Chocolate Coconut Copycat Bars (homemade Larabars)

Many women of my generation were raised to downplay their achievements. It was considered gauche to toot your own horn. Indeed, quite the opposite: minimizing your accomplishments was somehow admirable, girlish, feminine, which is perhaps why I always notice when my good friend Deanna, a jeweler designer who’s undeniably feminine, admires her own wares and notes how very lovely they are. And they are.

She never comes off as full of herself, simply confident and proud of her work.

Last week, after a third attempt at knocking off Larabars to quench my afternoon chocolate fix in our “10 Days of Real Food” household (where we are eschewing sugar and processed foods), I finally nailed it. I was pleased. And I thought about Deanna …and so got my nerve up to tell you this:

THESE CHOCOLATE COCONUT COPYCAT BARS ARE GOOD.

Really good. Better than Larabars. Cheaper than Larabars. Easy to make. Nourishing. Portable. Chocolatey. Satisfying. Sugar-Free. Gluten-Free. Pretty to look at. Will solve global warming.

Chocolate Coconut Walnut Copycat Bars

I got so excited, I had to indulge my inner Martha Stewart whereby I couldn’t stop with the parchment and twine:

Yes, we’re raising children in a day and age when our every good deed is tweeted or instagrammed , yet our cultural values around modesty remain. What most women — moms especially — do in a single day ┬ábears trumpeting, not minimizing. I don’t want to raise my daughters to be boastful, but I sure do want them to own it when they’ve done something wonderful… and not be shy about sharing it with the world.

5 from 1 vote
Print

Chocolate Coconut Copycat Bars

This is a simple, wholesome bar that requires no cooking and is all made in the food processor. Feel free to experiment with other nuts. You can add a tablespoon or two of chia seeds for an added nutrient boost.
Servings 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 18 pitted medjool dates
  • 2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut , divided
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper so the paper drapes over two sides.
  2. Boil the water. Put the dates in a shallow bowl and pour boiled water over them. Soak for 5 minutes, drain the water and discard. Put the soaked dates in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
  3. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the shredded coconut for topping the bars. Add the remaining coconut, walnuts, almonds, cocoa powder, and salt to the dates in the food processor. Run the processor until the nuts are ground into tiny bits and a sticky dough forms, pulsing as needed.
  4. Dump the dough onto the parchment-lined pan and use your fingers to press it down firmly and evenly, filling out the pan. If it's too sticky, lay parchment under your fingers as you press. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of coconut over the top.
  5. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until firm. Use the two draping sides of parchment to lift the bars out of the pan and set on a cutting board. Use a large knife to cut into 24 bars.
  6. Store at room temperature or in the fridge in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

Comments

01.14.2013 at 5:32 AM #

Stacy @School-Bites.com

I can’t wait to try these! I have been making something similar but with just almonds, no walnuts…and in ball, not bar, form. My 4-year-old and I love the Clif Kit’s Organic chocolate coconut bars but they are almost $2 a pop.

01.14.2013 at 5:32 AM #

katiemorford

Hi Stacy…I know, those bars can be pricey. Larabars are about $2 each as well. These can also be made in ball form and then rolled in coconut.

01.14.2013 at 7:42 AM #

Pamela

yummy~~~i will get the dates, nuts & coconut today. I really like the wrapping too!

01.14.2013 at 8:06 AM #

yunah

these look yummy- i’ve been resigned to larabars as a regular expense item. i’ll be making these this weekend – thanks katie!
y

01.14.2013 at 8:06 AM #

katiemorford

They take 10 minutes, tops, to make (and that includes soaking the dates for 5 minutes).

01.14.2013 at 8:30 AM #

Pam H

Great Job, Katie!!

01.14.2013 at 8:30 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks Pam!

01.14.2013 at 9:47 AM #

Monica

Last night I had a dream where I was going through an obstacle course made entirely of desserts! So I think the Real Food challenge has made it into my psyche and I also think I need to make these Lara Bars. You are amazing and the parchment and twine are too cute!

01.14.2013 at 9:47 AM #

katiemorford

Too funny. Not sure the bars can measure up to a maze of desserts…

01.14.2013 at 4:42 PM #

Mary

Katie, these look delicious! I’d like to try them but don’t own a food processor. I’ve somehow managed to get by all these years with a mixer and blender. Would either of these tools work in substitution? Or do you have any other handy methods to get the same outcome?

01.14.2013 at 4:42 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Mary…hmmmm. The food processor whips the dates into a texture that’s practically a puree. That serves as the sweetener and the glue that holds it all together. I’m not sure a blender will do that, but you could certainly try. Alternatively, you could attempt to mash the softened dates with a mortar and pestle. Separately, finely chop the nuts with a knife. Then, combine the dates, nuts, and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Let me know if you give a try. I’m curious.

01.14.2013 at 7:12 PM #

Pam

Delicious! Now I just have to make a batch on my own…

01.19.2013 at 4:36 PM #

Nicole

I’ve been searching for copycat recipes for these bars and I’m really excited to try it! I’m just a little confused about the dates because I’ve never used them before. Are they dried dates that are soaked in water?

01.19.2013 at 4:36 PM #

katiemorford

Yes, they are dried medjool dates. You split them open to remove the pit. Then, you soak them in hot water so they soften enough to be blended.

01.20.2013 at 3:09 PM #

Liz

I made these this afternoon and they are wonderful! I’ve never had a larabar so can’t compare. And as you said, very quick to mix up. I did not soak the dates as I had fresh medjools direct from CA and they were very moist – so just pitted and threw in the food processor with everything else.

I just toasted some hazelnuts for biscotti and I was tempted to sub the hazelnuts for the walnuts…maybe next time.

01.20.2013 at 3:09 PM #

katiemorford

Toasted hazelnuts with the cocoa sounds delicious. I’m going to try that next time around.

01.28.2013 at 6:37 AM #

Sue

For Mary who doesn’t have a food processor – maybe you could substitute prune puree that comes in a jar in the baking section?

01.28.2013 at 6:37 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks for the tip, Sue. It may not be sticky enough, but may be worth experimenting with.

02.25.2013 at 7:43 PM #

Jennifer

This recipe looks great! Do you think it would also work with toasted or lightly roasted nuts for someone who is allergic to raw nuts?

02.25.2013 at 7:43 PM #

katiemorford

Absolutely. In fact, toasting the nuts will make it even more flavorful.

03.01.2013 at 5:06 AM #

Rich

How long do you think you can store these? Perhaps that will not be an issue because they will go pretty fast but still wondering.

03.01.2013 at 5:06 AM #

katiemorford

They taste best, I think, if you eat them within a week or so.

03.03.2013 at 8:01 PM #

Emily

These look great, but about what weight or volume of dates is it? I have pre-chopped dates because they’re cheaper than whole. Thank you!

03.03.2013 at 8:01 PM #

katiemorford

Good question.I’ll have to get back to you on that one!

03.03.2013 at 8:01 PM #

katiemorford

I planned to test this myself today, but the market had no Medjool dates. So, I did a search and found a story about dates on NPR, a reliable source. According to their recipe, 1 cup of pitted, chopped dates equals 10 to 12 whole Medjools. Hope that helps. Let me know how it goes! FYI: here is the link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15282847

03.10.2013 at 4:18 PM #

Sarah

These were excellent! I used dates that were already soft so I didn’t soak them. Everyone loved them! I will definitely make these again.

03.10.2013 at 4:18 PM #

katiemorford

So glad you like them. I agree, soft dates don’t usually need to be soaked.

03.18.2013 at 9:01 AM #

Karen Varnhagen

Fantastic. Fast, easy delicious. Great for those if us who have a sweet tooth. You’re the best Katie!

03.18.2013 at 9:01 AM #

katiemorford

Great to hear from you Karen! Glad you like the bars.

04.18.2013 at 5:47 PM #

Caroline

These came out perfectly!
One tip: don’t toss the soaking water! I tasted it, and it is delicious. I am now drinking a steaming cup of date-juice water, with cocoa powder. Delicious!

04.18.2013 at 5:47 PM #

katiemorford

Thanks for the tip…wouldn’t have thought of that!

10.09.2013 at 2:13 PM #

alice

Wow! These were amazing! I love Larabars, but these were even better. I didn’t soak the dates- just poured a little water in with everything to make sure they were sticky enough and that worked fine.

10.09.2013 at 2:13 PM #

katiemorford

Great…and thanks for the tip re: adding water instead of soaking. Whatever works!

11.03.2013 at 11:38 AM #

Erin

OMG!! Made these AGAIN for the tenth time!! They are sooooo yummy! I used hazelnuts, walnuts and brazil nuts…and cocoa nibs! These won’t last long! ­čśë

01.01.2014 at 8:04 AM #

crazyfolks8347296.pen.io

This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have foud something that hedlped me.

Thank you!

08.19.2014 at 7:17 AM #

ashly

I made this recipe for the first time. Amazing. I used dark chocolate cocoa. OHHHHHH so good. I did have a little trouble with it being sticky. I think I didn’t count enough dates out but the taste was unbelievable.

08.19.2014 at 7:17 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks Ashly. So glad you like this. Yes, it can be sticky. I sometimes lay a piece of parchment or wax paper down when I’m working with sticky doughs, especially when pressing it into the pan. That may help. Thanks for the comment.

01.29.2015 at 11:16 AM #

Michelle

These are really good! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

04.19.2015 at 2:20 PM #

Catherine

These are SO GOOD!! absolutely better than the store-bought variety. This seems like a dumb question, but how did you cut the batch to get 24 bars? 4×6 works, math-wise, but they seem a lot smaller and not the same shape as the ones pictured. Any advice? Also, do you by any chance have nutritional facts for this recipe? Thanks, again, for sharing this amazing recipe!

04.19.2015 at 2:20 PM #

katiemorford

So glad you liked them. To be honest, you can cut them any size you like. I make them pretty small for kids. I may have sized the ones in the photo a little differently than in the recipe. I don’t have the nutrition facts for this, but Self has a free tool to analyze recipes. You can find it here: http://nutritiondata.self.com/

10.15.2015 at 12:16 PM #

Katherine

I’m so excited to try theses!! Chocolate and coconut with the dates and nuts just tastes so crazy good.

10.15.2015 at 12:16 PM #

katiemorford

My kids are big fans, too!

01.11.2016 at 9:11 PM #

suzi

These are delicious and while on Whole30, I really needed something!! Mine didn’t stick together very well, however. Perhaps my medjool dates were different? I soaked and drained them, everything else was identical, except perhaps my coconut was finely shredded unsweetened. I may add a little more dates next time, or perhaps I should add some almond butter or coconut oil? They were sticky but still a little “mealy” for lack of better word. My walnuts were toasted. Almonds were raw whole.

01.11.2016 at 9:11 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Suzi

That’s a little bit of a mystery since it sounds like you did everything a-okay. One thought is that medjool dates can be so variable in size and juiciness. Maybe try adding another one or two next time and see if that makes a difference. A little almond butter in a pinch might do the trick too. Thanks for the comment. Feedback is helpful! And congrats on doing Whole30. That’s not easy. x, Katie

01.29.2016 at 10:18 AM #

Judith Ruffino

Do the dried fruits still have sulfites? Sulfites usually give me headaches so have shied away from them.

01.29.2016 at 10:18 AM #

katiemorford

Hi Judith, It is my understand that foods containing detectable amounts of added sulfites must be labeled accordingly, so I would recommend having a look at the label for your dates before you buy them. You might have the best luck buying organic medjool dates.

06.20.2016 at 2:04 PM #

Kristin

So delicious! Better than the original! I only jade 12 dates so I added some raisins and a little coconut oil. Turned out wonderfully! Thanks!

06.20.2016 at 2:04 PM #

Kristin

*had. Not jade. Whoops!

06.20.2016 at 2:04 PM #

katiemorford

Oh good! This is definitely a recipe you can tinker with and your adjustments sound delicious.

11.20.2016 at 2:30 AM #

CT

Made these. Really yummy! I did add some crasins to the mix though (not a huge amount, you can’t really taste them. I tried it before I added them.) However, I would run the nuts first to get them ground up before adding the dates.

11.20.2016 at 2:30 AM #

katiemorford

This is definitely a recipe you can play with. I toss dried cherries in there sometimes too. Thanks for the comment.

01.06.2017 at 10:40 AM #

Lori

I added some Vegan Smart Protein powder so that these could be used as a meal replacement in a crunch. They are GOOD! Thanks for the recipe! Surviving a huge list of food intolerances is getting easier by the day!

01.06.2017 at 10:40 AM #

katiemorford

Sounds like a smart addition. Food intolerances can be really challenging, but I do think it can get easier with time and experimentation in the kitchen. Good luck to you.

02.22.2017 at 7:04 AM #

.

These are really good! I actually like them more than the store brand and they’re quick and easy to make too! I’ll definitley try these again!

02.22.2017 at 7:04 AM #

katiemorford

That makes me so happy! Thanks for sharing.

04.01.2018 at 1:43 PM #

Linda

Wow! I love these bars! I thought I’d try a 1/2 recipe in my Nutribullet since I don’t have a food processor. It worked fine. I added a tsp or so of water to help the ingredients blend up better. I had to use a spoon to mix the cocao powder in a little more at the end. I used Macadamia nuts and almonds. Yum! Thanks for the recipe­čśÇ

04.01.2018 at 1:43 PM #

katiemorford

Terrific. Love the idea of using macadamia nuts

05.11.2019 at 7:47 PM #

Christine

Can these bars be frozen?

05.11.2019 at 7:47 PM #

katiemorford

Yes, they freeze well!

Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *