Many of our readers have asked us to extend the entry deadline in our Holiday Heritage Recipe Conthelostitaliantest as the late Thanksgiving this year has set back the holiday baking schedule.
In the spirit of Christmas, we are extending our entry deadline to give you one more week to get your baking done and send us your recipes, stories and photos.
We will now accept contest submissions until 11:59 PM on Wednesday, December 11, 2013. We hope that this added time helps you complete your entry, and we look forward to reading your recipes and stories. Many thanks to all of you who have already sent us your entries – your stories are so wonderfully personal and touching, and full of holiday spirit.
Today we’re shining our Contest Spotlight on Donna Kelly of Provo, Utah, and her family’s recipe for Joy to the World Balls.
We’ll begin by saying that, as chocolate-lovers, Donna has all three of us already salivating at her picture of these decadent-looking Christmas candies. Nestled in cozily by the Christmas tree, who could resist taking one of these perfectly-shaped, glossy goodies?
We love that they can be made several weeks in advance and tucked away in the fridge until ready to serve. For that reason alone they may just make it to our Christmas Eve celebration, but then Donna goes on to tell us that they taste a little like an Almond Joy candy bar (one of Gio’s favorites). I think I’d better go buy some coconut oil, as I have everything else required already in our pantry…
Donna is clearly aware of the power of having a traditional holiday treat, as these special goodies fill us not only with sweetness, but also the warmth of wonderful memories, even from a distance.
Thank you for sharing your family’s special recipe with us, Donna, and GOOD LUCK!
Please send your recipe, along with a short story about its heritage to us via email to email@example.com. Photos are highly encouraged, but not required. Top Prize is a brand-new Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer!
CLICK HERE for CONTEST ENTRY GUIDELINES.
DONNA KELLY’S (FAMILY’S) JOY TO THE WORLD BALLS
There are foods that bring a remembrance of Christmases past. Our “Joy to the World” Christmas candies do that for us.
My mom’s family created this recipe and now my children make these candies, a four generation tradition. If a child of mine is not with us for Christmas, I package them up and send them off and I picture my child opening the box, inhaling the sweet coconutty smell and then biting into a candy, flooding their taste buds with memories of their childhood. Kelly Family Christmas in a bite.
I added my own twist and changed the diced pecans to diced toasted, lightly salted almonds. We loved the change, and my son Jake renamed the candies “Joy to the World” balls, since they now have a little of the flavor of Almond Joy candy bars!
And another tweak added by my generation: I switched up the butter to coconut oil, so now these are *** Healthified*** Christmas Candy. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Christmas candy with healthy fat.
JOY TO THE WORLD BALLS
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
8 ounces sweetened coconut
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups diced toasted, lightly salted almonds
1 tablespoon vanilla
In a large bowl with a large sturdy spoon, stir together coconut, powdered sugar, coconut oil, condensed milk, almonds and vanilla. The mixture will be very thick! Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I once left this in my fridge for a week and it was just fine).
Remove coconut mixture from fridge and roll into balls about the size of a walnut.
In a double boiler, melt shortening over simmering water. Slowly stir in chocolate chips and keep over very low heat.
Using a sturdy toothpick, dip coconut balls into melted chocolate and set on a sheet of wax paper to cool. Dip tops of candies in chocolate to cover the toothpick hole. Refrigerate candies until ready to use – will keep up to one month.