Homemade Lara Bars seem to be a bit of a fad. But I don't mind joining in. My Blendtec makes it easy. And frankly it's such a healthy sweet-tooth-treat, and the homemade version is so much tastier and cheaper, I just don't mind if it is a fad. For those of you that are following my diet, just 1/4 cup of dates is 4g fiber. The cashews are 5g per cup. While it isn't high in water, it's certainly easy to eat the high fiber and drink a glass of water right beside it.
Here are some things that people have said about the cashew cookie version:
- Just three ingredients! That's it?
- I was afraid to hurt your feelings, but I didn't want to try them. Can I have another?
- I like these better than the date cookies your mom used to make. And I really liked those!
- Please send me this recipe.
- Wow! These are great. Much better than the real thing because I can't even look at those.
- These are my favorite so far. (OK, that was my statement. Of the 4 varieties I've made, this is my favorite.)
Anyway, these are pretty great. Here's the secret, most recipes I found on line were large enough to make only a couple bars. But I cook much more in bulk. Especially when there's always someone to share food with. So, there are two recipes below. One for just a few bars. One for an 8x8 brownie pan. Another secret: You almost always need less nuts than you think. Too many nuts and the paste won't stick together. That being said, it's easier to mold the mixture with a layer of parchment between your hands and the sticky date paste.
Cost to Make Cashew Lara Bars
The dates run $7 a container at Costco. The cashews are about $4 at Aldi. The vanilla was a gift from Paul's traveling Aunt. Sadly, we're almost done with the bottle. So, this particular recipe runs about $6 for 8 bars. At $1.50 a bar for the real thing, the homemade version is about half the price. And it tastes better, too!
Recipe for Homemade Cashew Cookie Lara Bars (for 2-4 bars)
- 1 1/3 cups Dates
- 1/2 cup Salted Cashews
- 1/8-1/4 t. Vanilla Extract (more if you love vanilla as I do)
Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until dates and nuts are chopped and mixture sticks together. If using a Blendtec, process on "Dips." You may wish to run the cycle twice. Remove mixture onto Silpat or parchment paper. Fold Silpat or parchment over the top of the mound. Form into square. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Cut into desired shapes.
For 8x8 Pan
- 4 cups Dates
- 1 1/2 cups Salted Cashews
- 1/2 t. Vanilla Extract /li>
Process as above, but mold in 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper.