This concoction began life as a coconut candy recipe. But since I'd rather eat live grubs than coconut, I modified the recipe to suit my own taste, which is excellent, if I do say so myself. But I have to admit I got a little help online - brain fart, can't remember where, one of those "ask Eloise" websites - where the question is, if you'd rather eat live grubs than coconut, what can you substitute for it in your candy recipes?
And the answer was: nuts. Now THAT was good news. So, drumroll, please:
Almond Chocolate Christmas Candies
1/4 cup margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup half and half (cream)
6-8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2 tsp shortening
Candy paper cups
Melt margarine and stir in the powdered sugar, almonds and cream. Chill, so it's easy to handle. I let mine chill overnight, but it should just be chilled enough to easily roll into balls.
Melt chocolate chips and shortening. If you don't have a double boiler, you can use a makeshift one like I do. Set one pan on top of another. Put the chocolate and shortening in the top pan, and water to boil in the bottom pan. Just be careful that no water or steam get into your chocolate pan.
When the chocolate is melted, spoon into cups, filling each about halfway. Scoop a small amount of the nut/sugar mixture into your hand and roll into a ball. Think -- melon ball. In fact, if I had had a melon ball scoop, that's what I would have used. Press the ball down into the chocolate, so that the chocolate rises up on the sides.
I drizzled melted chocolated on top of each candy for decoration. Other ideas: press a chocolate chip into the center of each ball, or a sliver of almond. Sprinkle with chocolate or colored cookie sprinkles.
This recipe makes between 48-60 candies, depending on how large you make them. The chocolate does set and harden some, but I recommend chilling them before serving. In fact, I'm going to freeze some and see how they do. I'll let you know.
Good complimentary Christmas candy: Cream Cheese candies.