There's nothing like waking up to the sound of the bird's chirping. Even if it's dull, dark and rainy like it has been, I can always count on the sounds of spring to pick my spirits up. Let's just hope we don't have anymore unpredictable weather coming our way.
You might already know how much I love nut butter. Particularly almond and peanut. So naturally my favourite Larabar is the peanut butter cookie. I'm really into making my own, they're fun to make (I might be the only one who thinks this ;) and it's cheaper.
A little trick I like to use when making my own Larabars, is to grind the nuts and dried fruit separately and then combine them along with any flavouring's like spices and sea salt. This way you get a nice smooth Larabar-esque snack bar. First you grind up the nuts until they resemble fine bread crumbs.
Then you'll want to grind the dates up on their own until you have a sticky, clumpy mess like this.
Now you add the ground peanuts along with a pinch of sea salt back in with the dates and grind/process until you can easily form it together with your hands.
Next up, we form the dough into bars. In the past I've used my hands, but it got so messy that I'd have to keep stopping to wet my fingers and hands just to work with the dough. That was way too time consuming. So I started forming them by covering the dough in saran wrap. This way I can still use my hands to help form the dough and not get them all messy.
I place the clump of dough on a large sheet of saran wrap, cover it up, and roll it out. Brilliant!
This only takes me 5 minutes to form the bars and cut them.
You can wrap them up individually for grab-and-go snacking and work week lunches or store them in a sealed airtight container like I do.
Peanut Butter Cookie Larabars (makes 6, 1x3x1/2" bars) vegan & gluten free
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
- a pinch of sea salt (no more than 1 gram if you have a kitchen scale handy)
- In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, blend the peanuts until they are finely chopped. Pour the nuts into a bowl and set aside.
- Add the dates to the food processor and process until they start to smooth out and form a paste. Add the chopped peanuts and sea salt and continue blending until evenly combined. It should look similar to a fresh batch of cookie dough.
- To form the bars, take a large sheet of saran/cling wrap and lay it flat on the counter. Pour the dough mixture out onto the cling wrap, form it into a ball using your hands, then fold the sides of the cling wrap over the dough so it is covered.
- Begin to flatten it out using your hands or a rolling pin, shaping the edges to form a rectangle or square about 1/2" inch thick. Then slice into bars.
- Wrap and refrigerate to keep them their freshest.
- If your food processor is big enough feel free to double the recipe.
No oven needed here!