Homemade Larabars – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Larabars are ridiculously easy to make at home. Not to mention less expensive! My kids love them — especially my 15-month-old monkey-child. It’s only a matter of time before she figures out how to climb up on the counter to find them herself.
She’s a handful, that one. I’m convinced she threw away my recipe notebook. I haven’t seen it in a few weeks, and she loves to throw things in the trash can. We managed to save my husband’s wallet and keys a few times, but I’m afraid my notebook is long gone.
I may have stashed it in an unusual place, and if that’s the case I will apologize for blaming her. I’m still 83% sure it was her, though.
Have you ever worked with dates? For the longest time I thought I didn’t like dates. I really dislike most store-bought energy bars, and I thought it was the dates that gave them that funky flavor. When I created my little Snack Ball/Energy Bites I didn’t use dates, but I have since realized that dates are just fine. I don’t like eating them alone, but I don’t mind them in things like this.
I recently found pitted dates at my favorite wholesale warehouse store, but if you can only find the regular ones, they’re easy to pit. I just rip them in half with my fingers and take the pits out. Then I put them in my food processor (which has since broken… RIP little buddy. I now use my Twister Jar that fits on my Blendtec. Works like a charm.).
I add the cashews back in (which I ground before the dates), and buzzed it up with a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla. At this point you might think the mixture is dry. Dump it into a bowl and knead it a few times. The dates will continue to coat and add moisture to the nuts. Add the chocolate chips and mix them in, too.
It’s hard to tell from these photos, but I actually used a quarter sheet pan (not the half sheet pan that everyone has) to roll these out. It was the perfect width to get the thickness I wanted and nice, flat edges. Well, on two sides. I also used a child-sized rolling pin because my pan was small. It was perfect for this! You don’t have to do that, though. You can use whatever pan and pin you’ve got.
I cut them into 1 1/2-inch squares. I like them that size because they’re kid-friendly.
I usually put them into a glass jar and keep them on the counter. I made this particular batch for my husband’s health lectures he does at the clinic. I just flattened mini cupcake liners and dropped them in! Sadly, we had no leftovers. Not surprising, though. These really do taste like cookie dough!
Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabars
Yield: About 25 1 1/2-inch squares
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
2 cups raw cashew pieces
12 pitted medjool dates
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Line a small rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Set aside.
Grind the cashews in the food processor until it resembles coarse sand. Transfer cashews to a medium mixing bowl. Tear the dates in half and add them to the food processor. Pulse until dates are mostly chopped. Add in the ground cashews and pulse until mostly combined. Dump the mixture back into the bowl and add the vanilla and salt. Mix with your hands for about a minute until the mixture is well-combined and it clumps together when you pinch it. Mix in the chocolate chips and spread the "dough" out on the prepared baking sheet.
Use a rolling pin, a can, or a bottle to smooth out the top. Roll until you reach the desired thickness, then cut them up using a pizza or pastry cutter. Break into squares and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
from Perry's Plate