Food & Drink

In The Kitchen With: The Minimalist Baker’s Almond Joy Bites

by Emerald Lavender

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Husband and wife duo, Dana and John Shultz are the team behind the wildly successful blog, The Minimalist Baker. With the idea that cooking shouldn’t be complicated, they create recipes with 10 ingredients or less, that can be made in one pot, and take 30 minutes or less to prepare. Their mostly plant-based and gluten-free recipe collection is not only tasty, but actually good for you! I’m no stranger to their blog, and last year I made their Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes recipe. My husband and I kept saying that we couldn’t believe the cupcakes had no dairy ingredients but were still light, fluffy and full of flavor!

Today, Dana and John are sharing their Almond Joy Bites recipe. Get your chocolatey-coconut fix with these bite-sized treats that are made with whole and fresh ingredients like coconut, almonds, dark chocolate and a little maple syrup for sweetness and depth. The Minimalist Baker’s recipes are easy to create, utilize nutrient-dense foods and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time. It’s a win-win! –Emerald

Photography by Dana Shultz


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Almond Joy Bites

Yields 20 bites
Vegan/ Gluten-Free
Total cooking time: 26 minutes


3 cups (240g) unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp (30ml) maple syrup
1⁄4 tsp pure vanilla extract
20 roasted unsalted almonds or raw almonds (see note*)
3⁄4 cup (90g) vegan dark chocolate, chopped
optional: Pinch of sea salt, for topping


1. Add the coconut to the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend, scraping down the sides as needed, until a paste forms. The texture should feel like a dough when squeezed between your fingers. It may be necessary to encourage it along by scraping down the sides as it is blending.

2. Add the maple syrup and vanilla. Mix again until just incorporated.

3. Using a tablespoon, scoop out 1 Tbsp amounts and pack with your hands to achieve half-moon shapes. Then use a finger to scoop it out of the tablespoon. Re-form into a small disc if it loses shape.

4. Lay the bites down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue until all of the coconut is used, about 20 bites.

5. Press one almond gently down into each of the bites, being careful not to create too much of a crack or seam. Set aside.

6. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30-second increments. Then rest one coconut bite on a fork and hold it over the bowl. Use a spoon to drizzle chocolate over the top. Set back on the parchment paper and continue until all of the bites are coated. Sprinkle the tops with a bit of salt for flavor contrast (optional).

7. Pop the bites into the refrigerator or freezer to set for 8–10 minutes. Then pick up and, using a spoon, coat/paint the underside of the bites with the remaining melted chocolate.

8. Place back on the parchment paper and repeat until all of the bites are coated. Pop back in freezer to set for another 10 minutes.

9. Peel away from the parchment paper and transfer to a serving platter. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for 3–4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

*NOTE: If the almonds are raw, roast them on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven for 8–10 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly browned.

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About Dana and John: The Minimalist Baker’s new cookbook Everyday Cooking, will be released on April 26th and contains 101 plant-based and mostly gluten-free recipes. Learn how to cook your everyday favorites with easy recipes and wholesome ingredients. You can also connect with Dana and John on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.


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