Recipes

Larabars and Fudge Babies

(This is another modified re-blog of a guest post I made about a year and a half ago. I’m working on bringing all my former posts and recipes over to our site here, so bear with me.)

By now, nearly everyone in the Paleo community has made their own version of a Larabar. If you have no idea what a Larabar is, you’re missing out, terribly. That being said, they are a tad pricey. The good news is, you can make them yourself! When I get a sweet tooth, I opt for either dark chocolate (a better bet, considering I can only eat so much before my taste buds burn out), or these babies. They are a treat, so moderation is key! I’m pretty much throwing stones from my glass house with that one, considering how many taste tests it’s taken to perfect them. ;)

I looked at a few blog recipes for Coconut Cream Pie and Pecan Pie, combined my favorites, and then tweaked the final. So I’m giving “more or less” measurements here (as usual). My tweaking was basically mixing, tasting, taking a sip of water, tasting the real Larabar, adding more stuff, then the tasting process again. What I ended up with was close enough for me.
Two Notes:

1. California Medjool dates are an absolute MUST for these recipes.
The first couple of tries I used smaller,  firmer dates, and they were so-so. Then I tried the recipes with the Medjool’s, and the difference in taste was incredible. Please trust me on this.
2. IF your food processor is a basic model like mine used to be, and you don’t want to burn out its crappy engine:
Chop the nuts together, then transfer them to a large ziplock bag. Then add the other ingredients, and mash everything together. It sounds gross, but it works really well. Some recipes will tell you to do it all together in your processor, but when I first made these a year ago, I hadn’t used a processor since high school. It started smoking after a considerable amount of time. Go figure. Anyway, to help everything blend together, you can soak the dates before hand, then drain them. They’re softer and easier to work with.

For BOTH recipes, YOU’LL NEED: 
~ A chef’s knife (chopping knife)
~ Cutting board
~Food processor (preferable but optional)
~Mixing bowl and/or a gallon sized ziplock bag (preference)
~ A baking pan, cookie sheet or airtight container that will fit into your refrigerator (I used an 8×8 and made two “levels” in it with saran wrap)
~ Parchment, wax paper OR saran wrap (you only need one of these)
 
 

1. Homemade Coconut Cream Pie Larabar 

 INGREDIENTS
3/4 cups Medjool Dates, halved and pitted (I bought them whole, and pitted them myself. Pretty simple – slice down the middle and remove the pit.)
3/4 plus 1/4 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes (Keep them separated)
1/2 cup Whole RAW Cashews
1/2 cups Whole RAW Almonds
1 TBS Extra Virgin hard pressed Coconut Oil, and a little extra afterward for texture… not a lot, just a couple “dollups” (Don’t melt this!)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (I use more; it just depends on your taste preference.)

Directions:

  1. Line your baking pan, if that’s what you wish to use to chill them.  (You can make them into whatever shape you want – a ball, squares, a gigantic loaf, use cookie cutters it’s all preference based – and store them in an airtight container if you’d like. I used an 8×8 pan). 
  2. Using the processor, finely chop the cashews, and add them to your ziplock.
  3. Chop the almonds until there are a few chunky pieces remaining. So, finely-ish. Add to bag
  4. Now the dates: chop these until they  formed a paste (sometimes it makes a ball). It’s okay if there are still some chunks in there, because you’ll mash them up later in the bag. Add to bag.
  5. Add Coconut Flakes, Oil and Vanilla to bag. Press out air, seal, then knead until mixed.
  6. Once everything is mixed (see link for reference), add extra coconut. Only knead a couple of times. I noticed with the real Larabar that coconut seems to be “laced” throughout the mixture, if that makes sense. Kind of like choppy layers. Anyway, I only kneaded the mixture three or four times.
  7.  Spread mixture evenly into the pan, smoothing the top. Cover the top with the paper or wrap.
  8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. If using the pan as described, remove from pan and cut into small bars. I used a square pan, and made nine bars.
  9. Keep them refrigerated until you eat them – they will melt because of the coconut oil if you don’t.


CREDIT: This was my favorite recipe from which I based mine:
 
Her photos are great references. 

2. ON TO THE PECANS! 

Homemade Pecan Pie Larabars 

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups Whole Raw Pecans
3/4 cup Whole Raw Almonds
4 cups Medijool Dates, halved and pitted
1 1/2 tablespoons Vanilla
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin hard pressed Coconut Oil
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
Directions: (Same process as the coconut cream pie recipe)
  1. Line your baking pan.
  2. Using the processor, roughly chop the pecans, add to bag.
  3. Chop the almonds, finely-ish. Add to bag.
  4. Chop the dates in small quantities until they form a paste.  Add to bag.
  5. Add Coconut Oil, Vanilla, Cinnamon and Sea Salt to bag. Press out air, seal, then knead until mixed. This mixture is way gooier than the other, so I added pecans until it reached the consistency I wanted.
  6. Spread mixture evenly into the parchment lined pan, smoothing the top. (Since I did both recipes, I  just layered paper over the top of the other mixture set in the bottom of the pan, if that makes sense). Cover the top.
  7. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. If using the pan as described, remove from pan and cut into small bars, but keep refrigerated to maintain consistency.
CREDIT: Again, this is the link for main recipe I based my final from (different link than the other):

3. FUDGE BABIES

 
 

I LOVE this blog: Chocolate Covered KatieHer recipes are awesome, and I browse and try new stuff all the time. (only from the chocolate section since I’m doing Paleo). Check her blog out, it’s full of amazing, guilt-free recipes!

My favorites are the Fudge Babies (the picture above her profile picture is hers; mine weren’t nearly as pretty, but they tasted AMAZING!!!!!) and the Raw Macaroons… I make them almost exactly as she does, only I add more vanilla and cocoa powder. :)
Her recipe:

Original Fudge Babies

  • 1 c walnuts
  • 1 and 1/3 cups pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: 1/8 plus 1/16 tsp salt (I always add this.)
  • 3-4 tablespoons cocoa powder (or even Dutch cocoa)

My interpretation of her directions: Blend everything together in the food processor, and make little balls out of them!

HAPPY LARABAR AND FUDGE BABY MAKING!!!!

~ Sami 

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