When I think of Almond Joys, I usually break out in song, “Sometimes you feel like a nut….!” Sorry, I couldn’t help myself on that one! I have a beloved co-worker that LOVES almond joys. The past few years on her birthday I have brought her a package of mini almond joys, but this year I decided to do something a little different… introducing Almond Joy’s in brownie form! Think of coconut soaked in sweetened condensed milk, sandwiched in between layers of rich, dark chocolate brownie, and a thin layer of chopped almonds….wow! One ingredient that helped make this brownie so decadent is Hershey's special dark cocoa powder; it really makes a big difference in flavor and I recommend using it in this recipe. If you don't have it on hand or can't find it, you can always use regular cocoa powder, which will give the brownie a more semi-sweet chocolate flavor. If you have a lover of Almond Joy's in your family, make this for them over the weekend, they will be in coconut-brownie bliss!!
Almond Joy Brownies
3/4 cup cocoa powder (recommended: Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/8 cup all purpose flour
2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup toasted almonds, chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 8 x 8 inch square pan with foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray.
Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder. Let stand 3 minutes. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, then add sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Fold in salt and flour and stir until blended. Spread half the batter evenly in pan.
Combine coconut and sweetened condensed milk in a bowl. Spread dollops of coconut mixture oven the brownie batter. Sprinkle chopped almonds over coconut mixture. Spread remaining brownie batter over coconut mixture. Smooth carefully with a knife.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature. Cut into squares.