My husband has been referring to me as "Pete Schweddy" this evening on account of my delicious, chocolate balls...But joking aside, of the 16 I made, zero remain. This is HUGE praise from S, as his reaction is usually lukewarm to sweets (he much prefers salty snacks).
Many of you have probably had a Larabar or two by now. These bars are delicious...but they hurt...deep in the pocketbook. At as much as $3 a pop, I can afford to eat about 1/2 a Larabar a month, which is simply not enough. This had me scouring their website in an effort to make a version of my very own. The Cherry Pie flavour seemed to speak to me, but then so did the Chocolate Coconut Chew...uh oh! A dilemma! Naturally I decided to try to make both...in one.
I know the basic Larabar principle is equal-ish parts of all ingredients. I watched a few Youtube versions and then I was on my way.
Here's what I came up with:
-1 cup pitted dates, chopped (be sure to purchase pitted...sadly I overlooked this detail)
-1 cup dried, unsweetened cherries, roughly chopped
-1 cup raw almonds, chopped
-2 tbsp + 2 tsp cocoa or carob powder (unsweetened)
-1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
-1-2 tsp cinnamon (optional...I didn't use as I forgot)
-In a food processor, process pitted dates and dried cherries together into a paste. I added 1-2 tbsp of water to loosen the consistency...you could also use any oil you have on hand.
-Put processed dates and cherries into a medium-sized bowl.
-In the same bowl of the food processor (no need to wash...it's all going to mix together in the end) pulse the almonds until they are very finely chopped. Some of mine were almost a flour consistency while the rest were slightly more chunky. It's good to have a variation in texture, but don't process for too long, or you'll wind up with almond butter...not that that's a bad thing ;)
-Put the almonds, cocoa and coconut into the same bowl as the dates and knead until well combined. Tip: Wet hands make the dough easier to work with.
-Shape into bars or, as I did, balls. Use about 1/4 cup of the mixture for the bars and about 2 tbsp for the balls. You could even roll them in coconut or cocoa to finish.
I chose to roll the ingredients into balls after trying the little bouchées at one of my favourite raw, vegan, macrobiotic restaurants Kale Eatery. If you're ever in my 'hood...and you're into that kind of thing, give it a go. It's really, really good!