I discovered Lara bars this past fall when I picked up a few for my trip to Vegas. They are so yummy, and I love that their ingredient list is so simple!
However, they’re kind of pricey—almost $2 a bar! So I set out to make some of my own. A quick google search and you’ll see that I’m not the first to try this at home, but every cook has their own method—and this is my way!
I made a batch last night to share with my Moms’ Fellowship group at church this morning and they were a hit! There were almost none left, and so many friends asked for the recipe, and they all needed it right away (seriously—one friend is going to make them tonight!)! So here you are ladies—enjoy!
Coconut Crème Lara Bars
1 ½ c almonds
1 ½ c shredded, unsweetened coconut
380 g of pitted dates, which worked out to be 24 for me, this will vary depending on size.
(I used medjool dates which I bought at Costco—$8.50 for 2 pounds! Also, pit them yourself. I was buying pre-pitted dates, thinking that pitting a date was like pitting a cherry. Um, the pit just squeezes out—save your money. Why didn’t I know this before?)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp coconut oil (you could probably omit the oil and use a little water to smooth out the consistency if you are oil-free)
Start by placing your almonds into your food processor. Pulse a few times to break them down to about pea size chunks. Add your coconut (I used large flake because I had a big bag to use up, but is doesn’t matter, you’ll just pulse more or less depending on size.). Once the mixture is broken down into relatively small chunks, add the pitted dates, coconut oil, and vanilla. Pulse again, until the mixture comes together like a thick dough. (Be careful not to overstress your food processor. I once snapped the blade of my Kitchen Aide pulsing dried fruit!)
If your mixture is still crumbly you can add another date or two to help it come together. I found that 24 was perfect for me!
Once you have a dough like consistency, stop pulsing. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper, going both directions (fold to fit). This will make it really easy to lift out and cut later.
Place the dough into the pan, and using wet fingers, press down and distribute easily. If you had a little pastry roller you could use it. I don’t, so I just used a flat bottomed measuring cup and pressed it all over the surface to get it as flat as I could. Once it is all flat, place the pan into the freezer. 15 minutes should be fine, but I prepped mine right before dinner so they sat for about 2 hours. Once they are chilled and firm, lift out of the pan. Score the bars with a knife, cutting them into your desired size. I cut mine into 36 small squares because I was serving them to a large group. They were a perfect 2-bite-size treat. You could also cut them into larger bars and wrap them individually and bring them along for a quick snack on the go.
Did I mention that in addition to being delicious they are vegan, raw, gluten free, no added sugar, and paleo? How is that for healthy? Enjoy these yummy treats!