This is another larabar recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini, this time from her blog post and not from the comments section.
I hadn’t heard of larabars until I read about them on Chocolate and Zucchini, but they sounded good, so I gave them a try.
Homemade Chocolate Lärabars
- 300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) dates
- 100 grams raisins
- 200 grams (7 ounces) nuts
- 28 grams (4 tablespoons) cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- water as needed
- In a food processor, process nuts until fine. Use some of this nut powder to "flour" the bottom of a 9×9" cake pan.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the nuts and process until the mixture comes together. If it doesn’t, some water may need to be added – add a teaspoon or so at a time until the mixture comes together.
- Turn the date and nut mixture out into the cake pan and pack the mixture down into a smooth, even layer.
- Chill for a few hours or overnight, then slice into bars or squares. They’ll keep in the refrigerator, covered, for about a week, or in the freezer for a couple or three months.
I doubled the recipe since I wanted to use a 9×9" cake pan (silicon, which makes it easier to remove the larabars when done). It was already in grams, thankfully. And I modified it for local ingredients.
Since I can’t get date paste here, nor do I know what kind of dates we have, I went with all dates, pitted. Pitted by me, that is – can’t get pitless dates here. For nuts, I used cashews (raw, although I’m thinking about toasting for next time to see what kind of a difference that makes) since that’s easily available locally along with a bit of almonds and sesame seeds. And I skipped the cardamom since Fahim doesn’t like finding chunks of it in anything. If/when we get a proper mortar and pestle, I’ll see if I can ground it down fine enough to use without the cardamom chunks driving Fahim up the wall.
My larabars were too dry – it wasn’t coming together – hence the addition of the raisins. That wasn’t enough, so I ended up also adding 20 grams of water.
This demonstrates the beauty of this recipe – don’t have date paste? Use regular dates! Not enough dates? Supplement or substitute with raisins or other dried fruit! Not enough nuts? Use toasted/desiccated coconut or sesame seeds instead!
Next time, I think I’ll use toasted coconut for half the nut portion – I suspect we’ll love it. I didn’t this time mostly because I was too lazy to shred and toast the coconut. Yeah, well…
The original recipe said to grease the baking dish. I didn’t. Instead, I ground the nuts down fairly fine and then used some of the nut crumbs to coat the bottom surface of the baking dish as was mentioned in the comments for t. I used that technique with the lemon larabars, and it worked quite nicely, so why not do the same here, too?
The chocolate flavour was too strong for all of us, but that could be due to differences in weight and volume measurements since I converted the cocoa’s volume measure into grams, or could be a reflection of differences in brands of cocoa. The recipe above reflects the lowered amount of cocoa – 2/3 of what the original recipe recommended.
Other than the chocoloate flavour being strong – yeah, never thought I’d see that – we loved it. Fairly quick and easy to make with the worst part being the pitting of the dates. Definitely something to make again, especially with other flavour options.:)
I’m actually thinking about dried apricots and wishing I could get them here – combined with copious amounts of toasted coconut and almonds, I think that would be loverly. Given that this is Ramadan, some unusual things show up at the grocery stores, so I’ll have to check and see if there are any other kinds of dried fruit I can use. Except for prunes. Not prunes…