Almond Joy Bars

fromheretoparis.com
makes about 24 bars
(to print, click "Print Page" at bottom of this page)

Crust:


3 1/2 cups vanilla wafers

1/2 cup butter, melted


Filling:


11 oz sweetened shredded coconut (about 1 1/2 of the 7 oz bags)

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla


Topping:


1/3-1/2 cup plain, raw almonds

1 bag milk chocolate chips


Start out by spreading the almonds on a baking sheet. Bake at 350º for about 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool. Turn up your oven to 375º. Blend the vanilla wafers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs (you should have about 2 cups of crumbs). Then add the melted butter until just combined. It should look like really wet, coarse sand.


Press the mixture into a 9x13" pan and bake for about 10 minutes at 375º. The edges of the crust should  start to brown. Set aside and allow to cool. In a bowl, combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla and stir until well combined. Press the mixture evenly on top of the crust, being careful not to mess up the crust. I've found that using my hands works really well. Bake at 375º for about 12-15 minutes or until the edges of the filling are starting to brown. While still warm, press the almonds into the filling. You can place them wherever and however you would like. Then quickly sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. The pan should be warm enough to melt the chips. If they aren't melting, pop them back into the oven for a minute or two to help them melt.


Then, start spreading with a spatula or spoon. Be careful not to move the almonds around while you spread. Allow to cool at room temperature to harden.


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