Homemade Almond Joys

Makes 25 bars

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
14 ounces shredded, sweetened coconut
1/2 cup whole almonds (about 50 nuts)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to incorporate fully.  Add coconut and blend mixture.  Make sure all coconut is covered with the condensed milk and sugar mixture.  Press mixture into prepared pan and chill until set, about 30 minutes.

Melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips in the microwave, checking every 15 seconds.  Stir until smooth.  Cut chilled coconut mixture into 1 x 2 inch bars and spread the top of each bar with a small amount of melted chocolate.  Place 2 almonds on top of melted chocolate on each bar.  Place bars with almonds on a large baking sheet and chill again to set chocolate, about 15 minutes.

Melt remaining chocolate chips.  Once the almonds have set in the chocolate, dip each bar into remaining melted chocolate to coat completely.  Place on wax paper lined baking sheet to firm.

Store in fridge, between wax paper in an airtight container.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

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