Cashew Candy Bars

January 16th, 2010 at 2:02 pm
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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!

Comments

  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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