Monday, March 5, 2012

Homemade Cashew Cookie Larabars (& Balls) (SRC)

I love Larabars.

But I do not love to pay $1.50 for each bar.

It really takes the wind out of my sails.

Imagine my delight when I came across this recipe for making one's own Larabars at home.

It's Secret Recipe Club time again.  

Love it.

I was assigned to the blog This Chick Cooks.  

Katie is the author.  

Katie has great linky parties and was one of the first kind souls to comment on my blog when I started it near the end of 2010.  Thank you, Katie!  Your comment love always made me do the double fist pound over my heart.  Comments are entirely underrated. 

Katie does an awesome job of being wise with her money; her frugality is something we can all learn from.  I am totally shamed every time I see her post about washing out and reusing ZipLoc bags. 

She, too, loves Larabars and one day realized that there are only two ingredients in the Cashew Cookie bars:  cashews and dates.  So she got out her food processor...

And the rest is chewy history.




You'll pretty much need a 1:1 ratio of cashews to dates.  
(I used approximately 1 1/2 cups of each.)

Process the cashews with the steel blade of a food processor 
until they become crumbs about this size. 
(Should take around 15 seconds.)

Grab some dates.*
(These are chopped dates...)*

(I had to add about 3 tablespoons of water to the dates so that 
they would make the bars stick together. 
You may not need to add as much.  Or any.)

Process until nice and gooey.

Add the cashew crumbs.

And process again.

You may have to use a spatula to really get the dates mixed in.

Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
(This makes it easy to remove the bars afterwards.)

Transfer the mixture to the pan,

smooth with the spatula, and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes.

Slice into bars.

And voila.


I made a double batch. 
Katie mentioned perhaps forming the mixture into balls. 
Sign me up!
An easy pop-in-your-mouth treat.

But I could not leave healthy-enough alone.  

I had to make a ganache to dip the balls in.

There, now.  Much better!
Thanks for the great idea, Katie!

*Katie used whole dates in her recipe; she did not have to add any water.  Chopped dates are drier and therefore I had to add water for them to make a paste.  If you use chopped dates and they do not get "pasty" when you process them alone, add a tablespoon of water and see if it helps.  If not, add a bit more. 

**My version of this recipe turned out quite a bit moister than it appears Katie's did.  But they were still delicious.  Next time, I will skip the bars and use the whole batch to make 28 teaspoon-sized balls.

Here's the printable recipe.

Homemade Cashew Cookie Larabars (and chocolate-dipped balls)
Makes 10 bars or 28 (heaping teaspoon) balls

1 (9.25 ounce) package lightly-salted cashews (about 1 2/3 cups)
1 (8 ounce) package chopped dates (with no added sugar) (about 1 1/2 cups)
1-3 tablespoons water, if necessary

Optional Chocolate Ganache (for dipping)
4 ounces dark chocolate
3 tablespoons butter

Process the cashews in a food processor fitted with a steel blade for approximately 15 seconds.  Remove from work bowl and set aside.

Process dates in the food processor, add water (if necessary) until the dates form a paste and collect in a ball in the work bowl.

Add the cashews back in and process for 20-30 seconds until well mixed.  (You may have to mix with a spatula, too.)

Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap.  Spread half of the cashew-date mixture into the bottom of the pan (you don't want the bars to be too thick).

OR you can roll the mixture into balls.  Use a heaping teaspoonful of the mixture, roll between your palms to form a ball, and place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Freeze balls for 30 minutes to set before dipping them in the ganache.

To make the ganache, heat the chocolate and the butter over VERY LOW heat and mix well until completely combined and thickened.  Remove from heat.  

Spear balls with toothpicks, and dip the balls into the warm ganache.  Refreeze for 10-15 minutes to set. 

Katie's post about the bars is here.


9 comments:

Katie @ This Chick Cooks said...

Ginny-

Your version of the lara balls dipped in a ganache looks so delicious! Yummy! I love all of your pretty, bright photos.

Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. That was so sweet of you :) I hope that you have a blessed day.

Katie

Gardening with Juanita said...

I have not looked at your blog lately but I like the idea of the balls dipped into the ganache best.

Monica @ TheYummyLife said...

The chocolate dipped ones get my vote. YUM!

Charlotte said...

Oh yum yum. I wished I could eat the chocolate dipped ones from the computer.

NO REASON NEEDED said...

I'd never heard of a Larabar prior to now. What have I been mising?

Lisa said...

What a great way to save money by making your own bars.

Amber | Bluebonnets and Brownies said...

Is it bad that my evil little heart giggled gleefully at you dipping Lara "balls" in ganache? I love it! And they look darn delicious.

Lisa~~ said...

I love the balls in the ganache, brilliant.

If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC entry: Broiled Sushi.

Lisa~~
Cook Lisa Cook

lisa said...

Looks delicious - next time you could soak the dates before processing them then you won't have to add water xo