For better or for worse, lots of packaged candy bars are naturally gluten free—and Hershey's Mounds and Almond Joy bars (at least in the U.S.!) are no exception. Personally, I think it's for better, since that means that my gluten free son can just trick or treat on Halloween just like his friends (and his sisters) without too much worry.
Classic candy bars like those, which have been around for as long as I can remember, are classic for a reason: the get the flavors juuuuuust right. Since brownies are practically a food group, I'm loving these gluten free Almond Joy brownies (or Mounds, because sometimes you feel like a nut—sometimes you don't).
You need a brownie layer that's super dense and fudgy, and our “Little Debbie” Cosmic Brownie copycats from Classic Snacks are just the thing (don't worry the recipe is reprinted right here on the blog; you know I wouldn't do that to you!).
I'm very partial to coconut chips (macaroons being a happy exception), so that's my preference in these almond joy brownie bites. But if you prefer shredded coconut, go with that and don't look back. My local Trader Joe's now carries unsweetened shredded coconut, which can otherwise be a bit tricky to find.
If you love coconut and have some extra, take a look at this recipe for GF Chocolate Coconut Cookies from Nicole at Allergylicious. They're made with coconut palm sugar, too, for a healthier alternative!
Even though these little gems have a few layers, they come together very, very fast and freeze quite well, too. Not to brag (!), but they're sure to impress if you bring them to a barbecue or a potluck. And when they ask you for the recipe, write it out on a 3-inch x 5-inch index card and pass it off as your own. I won't tell. :)
Gluten Free Almond Joy Brownie Bites
5 tablespoons (70 g) virgin coconut oil
4 tablespoons (84 g) honey
1 1/2 cups (120 g) unsweetened coconut chips (or shredded coconut)
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (2 2/3 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream (or coconut cream)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Whole, raw almonds, for placing on top (optional)
*Note about yield: The size of the wells of miniature muffin tins seems to vary significantly from brand to brand. My favorite miniature muffin tin is made by USA Pans, and it consistently turns out 42 brownie bites when I make this recipe. If yours is slightly smaller or larger, you will get more or fewer bites.
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a standard miniature muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.
Prepare the brownie batter according to the recipe instructions. Fill the lined wells of the muffin tin about 3/4 of the way full with brownie batter and smooth the tops with wet fingers. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the tops are set and no longer shiny. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining brownie batter.
Prepare the coconut layer. In a medium-size, heat-safe bowl, melt the coconut oil in the microwave or over a double boiler. Remove the bowl from the microwave or the heat, add the honey and mix until the honey is melted into the liquid oil. Add the coconut chips (or shredded coconut) and mix to combine well. Place about 1 heaping teaspoonful of the coconut mixture on top of each cooled brownie bite and set aside to cool.
Prepare the chocolate topping. Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl, and set it aside. Place the cream in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the salt to the cream and stir to combine. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Allow the mixture to cool for about 2 minutes before spooning about 1 heaping teaspoonful of chocolate topping on the coconut layer of each brownie bite. Top each with 1 almond. Allow to sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator until set.
Inspired by Handle the Heat.