During the worst of our salad days, sofagirl and I could often be found settling in for the evening on our uglier than thou green couch, under a blanket or two, watching our rented telly. Invariably, one of us would voice what the other was thinking “I want candy”. After a supper that hardly veered from either veggie stew or cereal, with curry from the local Indian once a week, it seemed like a reasonable craving; and a long philosophical discourse would ensue as to who and why should brave the cold and go. Eventually one of us would break down, bundle up and trudge in the rain to the corner store.
Candy cravings still strike and, when I am not prepared, the option of the corner store, three miles away, is not a palatable one. Our tastes have changed too and the coveted Milk Cadbury just wouldn’t do anymore. Today was one of those days and, with all the ingredients improbably already in my pantry, I set out to make some candy bars of my own. Easy ones.
A word on the ingredients. The recipe (a loose adaptation of a Melissa Clarke’s recipe published in the NY Times) calls for almond butter which can be pricey. In the States, Wholefoods sells their own brand for $5.99 (non organic – the organic one is twice as much). Whatever is left over can be spread on toast with jam, a healthier alternative to dairy butter.
To please younger palates, I have also made the same recipe with creamy peanut butter (and sprinkled roasted peanuts on top). Either way, make sure to buy the unsweetened variety. If catering to children, I would use a milder chocolate, with a 65% or lower cacao content.
As to almond flour, instead of buying the actual flour that might end up sitting in your pantry and spoil, you can just buy more almonds and finely grind them in a food processor.
For en even more sinful version, sprinkle salted almonds on top.
5 T Butter, softened (70 g)
1/3 C Sliced Almonds (25 g) – or Peanuts
3/4 C Almond Butter, unsweetened (110 g) – or Peanut Butter
1/2 C Almond Flour (55 g) – or Ground Peanuts
1 1/2 C Powder Sugar (195 g)
4 oz 72% Chocolate (113 g) – or sweeter depending on taste
Pinch of Salt
- Lightly roast the sliced almonds. Set aside. Line an 8” square (or similar rectangular sized) pan with parchment paper.
- In an electric mixer, beat together the almond butter and almond flour. Once creamy, add sugar, butter and salt. Start slow and increase the speed until you have a stiff but creamy mixture.
- Remove the mixture from the bowl and, using your hands, spread it in the pan and flatten it.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over a pot of simmering water, stirring until completely melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the almond mixture, swirling the pan around until completely covered. Sprinkle with the reserved toasted almonds.
- Let cool to room temperature, cover and chill until firm, for a couple of hours. Cut into bars.