These bars are so incredibly easy, and to be honest when I first made them I was really just looking for some more no-bake granola bars to stash away for my kids' breakfasts. I wasn't even *gasp* trying to develop a blog or cookbook recipe. Imagine that! When they came out so perfect, I made them again and again because clearly I was on to something—and I had to share it with you.
First, since they have no oats and no refined sugars and stuff, I figured I'd bill them as “Paleo Granola Bars.” But then … I realized that they were actually a chocolate coconut chew LARABAR copycat. When I was developing recipes for my next cookbook, Gluten Free Classic Snacks, I planned on a few LARABAR copycat recipes. Since it never happened, you've got them here instead!
The LARABARs themselves are made with unsweetened cocoa powder, not melted unsweetened chocolate like these, their namesake copycat bars. But I find that it's much easier to make these with melted chocolate since it really helps hold the bars together. And if they don't actually hold together, they're not bars. Amiright?
Look how few ingredients! You do need to make them in a food processor, though.
You could replace the whole blanched almonds with an equal amount, by weight, of blanched almond flour, but there's still the matter of the dates and processing those. If anyone has any creative ideas on how to avoid the processor for the dates, let us know in the comments!
I really like the coconut chips to be more lightly processed, since they give the bars some interesting texture—not to mention making them prettier. When you're dealing with dark brown bars, some visual interest is a very.good.thing.
D.I.Y. Friday: Chocolate Coconut Chew LARABAR Copycat
2 cups (230 g) raw blanched almonds (I have also used raw cashews)
1/2 pound pitted medjool (or deglet noor) dates
4 tablespoons (56 g) virgin coconut oil, melted
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (80 g) raw coconut flakes
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with two criss-crossed sheets of unbleached parchment paper, making sure the paper overhangs the pan on all sides. Set the pan aside.
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the almonds on high speed until small crumbs form (about 20 seconds). Add the dates, melted coconut oil, melted chocolate and salt, and pulse about 4 times or until the mixture holds together well. Add the coconut flakes, and pulse quickly and briefly (at most, 2 times) until the flakes are about 1/4 their original size. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and press firmly into one even, compressed layer. Place the baking pan in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes or until firm.
Once firm, remove the bars from the pan by the overhung parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Slice into 10 to 12 equal rectangles with a large, sharp knife. Wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap or wax paper, and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.