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Peanut Butter Cookie Nickbar vegetarian snack peanut butterless gluten free breakfast

I used to be a chunky peanut butter fan but once I discovered Trader Joe’s brand, I fell in love with their creamy style. It’s so creamy and runny and perfectly salted that chunky just couldn’t compare. I tried Trader Joe’s chunky and was unimpressed. But then I read an article from AOL Food which blindly tasted 20 different peanut butters and named Whole Foods brand crunchy peanut butter as their #1 rated peanut butter. I didn’t believe it could be the best but naturally I had to try it. The Whole Foods brand is 365 and their crunchy peanut butter is a force to be reckoned with. This natural peanut butter is perfectly salted and has an wonderful and slightly sweet roasted peanut taste. The creaminess between the chunks is the perfect consistency and as a bonus this peanut butter needs minimal mixing. When I bought it there was no oil separation and has yet to separate like other natural peanut butters. The price? $1.69 for an 18 oz jar which beats the already low price of Trader Joe’s brand peanut butter.

That almond above? That is a Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered almond dipped in sea salt and turbinado sugar. To break that down for you, it’s an almond covered in a rich dark chocolate with large crystals of sugar for an extra burst of sweetness in addition to large crystals of salt for that sweet/salty combo. The reason it’s the main picture is mainly because it looks more appetizing than the Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar. The other reason is that they are absolutely delicious. I love gourmet and artisan dark chocolate bars but I always reach for these almonds first because each one is like a meal, it has every flavor you could want in such a small package. Buy a package of these, you will not be disappointed.

Last but not least is the Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar itself. I was informed by VeggieGirl of this upcoming flavor in the popular Larabar lineup. I finally found one but was a little disappointed by the ingredients: dates, peanuts, salt. This was supposed to taste like a peanut butter cookie? I liked the simple and unprocessed nature of the bar but I was hoping for it to live up to the name. But after tasting it I was impressed. For only containing 3 ingredients, this was a pretty tasty bar reminiscent of a peanut butter cookie. And why shouldn’t it be? The basic ingredients are the same as my Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies minus the egg. But I wouldn’t recommend that you go out and spend $1.60 for 51g of chopped dates and peanuts. What I do suggest is to follow my copycat recipe for the Larabar in what can only be called the Peanut Butter Cookie Nickbar. Using the nutrition facts and weight of the bar I was able to calculate 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.

Ingredients:Peanut Butter Cookie Nickbar vegetarian snack peanut butterless gluten free breakfast Print Peanut Butter Cookie Nickbar vegetarian snack peanut butterless gluten free breakfast Save

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 whole soft dates (Barhee, Halawy, Khadrawy or Medjool type)

Instructions:

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:

Note: I bought the dates pre-chopped and they were a bit drier and did not chop up finely enough in the food processor. This ultimately made mixing the ingredients impossible, so I had to process the mixture together resulting in the peanuts grinding to more of a peanut paste which held the bar together instead of the dates. The end product looks different and has a different texture than the real Larabar but the taste is almost identical. Avoid this by buying fresh dates which are moister and will better process into a paste.

And finally, here is a picture of the Nickbar. Like I said, it’s not that pretty to look at, but that is partially due to over-processing the peanuts in the food processor. Below that, I’ve included the nutrition facts for the Larabar which has been mimicked by the Nickbar.

Peanut Butter Cookie Nickbar vegetarian snack peanut butterless gluten free breakfast

Peanut Butter Cookie Nickbar vegetarian snack peanut butterless gluten free breakfast

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

13 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.
    http://thefoodmonsterblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Chocolate

    -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.

    “Doc”

  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!

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