Monday, September 12, 2011


I have to admit I have tried Lärabars before, but its been a while and I have no idea if I like them or not.  BUT in my Tasty Kitchen perusing, I came across this recipe.  It's gluten-free, dairy-free, and most importantly peanut-free, so I thought I'd take a whirl at it and see if my kids would dig it.  Oh, they dug it alright!  The dates made me a little nervous.  I've never made anything with dates in it before.  As a child I remember my mom using the dried out dates (you know the pellet things) in stuff and they always looked like rabbit food, so I never wanted to try them.  Turns out dates are awesome in Lärabars!  These really turned out boys not only ate them, they begged for more.  My oldest son was SO excited (he gets that way when we find something tasty AND allergy-free for him!).

  • 2 cups Raw or Toasted Whole, shelled Almonds
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  • 4 cups whole, pitted dates
  • 2 Tbsp Natural nut butter (peanut, sunflower, cashew...or we used almond butter), divided (or more, if necessary)

Line a 9-inch x 13-inch straight sided pan with a piece of parchment paper so that the paper hangs over the long edges. Set aside.
Fit a food processor with a metal blade. Add the almonds to the processor and pulse until they are uniformly finely chopped (think fresh bread crumb texture.) Add the chocolate chips and pulse again until the chocolate chips are also finely chopped. Pour the chocolately nuts into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Add half of the dates to the food processor and process until a paste forms and clumps together in the workbowl. Open the food processor and add in 1 tablespoon of the nut butter and half of the chocolatey ground nuts. Replace the lid and process until evenly combined. Scrape into the prepared pan.
Repeat these steps with the remaining dates, chocolatey nuts and nut butter.
When all of the ingredients have been thus processed, wet your hands and use them to press the mixture as evenly over the bottom of the pan as possible. Fold the excess parchment over the bars to cover them and use something flat and heavy to press down firmly on the mixture until it is smooth.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before moving onto the slicing surface.
To slice:
Use the excess parchment paper like a sling to transfer the now-firm bars from the pan to a large cutting board.
Cut into desired size (I did 24 squares) and store in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container. An unrefrigerated bar will be good for 48 hours, covered, at room temperature.

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