I don't know if it's fair to call this a recipe...at best, it's more like a work-in-progress. At worst, it's me throwing random things into a food processor. But I wanted to share with you my first Larabar attempt.
Let me start by saying that the hardest part was finding dates. Which sounds like something I would have said in high school. Or college, for that matter. :) But I finally found them at Meijer over the weekend. (Hint: Use pitted, not chopped.)
So, all I did was throw a handful of dates (6-8) into the food processor, followed by a small handful of almonds. Then the fruit. And some spice if you're feeling adventurous. I put the mixture into a pan for individual brownie squares, so I baked them on low heat (no more than 300 degrees) to dry them out.
My first batch was apple. I added 3-4 apple slices with some cinnamon and nutmeg. This one turned out to be the best consistency (thick), and tasted great!
My second batch was carrot cake. I had a few leftover vanilla-flavored almonds, then added carrots and cinnamon. Not bad, but the consistency was not to my liking. Too crunchy. But not awful. I just have a thing about textures.
My last batch -- otherwise known as my favorite batch -- was chocolate strawberry. Strawberries, cocoa, and just the tiniest bit of sugar to balance out the cocoa. I didn't think about the strawberries being so much juicier than the first two batches, so they stayed in the oven longer because the mixture was so moist. But definitely the best tasting.
I would say I used a little more dates than almonds, which after looking the Larabar packaging again, probably should have been reversed, or at least even. The dates made my bars just a little too sweet, so cutting back on them would improve the flavor. I'm also thinking that if I make a batch that's too moist, adding some oats might be a good way to make it thicker.
One good thing with these bars is the batches I make turn out small -- each batch made about 8 squares. So if I mess up a batch, I don't feel all that bad about it.