Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Guest Post: Almond {Comfort &} Joy

It’s finals week in my world, which means total crazy chaos on top of the usual holiday craziness.

So, my dear friend Kerry over at Pork & Periwinkle is guest posting here today and sharing a festive holiday recipe! Kerry is an amazing cook {just check out all these mouth-watering recipes} and is a ton of fun, too. She just moved to Houston, and I miss all her fabulous summer dinner parties on the back porch of her sweet cottage home. It was like straight out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine {but with way more wine.}

Enjoy these two recipes from Kerry, and pay a visit to her yummy blog. {And say a little prayer for my sanity during finals, please!}

Almond {Comfort &} Joy

There’s something about candy and the holiday season. It’s the norm to have these treats lying around this time of year, and we often spend our free time making up batches to give as gifts {partly to be nice, and partly to show off our culinary skills.} Fishing for complements?...Who me?...Naaaaahhh, not me.

A family favorite we always had in the house during the holidays was peanut brittle. One of my aunts makes the best peanut brittle you can imagine. In fact, I remember everyone in the family always wanted the recipe, but my aunt would never give it up. She did not want people to know her trade secrets! Soooo, late one Christmas Eve night I snuck into her kitchen, found her recipe box and copied the recipe. I only wish I would’ve had my Wonder Woman cape with me at the time of the great brittle capade. Now the whole family can make fantastic peanut brittle. Just don’t tell my aunt!

Click here for the “Borrowed” Peanut Brittle recipe.

Anyway, I must not have that secretive gene because I am always happy to share my recipes with friends and family. There’s no better way to butter people up {pun intended} than through their stomach!

These little delights are so easy and delish! Like little chocolate covered snow balls.

Almond Joy Balls


2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar

1 {14oz} bag shredded coconut

1 {2oz} bag almonds, chopped and toasted {plus extra for garnish}

1 {24oz} bag chocolate chips {I used dark chocolate}

1 teaspoon almond extract 
*See below for more options to this recipe


In a mixing bowl, combine the condensed milk, vanilla and powdered sugar coconut and nuts and mix thoroughly. Roll the mixture into balls {about 1” balls}, place on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and heat for 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval until melted and smooth. Add the almond extract and stir.

Remove the coconut balls from the refrigerator. Using a fork, dip each ball in the chocolate and let any excess drip off for a couple of seconds. Then, place on a waxed paper lined to set. If so desired, top each ball with a sprinkle of chopped almonds before the chocolate has set.

*This recipe is very versatile. You can flavor them with peppermint, imitation rum, orange or another flavoring by substituting the vanilla with the flavoring of choice. Also, the kind of nut used can be changed to your favorite. Other garnish options could be coconut, crushed peppermints, sprinkles, and even edible gold flakes…If you really want to be fancy {wink.}

Happy Holidays,

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