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Easy, Homemade "Mounds" Candies

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This is one of my family's recipes. I think its one of the greatest, but I'll let you decide when we're done. The recipe has been in our family for at least 40 years. My mom passed it down to me after learning it from my grandma. It's easy and tastes wonderful. On top of that, you may pick up some chocolate dipping tips.

Factoid: The first Mounds Bars were sold in 1920 for 5 cents a piece, then packages as 2 for still only 5 cents.

Gotta love Wikipedia!!

We all know that person in our neighborhood, apartment building or family who bakes and makes candies during the holidays. If that's you, then this will be a piece of cake... or candy in this case. If your the person who watches in amazement, well here's your chance to wow your friends and family.

Caution: This recipe contains nuts, pecans actually!
Another Caution: this recipe makes a gazillion!

P.S. This is my first Instructable so be constructive and nice.
 
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Step 1: Our Ingredients and Tools

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Here's what you need to make these wonderful little candies.

You'll need:
A blender or food processor to chop the pecans.
Double broiler or microwave safe dish to melt chocolate.
Wax Paper
Sharp knife, spatula, and a good strong spoon.
Cooling rack, helpful but optional.

For those who know a bit about cooking, I'll let you cheat. Here's the recipe.

(Don't worry if this is meaningless to you, I'm going to walk you through this.)

Recipe:
Mix in a large bowl:
3 cups finely chopped pecans
1 pound sweetened coconut
1 box (1 pound) powdered sugar (4x or 10x, doesn't matter)
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (has to be Eagle Brand!)
Mix well. Form into logs to cut or roll into ball to dip.
Melt 12 oz chocolate chips in a double broiler. Dip pieces and cool on wax paper.

Optional:
You can use different types of chocolate and add paraffin.
There's the basic recipe.

Now for anyone who's eyes glazed over at that part, on to the finer points...

Step 2: Finely Chop Pecans

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I'm not necessarily a southern belle, but I am from the southern United States. Pecan trees are everywhere, so I, naturally. got mine off my dad's trees. You can buy them in stores, or so I hear.

Finely chop them, and I mean FINE. I'm not even going to use a chopper on this recipe. A blender works great. (Don't forget to clean out the margarita mix first. That's a different instructable.)
Blend about 1/4 cup at a time until they're ground up. Empty them into a bowl, using a spatula to clean the small bits out of the bottom. This step takes a little while but it's worth it. You don't want big chunks of pecans in this recipe.

You could probably also use a food processor but I don't have one so I used a blender.

Step 3: Mix it up!!

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Dump the pecans into a big bowl. Really big! This will get messy if you don't have a big bowl!!

Now dump a one pound bag of sweetened coconut into your huge bowl .
Add a one pound box of powdered sugar into the bowl. It doesn't matter if it's 4x or 10x.

Factoid: Powdered sugar is just refined sugar and cornstarch.

Stir everything in the bowl together until combined.

Pour in a can of Eagle Brand milk. Yup, only one can. It will get tough to stir so after you get the puddles of Eagle Brand milk mixed in, take off your rings and get into it with your hands. It's gooey and messy but easier to mix up.

Step 4: Form the candies

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I like giving people choices, so now I'll give you a choice.

You can either spend the rest of the afternoon rolling all this stuff into tiny balls, risking the chance of fatigue, exhaustion, borderline insanity, and a sense of ominous forboding...

...or you can form them into logs, stick these logs in the freezer for 30 minutes and cut them into "Mounds" shaped slices. (You will have to decide how to use that 30 minutes, so don't say I didn't warn you.)

Hmmm...wonder which we are going to do?

Method 1: Making small ball candies. Just pinch off a little bit, roll them into balls. Make them as big or as small as you want. Remember the smaller you make them, the more you have to make. Trust me, the first one's will be nice, cute, and petite. After you've been making them an hour, they'll be the size of baseballs "just to get the #$%&* things done!!" If you do decide on this method, there is one bit of good news... You get to skip step 5! Woo-hoo!!

Method 2: Making logs. Form them into a roll/log and put them on wax paper. Go ahead and roll them up in the wax paper because you'll be putting them in the freezer. This will help them not get dried out and crusty.

Putting them in the freezer helps a lot. The logs are a pain to cut when they are soft. So, about 30 minutes in the freezer will firm them up and make your life a lot easier.

And, sorry, but you'll have to use part of your 30 minute break

Step 5: 30 Minutes later...

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For those who chose method one, feel free to do any hand stretches that you know to help relieve any cramps. Then move on ahead, you don't need this step.

For those who chose method two, get your logs out of the freezer.

They should be nice and firm... easy to cut. You're going to slice the logs apart, but read ahead before you do or this could get difficult.

You can flatten the tops and bottoms of the log so when you cut them they are "Mounds" shaped. I'm not all that concerned but it looks neat. The key to them is how thick each slice is.

"How thick do we slice them?" you ask.

I'll answer with my mom's stand-by answer. "Thick enough."

Okay, the response sounds like an evasion, but it's true. Too thin (less than 1/4 inch) and they will fall apart in the chocolate. Too thick and the coconuts, sugar, and pecans kind of overpower the chocolate. About a centimeter or about 1/2 inch is ideal.

Optional:
To make an Almond Joy, you could add an Almond to the top of the piece. I'm not a fan of almonds so this wasn't done. You can also add other things as well, but remember that anything you add will be dipped in hot chocolate. M&M's probably won't work so well.

Step 6: Adding the chocolate coating.

First we need to melt the chocolate for dipping. One bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips works well. You can also use the fancy dipping chocolate but you'll pay more money.

A double broiler works great!! It keeps the chocolate hot longer and you have more control over not burning the chocolate because of the indirect heat. Or if you have a pot and a Pyrex bowl, they will be more than enough for this project. Pyrex holds up better under heat (other materials crack and break with heat, so be careful.) And in my opinion, Pyrex with the pot looks considerably cooler! Very Paula-Dean-ish.

Note: Mounds uses dark chocolate on their candies. It cuts the sweetness of the coconut stuff. And since I love dark chocolate anyway... I decided to add 2 blocks unsweetened chocolate to the already semi-sweet chips. Chop them up and I'm ready to fire up the heat.

Optional Paraffin:
I decided to use paraffin in my chocolate because it makes the chocolate thinner and easier to work with. It also makes the candies shiny and pretty. And pretty food rarely tastes bad!! Chop up the paraffin and put in the bowl first. It will take longer to melt this. You don't to have to worry about melting the paraffin while you chocolate is overcooking. The paraffin I found can in a 1 pound box and was separated into 4 long blocks. I used about 1/4 of a block.

Caution: Paraffin is flammable if overheated or exposed to open flame. Always melt by heating in a pan over boiling water, as in a double broiler. Never melt directly in pan over fire, hot plate or in a hot oven
--I got this directly off the box!!

Melt it all together and stir frequently. Exact temperature is not too important for us. Medium-Low heat should be enough, although I'm sure someone out there could tell you how many degrees to make it. The key is not letting it burn. You can tell its burning by the chocolate starting to clump together and losing its smoothness. Believe me, you'll notice it. Unfortunately, there are few things worse than burnt chocolate and nothing worse for this recipe. If you burn the chocolate, I advise starting over on the chocolate. (Your balls or logs are fine, DON'T PANIC! - This should be in big, bold, happy letters, but I don't know where to find that button.)

Now, onto the dipping!!

Step 7: Dipping time!!

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Now, here's where you get to dip them. The double broiler will keep the chocolate warm so you can turn the heat off.

Tear off a piece of wax paper for your masterpieces to go on. I put the wax paper on a cooling rack, but you could also put it on the counter. The cooling rack works wonders!

You can dip several candies at a time but the warm chocolate may "melt" the pieces. This will lead to a mess which, especially if you decided to make the candy balls, can add a whole new level of fun.

I do one candy at a time. There are special dipping forks that work well; I used a fork and a wooden skewer. Not flashy, but it worked fine. You could also use chopsticks or a toothpick.

CAUTION!! The first ones may be ugly. As head chef you are required to eat the ugly ones to hide any illusion of imperfection. (Or you could enlist the spouse or child in favor at the moment. Your choice.)

Dip the candy in the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip off. Is there such a thing a excess chocolate? You get two choices on this one. Either let it drip off in the bowl or it will drip off on the way to the waxed paper. (Read: Take your time now and avoid more cleanup later OR hurry now and scrub chocolate off your work surface.)

For you choco-holics... don't worry, I won't tell... you can dip the candy again after it has hardened in order to add more chocolate. For the true addicts, you can even do this three or more times, but I'm not responsible for what happens.

After you have dipped them to your heart's content, slide the piece onto the wax paper and let cool. Note: The paraffin will help it harden faster and also make them more shiny!

Store in an air tight container and either leave them out or refrigerate them. Your choice, again. Enjoy!

CAUTION: Excessive testing of your candy may result in... Well, we know what that will do.
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Melynn110424 days ago

Thanks for this! My mother ADORES coconut. This will be a nice gift for her when I go to visit next week. Presuming there are some left. :)

I made this wonderful candy for my kids and granddaughter for Easter I try to make all my candies a week before but i just had to taste it . This is one of the best recipes i have every made. You did an Excellent job with everything. All of the suggestions was good, but if you just follower this recipe I beleive everyone will find it absolutly wonderful Thank you

susieblu4 months ago
Really in depth and thorough instruction! Some lil funnies here! This is great for ppl thst are novices!!! I think u r a good teacher! ;-)
april.faure4 months ago

Okay, I am lazy. I am using chocolate almond bark. But this sounds super easy. I am going to make them egg shaped and decorate them for Easter. Almond bark melts perfectly in the microwave and is delicious. Just put it in a glass bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir. If it is not melted, return to microwave 15 seconds at a time. It burns easily, so if it is almost melted, just stir it until completely melted.

april.faure4 months ago

Okay, I am lazy. I am using chocolate almond bark. But this sounds super easy. I am going to make them egg shaped and decorate them for Easter. Almond bark melts perfectly in the microwave and is delicious. Just put it in a glass bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir. If it is not melted, return to microwave 15 seconds at a time. It burns easily, so if it is almost melted, just stir it until completely melted.

mnmama5 months ago

Sounds very yummy, and if you temper the chocolate, you needn't worry about adding wax. One little note (ex proof reader), you use a double boiler to melt chocolate, not a double bRoiler. :) You may wish to correct, or not. I was able to know what you meant. Nice, 'ible, and thanks for the treats!

My mom and I used to make mounds candies in little ball form. We never used sweetened condensed milk, we used cold mashed potatoes and powdered sugar. I don't remember the exact amounts used but they were soooo good. I don't like sweetened condensed milk, it has a funny taste. And why compare coconut to toe nails? Have any of you ever chewed on a toe nail to know that is what it tastes like? Cause that's just Naaaaasty! LOL

peads924701 year ago

My mom always made candy for the holidays and she always used paraffin, so did her mother; and, well, I'm not dead yet so I guess it didn't hurt me too badly. After all, I was the "official" taste tester. I still use it when I make candy too. I would suppose it would be a matter of choice. I think these look great and I've never thought of adding the ground nuts, which I will be doing the next time I make these!

earlj2 years ago
I've noticed that paraffin is used in many recipes here on the site. Because of its chemical composition and its potential effects on some people, paraffin is generally notr a recognized ingredient in chocolates (or other foods). It really won't hurt to leave it out.
lo_lo2 years ago
I am a bit concerned with the thought of people chewing on toenails. Please spend less time with your foot in your mouths & try finding an edible recipe instead?
if you don't mind, i have a few tips that may help a bit with this recipe.
1. i don't bother with the wax for my chocolates, but don't use real chocolate either. Many candy companies use what is called "compound" chocolate; its almost the same as the real thing, but uses palm kernel oil or another vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter. real chocolate has a richer flavor but is a real PITA to temper. not tempering it means the chocolate will have a matte finish and will melt when u touch it. compound is easier to work with and doesn't need to be tempered it doesn't waxy, sets shiny, and wont melt when touched. i use 2 lb blocks of "almond bark" found at walmart for about $3.00 each.
2. when melting the chocolate with a water pot and bowl, make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of your bowl. the boiling water can scorch the chocolate. you don't even need it boiling... just hot and steamy.
3. be careful dipping frozen stuff in chocolate. the temperature shock can crack the chocolate as it cools. also... if you dab a small bit of the melted chocolate to your lower lip and it feels cool, its the right temp for dipping. too hot and the coat will be really thin with the excess pooling around them making a hard platter.
4. in lieu of milk (for those allergic to it) and sugar; honey, corn syrup, or a simple sugar/water syrup (soft ball stage) would bind the ingredients equally well.
mikeandre3 years ago
The best! Thanks for sharing!
twix3 years ago
Awesome recipe, thanks for sharing it! The directions were flawless and the candy delicious. Everyone we shared them with loved them too. Thanks again!
Donna19493 years ago
Won't crisco keep the chocolate from getting hard again?
Crisco is solid at room temperature, so once it cools it will set up again. It will make the chocolate a little softer, but it will indeed set up again!
Dr. P3 years ago
I've just finished! Your instructions are perfect. And now I have discovered the origin of the term "hot mess." Delicious, but a hot mess nevertheless! Thanks!
LaurieTX4 years ago
My mother-in-law used to make this for us at Christmas. She gave me the recipe before she passed away and I make it for my family now.

I put the mixture into a jelly roll pan and let it get cold. Then I cut it into squares, dip it into the chocolate/wax mixture using wooden skewers, and place it on wax paper.

Thanks for posting this!
noraj LaurieTX3 years ago
I'm sorry I don't know much about using the wax...In your candy you did not use the wax...Do you not use it with this kind of cho. This look great...I can't wait to make it.
KittyF4 years ago
I read somewhere, (online) that you don't want to heat the chocolate til it boils since it will not get hard again. only heat it gently til it is about 2/3 melted and turn it off and let it finish melting while you stir it so it won't overheat. then it should still harden as it cools.
cammy13456 years ago
Would you please tell me what "Sweetened Coconut " is (consists of ? ) as I'm in Australia and never heard of it. Thanks. They look very yummy :)
This stuff its just shredded coconut sweetened with sugar before drying.
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I don't think they even dry it. they sweeten the grated coconut and bag it in plastic and it's very moist.
dandrett4 years ago
This recipe is exactly what I was looking for. AAANNNDDD when I saw the Bulldogs mug I knew it was the perfect recipe for me! Go Dawgs!
cheezstake7 years ago
This looks like a nice recipe. While I love Mounds, my wife is allergic to coconut. Is there an alternative filler for this?
SpinWard (author)  cheezstake7 years ago
Hmmm, it's pretty much all coconut. I have a friend who says eating coconut is like chewing on toe nails. Thought y'all would appreciate that imagery. I'll have to think about it and ask my mom.
Don't get me wrong. This is a great instructable. It is just the coconut that I hate. The first Mounds I ever got, I spit it out and never bought one again. I love that image (coconut = toe nails.) Chew, chew, chew, nothing happens. It's like eating those old wax lips candies. Chew until all the sugar is gone and spit it out.

Makes a lot of sense to add Gulf Wax to the coconut because one is indigestible and the other is, indigestible. It makes for a pretty, shiny coating, right?

Now, for those coconut-less recipes....
why would (any of) you read a coconut recipe and then complain because it contains coconut??? why not just skip the recipe??? I am trying to be nice here but................................
Just what I was thinking. Thank you.
Oops. Apparently even though I started out with "Don't get me wrong...." you took it wrong.

Why would I write a reply? Because where I come from, it is a free country, with the right of free speech.

I read the recipe because it was entitled 'Easy, Homemade "Mounds" Candies.' The word coconut is not in the title or I wouldn't have looked at it at all. Forgive me for forgetting that "Mounds" is one of the few candies that I absolutely detest. Once here, the directions for dipping in chocolate were of interest, even if it did contain Gulf Wax (which is what I used to use to wax my surf board 30 years ago.) Then of course there was the image of coconuts = toe nails.) That was just too fabulous to resist.

And I repeat, now onward to those coconut-less recipes....
by seeing "mounds" in the title, you should've already realized that it would contain coconuts. that's... basically, the main ingredient to a mound candy.
agreed.
I often buy generic Eagle Brand sweetened and condensed milk - much cheaper. Did you get bad results with other brands than Eagle Brand?
Thanks. Dried coconut definitely is a lot like toenails.
Thanks cheezstake. See bebo1998? I am not the only one who makes the comparison of coconut = toe nails.
Is your wife allergic to socks? That way you can have the coconut experience with the toe taste. Mounds are my absolute favorite candy bar evaaaaaaaar
dj630104 years ago
I live in the Florida Keys and have a huge coconut palm in the yard. I've been trying to come up with a good use for all the coconuts I throw away. This might be a start. Mounds is my absolute favorite candy bar.
turrilynn4 years ago
Looks yummy-licious! Making me hungry...wonder if you can skip the nuts though?
Noah9724 years ago
Mmm! So easy! If only everyone knew this... Thanks for the great 'ible. I'll have to make some and tell you how they turn out.
Clayton H.4 years ago
As a note

From Wikipedia:
"Like Almond Joy, it consists of a coconut based center; however, it is enrobed with dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate and does not contain almonds."

So if you want to make actual mounds, skip the nuts and substitute the chocolate for dark chocolate. But you noted that this was a family recipe and so they are not mounds but "mound-esk"
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