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Chocolate Brownie Fruit & Nut Bars (Homemade Larabars)

Chocolate Brownie Fruit and Nut Bars are so quick and easy to make. Five simple ingredients turn into the most deliciously sweet (with no added sugar!), fudgy, good-for-you snack. Brownies beware!
Prep Time10 mins
Refrigeration Time (Optional)1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 8 Bars
Calories: 190kcal
Author: Michelle | Now Cook This!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pitted dates, about 1½ cups
  • 5 ounces walnuts, about 1 cup
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, optional

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture is very finely chopped and moist enough to hold together to form bars. TO TEST: Squeeze some of the mixture in your hand and see if it holds together. If it does, you are ready to form the bars. If it is too dry and crumbly, process a little longer and retest (note: the mixture tends to get more moist the longer you process it). If the mixture is still too dry, add water, ½ teaspoon at a time (you don't want them to get too wet), and process until the mixture reaches the desired consistency.
  • Line a bread pan with wax paper or parchment paper, leaving some extra come up the sides of the pan so you can easily lift the bars out of the pan. Pour the mixture into the pan and press it down firmly until it is very compact and holds together.
  • Cover the pan and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour, then cut into 8 squares or long bars. 
  • To store: wrap each bar in plastic wrap. They don't have to be refrigerated, but keeping them in the refrigerator keeps them firmer and they hold their shape better.

Recipe Notes

  • You could shape the bars by hand if you'd like rather than using a pan. You could even roll them into balls instead of making bars.
  • If you're in a hurry, you could cut the bars immediately instead of refrigerating them first, although they might be just a little more difficult to work with because they will be softer. You could also place them in the freezer for about a half an hour to firm them up a little before cutting.
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