Sunday, August 11, 2013

Homemade Lara Bars

Lara Bars are a favorite snack at our house.  P and I share them a few times a week.  I haven't sampled all the flavors, but peanut butter cookie is our top choice.  Unless I get them on sale, they can get expensive.  After looking at the ingredients (peanuts, dates, and salt) I figured I could try and make them myself.  A quick internet search led me to many other people who had the exact same thought!
It only took about 15 minutes to whip these together.  I did a peanut butter cookie version, and then decided to add some chocolate chips to my next batch.   Of the two, the peanut butter cookie was my favorite.  The chocolate chips didn't add the flavor I was hoping for, but I'll definitely still gobble them up.  I purchased both the peanuts and dates on sale, spending about 12 dollars. For each batch, I ended up with about eight bars.  Cheapest I typically find Lara Bars is one dollar.  I still have enough peanuts to make a few more batches.  Huge savings!  Plus there's not the waste and garbage with all the packaging!
Peanut Butter Cookie Lara Bars
adapted from edible soundbites
2 cups roasted peanuts
2 cups pitted dates (8 ounce package)
pinch of salt (if your peanuts are salted you can skip this step)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/2 cups chocolate chips if you'd like a chocolate version
Process peanuts in your food processor, until they are finely chopped.  Pour in vanilla and salt. Add dates and process until dates and peanuts start to form a paste.  Add chocolate chips last if you choose to add them and process until mixed in.
To form bars place a large piece of saran wrap flat on your counter.  Pour the dough in the middle of the saran wrap and form into a ball.  Fold the saran wrap over the top of the dough.  Flatten with a rolling pin into a square shape about 1/2 inch thick.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, then slice into bars.  Store in refrigerator, individually wrapped or in a large ziploc.
Another easy recipe that was baby approved!  I'll definitely have to try some other flavors.  Oh, and if you eat this right from your food processor you may just convince yourself you're eating peanut butter cookie dough. Not that I was shoveling it in by the spoonful or anything.