Who doesn’t love Trader Joe’s? That almond above is a Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered almond dipped in sea salt and turbinado sugar. They’re insanely good, but dangerously addictive. You’ve been warned. I show you this picture because it looks more appetizing than the recipe I’m about to share. Larabar released a Peanut Butter Cookie flavor a few years ago. I was excited to try it but a little disappointed by the ingredients: dates, peanuts, salt. That’s it? I liked the simple and unprocessed nature of the bar but I wasn’t sure it would live up to the name. But after tasting it I was impressed. For only containing 3 ingredients, this bar was tasty and fairly reminiscent of a peanut butter cookie. However, I wouldn’t recommend that you go out and spend $1.50 for 51 grams of chopped dates and peanuts. What I do suggest is to follow my copycat recipe, called the Peanut Butter Cookie Nickbar. Using the nutrition facts and weight of the bar I was able to reverse engineer the precise quantity of ingredients necessary to concoct this energy bar. I’ve provided two methods below to measure out the ingredients so you can get the perfect ratio.


By Weight:

78g roasted unsalted peanuts
75g whole dates, chopped
pinch of salt

Or By Volume:

3/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup chopped dates (buy them whole, chop them yourself)
pinch of salt

* Note: Make sure to buy soft whole dates (Barhee, Halawy, Khadrawy or Medjool type)


1. If measuring by volume make sure your dates are chopped before you measure out 1/2 cup. If measuring by weight, coarsely chop the dates before or after weighing them, it doesn’t matter (The Law of Mass Conservation, remember?).

2. Process the dates in a food processor until a fine paste is achieved and pour into a bowl. Process the peanuts and salt until you get small chunks, this should only take a few seconds. Add the peanuts/salt to the bowl and mix together with your hands until well mixed. If the mixture is not sticking together, pour the mixture back into the food processor until it starts to clump together on its own (and see note below).

3. Shape into 3 equal bars, surround in plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

Additional Info:

Here is a picture of the Nickbar. Like I said, it’s not that pretty to look at, but it looks and tastes JUST like the Larabar version. Below that, I’ve included the nutrition facts for the Larabar which has been mimicked by the Nickbar.

Filed in Breakfast, Gluten Free, Peanut Butterless, Snack, Vegetarian

14 Responses / Leave a comment »

  1. Anne says:

    That’s amazing!

    I love lara bars, but the peanut butter cookie flavour has yet to appear in Canada.

    I’m going to make some peanut butter nickbars this afternoon!

    thanks for the recipe

  2. VeggieGirl says:

    Congratulations on the upcoming interview!!

    HOORAY!!! I’m glad that you like the Peanut Butter Cookie flavor Larabar :0) And I LOVE your “Nickbar,” haha!! So fun and delicious-sounding.

  3. Leslie says:

    Kuddos on your upcoming interview!
    God I wish I had a Trader Joes in Tampa..but there arent any In Florida at all! Love your site!

  4. giz says:

    WTG Nick – should we be expecting you in dark glasses soon? Should I ask for an autograph now? Just a jar of that 365 will do for now :). Great accomplishment. That lara bar looks pretty decent to me, but then so does anything and everything peanut butter.

  5. My Sweet & Saucy says:

    Congrats! These little gems look so delicious!

  6. The Food Monster says:

    Congrats on the interview. I also love Trader Joe’s Creamy, and the Dark Chocolate Almonds are a staple in my house. I blogged about it and have a photo if you would like to see my talented food photographer in action.

    -The Food Monster

  7. RecipeGirl says:

    Mmmmm…. looks great! I’ll have to try out the whole food pb. Never thought of picking it up when I’m there!

  8. girlfriend says:

    your the cutest nick bar their is

  9. Dee says:

    Hey, congrats on the interview! Great recipe too. I’ve never had lara bars and the nearest trader’s joe is thousands of miles away but I’m certainly trying this.

    Thanks for the ad tips, by the way :)

  10. Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor" says:

    Hey Nick

    Yes, the 365 from Whole Foods is incredible. I just started using it, and can’t resist diving in during the day for a mouthful of snacking goodness. It is de-lish.


  11. ttfn300 says:

    Hadn’t tried the 365 pb yet, but i’ll have to get on that. I did just finish my trader joe’s jar!

    And those bars–can’t wait to make me some of those!! Did you use regular dates or Medjool? I just tried the latter for the first time a couple weeks ago and WOW!

    Last but not least, congrats :)

  12. Nick says:

    Anne, Let me know how they are/were!

    Veggiegirl, Thanks! Yes the bar surprised me, you’ll have to try making it if you enjoyed it, it’s so much cheaper.

    Leslie, Thank you!

    Giz, I’ve already got the glasses, now I just need for Emiril to retire.

    The Food Monster, I had a feeling I wasn’t the only one obsessed with those things.

    RecipeGirl, I had never thought of it either, I usually shy away from “store brands” but then again, my favorite brand is TJ’s brand!

    Girlfriend, Thanks babe, but you used the wrong form of “their” =).

    Dee, Neither had I, they’re very simple but quite tasty. I just wouldn’t want to pay $1.60 for them again.

    Doc, Haha, the good old spoon method, always a great way to get your peanut butter fix.

    ttfn300, I actually used a box of chopped dates and it didn’t say what kind. Go with the whole Medjool’s and cut em up!

  13. Katrina says:

    I’ve been loving making all kinds of goodies with dates lately. I learned my lesson a few years ago to always chop dates before throwing them in the food processor. Even if they say pitted–there is almost always one pit hiding in every cup of dates. Could not figure out why my fp was so loud. Just about killed the poor thing. Love the name Nickbar. Lara who? ;) And WHY can I not picture these without a little chocolate in there somewhere?

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