Happy Friday, and welcome back to D.I.Y. Fridays, an occasional blog series in which I show you how to D.I.Y. a basic (sometimes naturally gluten free) recipe (like today’s Chocolate Coconut Chew LARABAR copycat recipe) or other ingredient that you might be inclined to buy. I still call it an “occasional blog series,” since I’m worried that Imma run out of ideas. So I give myself a cushion. 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. But then I realized that, since they’re already naturally gluten free and available absolutely everywhere, they didn’t much belong in that cookbook (which is filled with 100+ recipes that you can’t find anywhere else for gluten free snacks and treats that you simply cannot buy). But D.I.Y. Friday? Oh yeah. They’re perfect for it.
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.
Okay, now tell me: I need more D.I.Y. Friday ideas! Take a quick look through the D.I.Y. archives, and shout out some ideas in the comments. You lovely people are and will remain my best source of inspiration. You complete me. :)