Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Homemade Larabars

fake larabar

We used to be hardcore Larabar addicts, but haven't really bought them since they were taken over by General Mills. I always hating throwing out all of that packaging anyway. We were talking about the new flavors the other day and it reminded me that we still had about 10 pounds worth of delicious pitted dates in boxes at the very back of the fridge. We ordered them, along with a box of Jumbo Medjools as a Christmas present for Mason's Nanny, from Fernandez Dates. After shipping, ours worked out to less than $3 a pound--and they are the best dates that I have ever tasted. Mason agrees. They are soft and moist, h.u.g.e. and super sweet--so sweet that I can rarely eat more than half of one at a time. At that rate, we'd never finish them off, so I don't feel too bad about turning a portion of them into knock off Larabars.

Into the food processor:
15 large pitted dates
1/2 c. shredded coconut
3/4 c. almonds
any spices or extracts or zests that you like

fake larabar ingredients

Process them until they will hold together in a ball.
If too wet, add more almonds. If too dry, add more dates (or juice 1 tsp. at a time).

The first batch that I made was just dates, coconut and almonds. For the second, I added a few tablespoons of zest and a tiny bit of juice from a box of mandarins that Mason brought home yesterday. And the last was just dates and almonds with a vanilla bean for flavor. If you want to make one like this without the coconut, use one heaping cup of almonds to 15 dates. You may have to mess around with it a little to get the right consistency.

Each batch makes twelve bars that are a little longer than half the size of a larabar. Obviously, you can shape them however you like, but I find they hold together better in a smaller bar. I store them in containers in the freezer with a small piece of waxed paper between each layer.


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