full.
4. Allow them to cool at room temperature, about an hour, or about 20 minutes in the fridge. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for about 5-7 days.

Servings per recipe: 35
Per candy:
Calories: 74
Fat: 5.3 g
Saturated fat: 2.4 g
Cholesterol: 2 mg
Sodium: 6 mg
Carbohydrates: 5.6 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 4.1 g
Protein: 1.5 g

I hope you all have a lovely Valentine's day full of beautiful food!

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