March 3, 2013

Almond Joy Bread (and Small &Wonderful Things)

Today I am filled with peace, joy, and gratitude. I am not perfect, but I am trying, and every day is a chance to try again. And today is a good day.

I am thankful for how much my boys love Sundays. How much they love learning about Jesus Christ and their Heavenly Father, and how to be the best boys they can be. I am thankful for how excited they get to share their testimonies, and how little Stephen becomes everyone's "testimony cheerleader" as they walk back to their seats.

I'm grateful for the sweetest 2 boys and most wonderful husband a girl could hope for.

I'm thankful for Colorado. This beautiful state lifts my spirits.
Source: coop5280

I'm grateful for my Mom and Dad, and my siblings. We may not talk constantly, but we love each other, and that's what matters.

I am grateful for food! For the joy it brings me in making it, sharing it, and of course, eating it. I love how even when I can't eat anything, I still want to bake, and it still makes me happy.

I am grateful for my blog, and all of you who read it. I wish I could meet and hug you all!

Almond Joy Bread (adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)
Printable Recipe

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
a scant 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 Tb melted unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coconut extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3/4-1 cup dark (or semisweet) chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line and grease a loaf pan, set aside. Spread your almonds out on a baking sheet and let them toast as the oven heats.

Combine the first 6 ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat ingredients on medium speed for 2 minutes.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Starting with the flour mixture alternate adding flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk and flour…in that order, to the liquid ingredients. Mix until just combined. Gently fold in coconut, chocolate chips and almonds.
Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean (or with a few crumbs).
Remove from oven and place on rack to cool for a few minutes. Prepare your Coconut Glaze (recipe below) While still warm, poke several holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick and drizzle coconut glaze all over the top. Drizzle and brush to cover the whole top of the cake. When cake is completely cool, drizzle Chocolate Ganache over the top. (I used a plastic bag with a corner snipped, like a pastry bag)
Coconut Glaze
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 Tb unsalted butter
1/2 tsp coconut extract
Place ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about a minute. Turn heat off but leave saucepan on burner to stay warm. You want it a bit thin, so it will soak into the cake.

Chocolate Ganache
4 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped (if you're using chips, no need to chop)
1/3 cup heavy cream
Place chocolate and cream into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth and melted (you may need to put it back in for another 15 seconds.) You can also heat the cream in a small saucepan until steaming but not boiling, pour over chocolate, and stir till melted. 
I got a little distracted, and my coconut glaze thickened a little much... didn't soak into the bread, but made a yummy sticky drizzle on top anyway!!
This is a perfect ganache recipe, by the way. Smooth, decadent, and delicious. Dark chocolate is the way to go! In case you've never heard of it, by the way, this is a recipe based off of a candy bar called Almond Joys. I'm going to have to give you The Geologist's review, since I haven't tried it, I baked it before going to get those pesky wisdom teeth removed. He's a better judge anyway, I'm not a fan of shredded coconut. Love the flavor, don't like the texture!
The bread (or practically cake, really) is soft, fluffy, and lightly moist, packed with coconut flavor and those chewy little flakes. Warm dark chocolate chips and toasty almonds are scattered through in a decadent mix, just like a candy bar!
All three boys love it, including the one who doesn't like almonds! Rave reviews all around, The Geologist says it is as if, "The yummiest bread had babies with an Almond Joy." Basically, if you are a fan of the candy bar, this is a recipe you've got to try!


  1. April, I always love your small and wonderful things posts. You make my heart smile. That bread looks FABULOUS! I love coconut mounds. I am out of coconut now and counting the pennies so that I can buy some more. We don't get angel flake type of coconut here in the UK, so I buy it from an importer which annoys Todd! (lol he hates spending money on foodie things! Note however, he does not mind EATING the foodie things that I create with them!) This is going on my to do list! Love you much! xoxoxo

  2. Just went to the store to get missing ingredients! SO excited to make this!

  3. Your Small and Wonderfuls are sometimes the best thing I see on this computer each week. It makes me want to write my own... but if no one reads it... is it as meaningful? Who cares. I think I'll start today.
    This bread looks too dangerous to make any old time. I'll save it for a missionary dinner. That way I can have some and get it out of the house in less than two hours. ... However... I can do a lot of damage in two hours..

    1. Of course it is as meaningful! I would keep doing them even if no one ever read my blog. And feeding 85% of this to the missionaries would be perfect :)


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