Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabars

178 comments

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Oh, homemade Larabars. It’s been too long. Really though, I can’t say I’ve had a good reason to make energy bars. Let me tell you, my energy is in zero danger of plummeting any time soon. With all the recipe testing going down, my only challenge is trying not to pop the button off my pants from all this good food. The freezer is bursting at the seams; one wrong move and I’m pummeled in the face by a 10-pound solid chunk of homemade pasta sauce or chocolate pie. The last thing I need is an energy bar.

Eric, on the other hand, could use a portable snack. He plays in a volleyball league which meets for a few hours around dinnertime and he’s usually famished by the time he sits down to eat dinner at 9 or 10 pm. Since I can’t play in the league myself (I have a torn meniscus in my knee), I support him in the best way I know how – homemade snacks.

Of course, I enjoyed a couple bars (ok, ok and some dough!) – all in the name of taste-testing purposes of course. It’s amazing how much of an appetite I can work up hovering over a food processor. Tell me I’m not alone.

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Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabars

Email, text, or print this recipe

Adapted from my 2008 recipe.

Yield: 10-12 bars (shown in photos – 12 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups raw cashews (230 grams)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 cup tightly packed pitted dates* (roughly 190 grams)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp mini dark chocolate chips (or simply chop larger pieces of chocolate)

 

1. If your dates are stiff or dry, soak the dates in a bowl of water for 30-60 minutes before beginning. Drain well and pat dry before use.

2. Add cashews and salt into a food processor and process the until the cashew crumbs are just smaller than peas, for about 3-4 seconds.

3. Now add in the pitted dates and process until the mixture comes together, for about 15 seconds, or longer if needed. The mixture should stick together easily when you squeeze it between your fingers. If it doesn’t stick or it’s still a bit crumbly, add a very small amount of water (1 tsp at a time) and process it again. I added 1 tsp of water and it was perfect.

4. Add the vanilla and process until combined. Finally, pulse in the chocolate or simply stir in by hand.

5. Line an 8-inch square pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, one going each way (this makes it easier to lift out). Scoop mixture into pan and smooth out with hand until it’s level. Beginning at the centre, push down firmly all over the mixture. The more you pack it down the better the bars will hold together. Roll out with a pastry roller if you have one (you know I was all over that!).

6. Freeze for at least 15 minutes and then slice into 10-12 bars. The bars are a bit fragile and can break apart, so just handle them carefully. For on-the-go, wrap bars in plastic wrap or tin foil and store in the fridge or freezer. Or just store them all in an air-tight container if enjoying at home. Most importantly of all, hide from other members of the family.

Note: You can use Medjool or honey dates here. Just be sure they are nice and soft.

See nutritional info based on 12 and 10 servings.

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If you are looking for another tasty energy bar/ball recipe, check out my Dark Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites. Love those!

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What’s your favourite Larabar flavour of all time?

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{ 178 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table January 16, 2013

Food processor hovering is a full-body workout… my feet start tapping, my stomach tightens in anticipation, my arms are busy messing with the buttons trying to get it to blend faster. Definitely warrants testing. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2013

oh that made me laugh :)

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Tanya @ playful and hungry January 16, 2013

Haha… oh that’s so me! =D

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Meaghan March 25, 2013

I loved the Lara bars! I substituted 1/2 cup of cashews for 1/2 cup oats. They turned out marvelous! Thank you for sharing. A perfect winter snack.

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Brittani January 16, 2013

You’re so not alone! I get hungry just reading about using the food processor. These looks great – I’ll have to try them this afternoon!

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Natalie January 16, 2013

I’ve been eating the Cocoa Coconut Chew lately and I’m in love! They are a bit expensive, so I would love to make them at home, but I don’t have a food processor.

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Cheyenne Holman January 16, 2013

A food processor is definitely a worthy kitchen investment. When I moved out of home last year, despite being a poor student I had to have one and managed to get a blender and processor for $69. I use it multiple times a day and after nearly 12 months its still going strong!

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Natalie January 16, 2013

Thanks for the reply! What kind of processor do you have?

I have a magic bullet, does anyone know if that would be strong enough to process dates? I’m afraid to try it – don’t want to burn it out!

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Cheyenne Holman January 16, 2013

I have a Ronson from Target. I’m in Australia though and I assume you’re not! I got a Magic Bullet too actually. But for $98 I was so disappointed, not very powerful at all :(

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Natalie January 16, 2013

I’m in Canada. Darn, I don’t see that processor on Amazon. Ya, that’s why I’m afraid of putting dates in the Magic Bullet. It gets stuck with banana and berries, I’m sure dates would fry it!

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Sharon January 29, 2013

I just processed dates (no pits) in my magic bullet today. Definitely pre-soak the dates, and it if the Magic Bullet sounds angry, add a bit more water (1 tbsp at a time, max).

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meghan January 29, 2013

keep an eye on craigslist, I have bought some great kitchen items on there.

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Tiff (@LoveSweatBeers) January 16, 2013

Yum! Cookie dough is my biggest weakness and greatest {food} love. I’m just finishing up a snack of my Sacher Torte raw balls now. Gotta’ love healthy recipe re-mixes!

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Vibeke January 16, 2013

What kind of food processor do you have? Mine won’t these.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2013

I have a Cuisinart processor – pretty happy with it overall!

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Amy January 16, 2013

Food processors amaze me sometimes with the things they can do. This week, I finally worked up the courage to buy dates to attempt something like this. The results were pretty good with dates and oats, but my little food processor will need a major upgrade to handle nuts. :)

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Gillian January 16, 2013

Just got a food processor for Christmas… looks like I’ve found the perfect way to break it in! :)

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Shundara@ SavyNaturalista January 16, 2013

Cookie dough bars and no sweetener added I can not wait to try theses babies, I love cheap easy snacks that do not take much time yum!!!

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Katie January 16, 2013

I love that you use cashews….I am so tired of pecans/walnuts and dates! I’m going to add in some goji berries for good measure!

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Lisa January 16, 2013

Oh i love these types of recipes!! Keep em comin!!! :)

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Lily January 16, 2013

Cocoa mole is my favorite! spicy chocolate yum yum yum.

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Stacy L January 16, 2013

This is one of my favorites (so thank you!). Cherry Pie and Apple Pie also top my list. I can’t wait to make this!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2013

I don’t think I’ve seen the apple pie around here yet…hoping to try it soon!

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Rosalie January 16, 2013

I always see Apple Pie sold in boxes of five (also, usually, in singles) at Loblaws/Superstores around Ontario (in their natural foods aisles) :)

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Angela January 16, 2013

Thanks for the tip :)

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Joanne @ A Nicer Choice January 16, 2013

I’ve never tried a Larabar (I’m in the UK) but we have Nak’d bars which I think are pretty similar. I love the Cocoa Mint, Caffe Mocha and Cashew Cookie flavours.

I need to get a decent food processor asap!

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kimmythevegan January 16, 2013

Oh wow – these look awesome. Yummy yummy!
I think my favourite flavour is cashew cookie – so these will replace them rather nicely =)

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan January 16, 2013

You keep fueling the fire with wanting a food processor! I have a blender, but some things just don’t work in a blender, you know? Do you think that you would ever just use the food processor in place of the blender? I don’t love having a ton of appliances, but I think the food processor might be a must : )

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2013

Now that I own both I don’t think there is any turning back! I use both daily usually. :)

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LeeAnn January 16, 2013

Me too. A few years ago I got a combo blender/food processor and it was a bust … very sad, as it was a Cuisinart. I’ve come to the conclusion there’s no way around having both appliances. I bit the bullet and got a Vitamix blender, and it’s worth every penny for someone who uses it every day.

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Ariel January 17, 2013

The Ninja kitchen system works very well. My husband got it for me for my birthday, and I’ve been very pleased with it — I can finally process items like this and cookies/batters, and still have a blender feature.

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Jacklyn January 17, 2013

For people that don’t want to get a food processor and blender (or don’t have the cupboard space!) I use a Ninja blender and it can handle anything the food processor can! It is wonderful for Larabars.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 18, 2013

Thanks for the tip! I’ve heard those Ninjas are good :)

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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! January 16, 2013

These are my moms favorite flavor! Can’t wait to make them for her!

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jodye @ chocolate & chou fleur January 16, 2013

Anything that has to do with cookie dough (especially in its raw form) immediately gets me drooling. I’ve made many date bars, but never tried to recreate the oh so delicious cookie dough larabar. These bars will definitely be in my snack lineup this week! I wonder if using half pecans and half cashews would work as well?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2013

I can’t see why not. I think any nuts would work as long as you like the flavour. I also made a fun mocha flavour using almonds and hazelnuts….very good as well.

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Anele @ Success Along the Weigh January 16, 2013

It must’ve been in the air because I just made these yesterday sans chocolate chips but with nutmeg and cinnamon. We pop ‘em just before a workout. SO good!

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Miche January 16, 2013

These look mouth-watering yummy! It was just the other day that I was thinking to myself I wanted to experiment making my own Cherry Pie Larabars, and now you’ve posted this delicious looking treat. I can’t wait to try these :)

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paula January 16, 2013

Hello…..
I am just wondering when your cook book is going to be out?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2013

Hi Paula, It’s due out early in 2014…..date TBA. :)

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Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} January 16, 2013

You are NOT alone. I think some of the biggest meals I have happen while I’m hovering over the food processor! Can’t wait to try these, because I LOVE your dark chocolate cherry energy bites.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2013

hah I hear you!

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melissa January 16, 2013

these look yummy- but i’m allergic to nuts and have celiac. with those challenges do you have substitution ideas for me?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2013

Hmm do you think sunflower seeds might work? Obviously, the flavour would change a lot, but it might be worth trying out. or maybe try a mix of seeds like hemp, sesame, sunflower, etc

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Heather January 16, 2013

Well, I know how I’m spending my Sunday afternoon, yum! Dough tasting counts as quality control in my book.

Also, I’ve been on a ball-making frenzy these past couple weeks but I’ve yet to find a good way to transport them. Maybe if I pop them in the freezer they’ll be more durable for travel and not be so ‘sticky’? Thoughts?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2013

I’ve had that problem too. You could always wrap them individually? Maybe in saran wrap? Or pop a ball into one of those tiny salad dressing containers?

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Roseva January 27, 2013

I think the balls work good in a small cupcake paper liner thing! Size of a mini muffin. And, I usually wrap my bars in wax paper, then in a ziploc, and freeze them. This way, the paper comes off easy, and it doesn’t stick to the bag.
I am excited to try these cookie dough larabars. Do they have a strong date taste? I am not crazy over the taste of dates, but if it just adds sweetness, and not tons of flavour, I might give it a whirl!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 27, 2013

Yes I find it has a fairly pronounced date flavour. :) I dont find it overpowering due to the nuts though

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Laura June 28, 2013

Try rolling in unsweetened coconut to help with stickiness and add yum yum.

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Catherine January 16, 2013

Oh my goodness! These look so good!! Everyday I am reminded why I love you blog haha. I will be making these later for sure. The dark chocolate cherry energy balls you made were amazing!! I’ve never had the actual dark chocolate cherry Larabar, but I’m sure your version is better– my fav actual Larabar flavor is the apple pie.

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Herbivore Triathlete January 16, 2013

Homemade Larabars for the win!

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Carley @ OptimisticHealth January 16, 2013

Perfect! I’m looking for an economical way to make granola bars for my husband at work, this’ll do it!

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Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe January 16, 2013

Yes! I adore larabars and have been meaning to make a cookie dough bar, as cookie dough is the best thing ever. :) Can’t wait to try these!

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Kayla @ Lovely Ride January 16, 2013

Such a great idea. They look amazing. I’ll have to try these!

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Wendy J January 16, 2013

Angela, love your web site and recipes! Where do you get your nutrition data from? I’ve tried NutritionData.com but I can’t get it to work on my computers (I think it’s a browser compatibility issue). Keep up the great recipes!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2013

I’ve used Nutrition data in the past, but I’ve been trying caloriecount.about.com for recipes. It seems to be quicker, although I admit the site is very “busy” and a bit confusing to navigate.

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bitt January 16, 2013

It’s good you posted this. Larabar the company has spent money blocking GMO labeling initiatives and I don’t want to support them. Better to make our own!

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Hailey January 16, 2013

Oh my goodness, these look so good! I’ve made them before with cocoa powder, a few chocolate chips, shredded unsweetened coconut, and espresso powder. Soooo good!

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Barb C January 16, 2013

Just made these – love the short ingredient list!!! They are in the freezer and I’m forcing myself to wait the 15 minutes!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks January 16, 2013

Ahhh cookbook recipe testing and being inundated with more food than you can imagine or know what to do with. Well, at least your world is tasty & delicious :)

And these bars look great. Love cookie dough anything as well as homemade nobake bars that are portable. A win on all fronts!

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Hannah January 16, 2013

It’s been almost six months since I left my food processor behind in Australia. My lack of ability to blend dates and nuts into deliciousness is starting to feel physically painful. I actually dreamed about my own chocolate chip cookie dough treats a few nights ago. *rolls eyes* I want yours! Now. ;)

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Mikayla January 16, 2013

My favorite are the cookie dough ones! I’m addicted to cookie dough and can eat it by the spoonful and make a dinner out of it!

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Teri January 16, 2013

Hi

Love your blog! Im trying to go towards a vegan/raw lifestyle and love the inspiration I get from here. Do you post the nutritional information anywhere? m training for a competition and the right combination of macronutrients are essential factors.
Thanks
Teri

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2013

Yup it’s posted at the bottom of the recipe. Enjoy!

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Teri January 17, 2013

Thank you Angela!

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A farmer in the dell January 16, 2013

Yay! This is my favorite Lara bar flavor!!! Thanks for the recipe

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Jennifer January 16, 2013

I like balls better than bars (dirty) because they hold together better and are soooo much easier to assemble. But no matter what the shape, these looks great! I love me so nut/date/chocolate combinations! Easy and YUM!

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Kara January 16, 2013

Just tried Coconut Cream Pie recently – that’s my new fave! Can’t wait to try a few of your homemade versions.

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DG January 16, 2013

What are you feelings on articles like this? http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/16/vegans-stomach-unpalatable-truth-quinoa

It really makes me seriously think about whether or not what I do makes much sense sometimes…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2013

Well, I think the article has a valid point that we should be more conscious of where our food comes from and the impact it has, but it also makes a lot of generalizations. It is possible to eat more locally as a vegan or vegetarian if that is your goal. I always try to support fair-trade businesses when I do buy products from other countries. It’s not a perfect solution by any means, but it’s a step in the right direction and I do think it can make a big difference. It’s troubling to me that this article seems to shame vegetarians and vegans for their diet, especially given the positive effects it has on the environment, health and animals. Many different types of diets can have a large footprint (just think about the social and environmental impacts of factory farmed meat, for example) and I do think we need to be more mindful of this. It’s one of my own goals to be more mindful about where my food comes from and while I try to do this on a regular basis, I admit that I could be doing better. Anyway, thanks for the “food” for thought!

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Ariel January 17, 2013

One thing the article ignores is that many non-veg/vegan foods bear the same “non-local” qualities their animal-free counterparts are criticized for. I also think that if you interest in veganism comes primarily because of concern about cruelty to animals, then you should be true to that.

Food sourcing is extremely complicated – and goes far beyond the one aspect addressed here (corn, for example, not because of food, but alternative energy, is skewing prices). Still, I do think that eating more locally is a fantastic goal – and more easily accomplished than one might think. I try to eat seasonally, and can get most fresh foods from the region I live in the US.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 23, 2013

Not sure if you saw this yet, but there`s an interesting response to the original article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/22/quinoa-bolivian-farmers-meat-eaters-hunger

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