A couple of months ago I had my first go at making homemade Lara bars, and ever since have been obsessed with them. Every couple of weeks now I’ll go to Whole Foods and raid their bulk bin filled with dates to stock up so I can always have a batch made. I thought I had gotten pretty used to knowing which bin was the correct bin of dates that I wanted to buy but apparently I was a bit distracted on my last visit and bought unpitted dates instead of pitted dates. Imagine my surprise when I went to turn my food processor on and it sounded a bit, um, crunchier than usual. Luckily date pits are resilient little buggers and even a food processor on ‘high’ couldn’t put a dent in them.
However, standing in front of my food processor with finely chopped up dates, coconuts, almonds, and (still whole) date pits, I wasn’t sure whether it was worth it to dig through the entire thing searching for each and every pit. I ate a spoonful of the mixture (making sure there were no pits first) and immediately knew the effort would be worth it. The coconut! The almonds! The sweetness from the dates! It was too good to waste. Plus, I’m frugal and couldn’t let myself throw away such precious ingredients.
It took maybe 5 minutes to fish through the mixture to get all of the pits out, all while eating the equivalent of at least one, maybe two, of the bars in the process. Once I actually got my hands out of them, I decided to make them into actual bars this time instead of the balls like I made the peanut butter and chocolate version. Obviously both ways are the same end result, just different shape, but I think I liked the balls better.
Regardless, these coconut cream pie lara bars just might be my new favorite. I am loving coconut right now, which is the main flavor in these bars and I love that they’re still sweet without any refined sugar, being sweetened just by the dates. This means they indulge my sweet tooth when that craving strikes right around 3 p.m. but also taste indulgent enough for me to consider dessert. On weeknights. On weekends I eat cookies and cake for dessert, obvi.
- 1 2/3 cup almonds
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp water
- In large food processor, combine almonds and coconut and process until finely chopped.
- Add dates, vanilla, salt, and 1 tbsp of the water and process until the mixture starts to stick together, adding more water as needed.
- Remove from food processor and place onto cutting board.
- Place a piece of parchment paper or saran wrap on top of the mixture, then roll out with rolling pin to form into a rectangle, about 8x4", about 1/2" thick.
- Cut into bars. Alternately, you can just roll the mixture into balls, if you prefer.
- Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.