No, they don't look very appetizing, but let me tell you - these are RIDICULOUSLY GOOD. Do they taste almost exactly like their "Larabar" counterpart? Yes. Do they taste like a cookie? Absolutely yes. Do they have any added sugar or flour? Nope, not even a little. Can I eat just one? Ahh, no. I go for at least 3 every time I touch the container they are in.
The kids love them, my picky husband likes them, and they only contain 3 ingredients. However, after much trial and error with these types of energy balls, I have discovered two very important things:
1.) Dates Matter. You can't buy a package of Sunmaid dates and think you will get the same end product as you would with a fresh package of soft, Medjool dates. I bought mine at BJ's (and they were grown without the use of pesticides - added bonus!) Fresh Medjool dates give these a crazy soft, delicious texture, and they stick together and stay together without any problem.
2.) Cashews make for a lovely texture and taste. They are not as hard as almonds, and not as overpowering taste-wise as sunflower seeds or peanuts.
These are now a staple in my grain-free snack repertoire. Do yourself a favor and reach for one of these instead of a chocolate-chip cookie the next time that craving hits!
COPYCAT Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough "Larabar" Bites
20 Medjool dates
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Blend the dates by themselves in a food processor until they clump together. Remove the dates from food processor, place them in a mixing bowl, and then add the cashews and chocolate chips to the food processor. Process until crumbs form. Add the cashew/chocolate chip mixture to the dates in the mixing bowl and mix together with slightly wet hands (to avoid the mixture sticking to your hands). Once the ingredients are well incorporated, roll into bite-sized balls. Place in an airtight container in the fridge. Will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but chances are they won't be around that long!
This recipe yields approximately 40 to 50 bite-sized energy balls.