Cashew Candy Bars

January 16th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

I feel like such a hypocrite.

Yesterday, the day that I talked all about the common sweet tooth and how to kick it, I myself got a hankering for something sweet that just wouldn’t go away. It hit me after lunch. I tried the water-drinking technique that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. Warning: that trick doesn’t work every time! I mentioned that it works 90% of the time for me…well, today must have fallen in the other 10% because it certainly did nothing to scatter my craving for sweets.

The more I tried not to think about a shard of chocolate or a crumb of a cookie, the worse it got. At about 2 o’clock, I’d had it. I marched up the stairs and pulled out my food processor, determined to make myself a healthy, gluten-free, sugar-free candy bar. Inspired by the Lara Bar concept, I set to work with a few dates and some cashews hoping to eek out a treat that would satisfy my sweet tooth guiltlessly. To my surprise, the result did just that.

After testing one of the candy bars (and enjoying every succulent bite), I was amazed at how similar it tasted to the Cashew Cookie flavored Lara Bar. I’m not a numbers girl, but curiosity sent me to my calculator to do a little price comparison between a homemade “Lara Bar” and a store-bought one. Here’s what I found: at my local grocery store, one bar costs $1.75. One homemade bar comes in at approximately $0.75.  Now how’s that for a deal?! 

You’ll find the recipe for Cashew Candy Bars below. The recipe yields 2 bars, but I will be doubling or tripling this the next time I make them because I want lots on hand! I imagine they would keep for about 5-7 days in the refrigerator, but I doubt they will ever last that long in my house.

I’m sure there are a gazillion variations that a creative cook could make of these, and I’ll definitely be trying out some of them soon. If you happen to whip up a tasty twist on this recipe, be sure to share it here in a comment!

Cashew Candy Bars – Makes 2

3 tbs. raw cashews (about 1 1/2 oz.)

2 dates, pitted and roughly chopped (about 2 oz.)

Place cashews in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Process until finely ground like a powder. Add dates and process until very finely “pasted” and incorporated into the cashews—about 25-35 seconds.

Divide dough into two equal portions. Shape each into a long, rectangular bar and chill in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes until firm. Wrap each bar tightly in plastic wrap or store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to eat.


Heads Up: on Tuesday, January 19, I will be starting a five-week series of posts called “5 Pantry Essentials.” Every Tuesday for five weeks, I will post a different ingredient that’s an essential staple to stock in your pantry. Posts will cover nutritional highlights, what makes the ingredient so essential, and suggestions for using it. Of course, I will feature a recipe showcasing the ingredient as well.

So stay tuned. You won’t want to miss this exciting series filled with great nutrition info, cooking tips, and tasty recipes!


  1. Oh yum! I love cashews and dates so this sounds perfect =D.

  2. I just found your blog and am glad I did!

    Love Lara bars – hate the price though. I can’t believe how simple this recipe is. Do you think dried cranberries or raisins would be moist enough to work?

  3. simplysavory said on January 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    PostCollegeCook — you could certainly give cranberries and raisins a try! To keep the bars moist, you might want to use a combo of dates with the other dried fruits. I’ve done this in the past with cranberry-pecan date balls and it worked well. Good luck!

  4. Mary Klecker said on August 30, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I just made these for Sarah, and they are delicious! :) I put them in a little box labeled “Sarahbars.” (She really likes larabars, too!) Thanks!

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