Monday, March 6, 2017
Satisfying My Sweet Tooth with Homemade Almond Bark
Chocolate and almonds are good for heart health. Really! Almonds help prevent oxidation of fats, which leads to arterial plaque formation and chocolate improves blood flow to your heart and brain (healthyeating.sfgate.com). Does life get any better than this, with a medically-approved excuse to eat chocolate covered almonds? With this fantastic information, I set out to quench my sweet tooth, and on a budget, no less! I used grocery store semi-sweet chocolate chips and whole roasted almonds to make this confection, in my very ordinary kitchen; with mere minutes of hands-on effort; and using just my microwave, a sheet of waxed paper, and a glass bowl.
What I Did
I melted the chocolate chips in short bursts, with vigorous stirring, until the chips were a swirling, melty mass. After roasting the whole almonds, I spread them on a small sheet of waxed paper, followed by spooning the melted chocolate over all.
I tossed the coated almonds from the outside edges, and into the center, until everything was covered in chocolate. I let it sit overnight and that was it. Just to enhance the sense that this is indeed a treat item, after breaking into bite-size pieces I stored them in an empty See's chocolates box. "Make believe" is good.
The Exciting Part: Cost Breakdown
I used about 1/3 cup of bulk bin whole almonds, roasted and unsalted, and 3/4 cup of WinCo semi-sweet chocolate chips. 1/3 cup of almonds weighs approximately 2.67 ounces, and 3/4 cup of chocolate chips weighs 4.5 ounces. My end product weighed about 7.17 ounces.
My almonds cost 75 cents for 1/3 cup, and the chocolate chips cost 63 cents, yielding a total cost for my candy at $1.38 for 7.17 ounces.
The Special Dark with almonds sell for $3.84 in a 12 ounce bag, at Wal-Mart. 7.17 ounces of Special Dark w/ almonds nuggets would cost $2.29, or 91 cents more than my homemade version.
Another way to look at the cost breakdown is this: the standard size Hershey bar with almonds weighs about 1.45 ounces. My product yields about 4.94 standard size bars. My cost per equivalent size bar is about 28 cents each bar. Not a bad deal for this chocolate-loving girl.
You already know that I am trying to stick to a budget and not buy luxury foods this month; making treats with the ingredients that I have in my kitchen is helping me maintain my resolve. I think I have some bags of milk chocolate chips in the pantry. Next time . . . homemade peanut butter cups!