A Sweet Date: Homemade Larabar Bites

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and my favorite part of the holiday is having an excuse to make lots of sweets. Not that you need an excuse to make homemade Larabars, but this bite-sized combination of dark chocolate, dates, and almonds is sure to win your Valentine’s heart. If you like energy bars but dislike how much they cost, this recipe is an easy way to whip up a homemade version for a fraction of the cost. I adapted a recipe from Foodie With Family to make these cute little hearts and some regular bars too.

Homemade Larabar BitesMakes four dozen bites or 20 bars

1.5 cups whole roasted almonds (unsalted)
3/4 cup chopped, high quality dark chocolate
3 cups whole, pitted Medjool dates, divided
2 tablespoons almond butter

Line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper, leaving generous edges hanging over the sides. A straight-edge pan will produce bars or hearts with a more uniform thickness, but a rounded-edge pan is fine too. Set pan aside while you prepare the bar mixture.

Process almonds in the food processor until they are very finely chopped. Add chocolate and process until evenly mixed, then put in a medium bowl and set aside.

Process 1.5 cups of dates until they turn into a paste. It may form a big clump (like when making pizza dough in the food processor). If the paste is too lumpy, separate it into smaller pieces and continue to process. When the paste is smooth, add one tablespoon of almond butter and half of the chocolate-almond meal, or about 1.5 cups.

Process these ingredients together until they form an evenly mixed paste. Remove from the food processor and spread in the lined baking pan so it forms a 1/2-inch thick bar over about half of the pan’s surface.

Repeat food processor steps with the remaining 1.5 cups of dates and the chocolate-almond mixture. Finish covering the 9×13″ pan with this mixture, and fold edges of parchment paper over the bar. Use a flat, heavy object to press down on the bars to smooth the mixture. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

When you are ready to cut bite-sized shapes, remove the mixture from the refrigerator. Use the parchment paper to pull the whole slab out of the baking pan and transfer to a cutting board. I used a miniature heart cookie cutter from Sur La Table to make about four dozen bites. The mixture may start to stick to the cookie cutter as you go, but you can always put the bar mixture back in the refrigerator to harden for 15 minutes, then continue cutting. Store bites in a sealed container, ideally in the refrigerator if you want to eat them over the course of a few days or a week.

Happy Valentine's Day!


About Humble Foodie

While we both love to eat well, life as AmeriCorps volunteers doesn’t afford us the budget to try every new restaurant and type of cuisine. With many post-graduate expenses and limited financial resources, what’s a foodie to do? The answer is here, at The Humble Foodie. Instead of spending our hard-earned cash paying other people to cook for us, we’re spending as frugally as possible making delicious meals at home.
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9 Responses to A Sweet Date: Homemade Larabar Bites

  1. emily says:

    i cannot wait for these to arrive in the mail!

    • Of course Valentine! Do you want bars or bites? The bars might do better in the mail in terms of crumbling or drying out.

      • emily says:

        BARS. sorry i am demanding. it’s just that no one else wants to make me treats because everyone else hates me being [the world’s worst] vegan. you are the best.

  2. Lizzie says:

    These look awesome! What a great idea to make your own energy bars/bites!

  3. Jess says:

    I’m really sad; I eat Larabars because I’m chock full of allergies/intolerances and they cater to that. My friends directed me here thinking I could eat these, but putting chocolate and almond butter in removes the best part of a Larabar (few ingredients, little processing). The name on this recipe is very misleading.

    • Hi Jess, I’m sorry this recipe doesn’t work for your dietary needs. All Larabars are made from a base of dates and up to nine ingredients, but the different ingredients that go into them vary by the flavor profile, like Cashew Cookie, Cherry Pie, or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and some do contain nuts and/or chocolate. The ingredients here are almonds (that’s it, in the nuts and the almond butter), dates, and chocolate (you can buy Enjoy Life brand if you want dairy- or soy-free), which makes for a pretty simple recipe!

      There are many recipes online for different flavors of Larabar, so if you have specific restrictions and there is one flavor that you like and works for you, I’d recommend searching for that type specifically to see if someone has posted a recipe you can enjoy!

    • Here are a few sites with more flavors of Larabar recipes- maybe one would work for you? I haven’t tried them but they definitely look delicious!



  4. MeMee says:

    I can’t imagine having any less processed ingredients than what are in this recipe — thank you for posting!!!

  5. ajsegal says:

    i’ve made the living crunchy ones and they rock. great blog… looks like we share two passions (writing and cooking). cheers! ali

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