One of my favorite candy bars is an Almond Joy/Mounds bar. I love coconut and chocolate anything! But these days I rarely treat myself to store bought candy bars—I’m not sure if an Almond Joy is even vegan? I do have a weakness for Eli’s Earth Bars, but thankfully (?) they can’t be found very regularly.
The other day I took David to our new favorite ice cream place—Full Tilt. In addition to having lots of “regular” flavors, they always have 4 vegan flavors. And no, not just a lame lemon sorbet, which has it’s place but is not ice cream, but real flavors like Mayan Chocolate, Toasted Coconut, Peanut Butter, and…you guessed it…Almond Joy. I gobbled up a cone of this yummy treat and decided to make it at home as soon as I had the time!
I figured that coconut extract would be a necessary ingredient so I bought a fancy bottle of coconut flavor, only to come home and find out that it tasted like a nasty chemical. I tried it in a smoothie, just in case it was like vanilla and didn’t taste great straight out of the bottle, but no luck. And I looked at the cheapo coconut flavor at the grocery store and it was made with artificial flavoring—no coconut to be found! So I had to go another route.
So today I tried toasting my coconut and letting it soak in the coconut milk and it’s perfect! Delicious, made from real ingredients, and easy too! Hope you enjoy one of my new favorite flavors.
And please excuse the photo bomb—I just had too many cute ones that I had to share!
Almond Joy Ice Cream
½ c unsweetened shredded coconut
1 can coconut cream (thicker than coconut milk, I like the one at Trader Joe’s)
¼ c maple syrup
2-3 t almond extract, depending on how strong you want the almond flavor
2 ounces dark chocolate (I use the organic chocolate bars at Trader Joe’s)
1 T coconut oil, optional
Spread coconut out on a parchment lined caking sheet. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes while the coconut toasts. Keep an eye on it because it goes quickly! The best line I ever heard from Rachael Ray was “Your nose knows.” And it’s totally true! As soon as you smell it it’s probably done! Remove coconut from oven and set aside.
Pour coconut cream, maple syrup, and almond extract into a storage container and whisk together. Add coconut and mix. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours to chill (this will make the freezing process easier).
Once chilled, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and church according to machine instructions.
While it is churning, place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. If you would like, add the coconut oil as well.
The coconut oil will make the chocolate freeze into chips very easily, and will make it a little smoother to work with, but is by no means necessary so if you are watching your oil intake feel free to leave it out.
Place the bowl of chocolate in the microwave and heat for 1 minute until melted. Line a jelly roll pan (that fits in your freezer) with a piece of parchment paper and pour the chocolate on top. Use a spatula to spread it, almost like you are painting the parchment. Place it in the freezer to freeze—it only needs about 5 minutes.
Once the ice cream is nearly done, remove the now frozen chocolate from the freezer. Using a fork, break up the chocolate into flakes. You can pull at the edges of the parchment paper to help with this process. Don’t use your fingers or you will melt all of your chocolate! Add the flakes into the ice cream during the last minute of churning and allow it to mix in.
Remove the ice cream from the ice cream maker and place into a storage container. You can eat the ice cream right away, or place it in the freezer to allow it to freeze completely. Let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving for easy scooping.