1 cup almonds
1 to 1 1/2 cups pitted dates (we’re currently using Deglet Noor, but for previous batches we used Medjool — both work well)
1 tablespoon espresso powder or finely ground coffee beans
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons dairy-free chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cherries (optional)
water if needed
Pulse all ingredients (except water) in food processor, until everything is in uniform “crumbs”.
If mixture is too dry to hold together (depending on moisture content of your dates), dribble in water, a tablespoon at a time.
Process a few seconds and test again.
Stir and process further if you prefer finer-textured bars.
Transfer to plastic-lined cutting board and press into a rectangle about 4″ x 6″ and about 1/2 inch thick.
Cut with a sharp knife into bars or squares.
Wrap individually in parchment if packing for snacks or lunches.
Almond-Coated Squares: — Cut into bite-sized squares and coat carefully in almond flour.
For Adults Only Brandy Laraballs: Instead of adding water, dribble in 2-4 tablespoons brandy and process until mixture is fine and smooth. Take 1 1/2 teaspoons of the mixture and roll in your hands, then dust or coat with cocoa powder, cinnamon, or almond flour (or a combination of these), or drizzle with melted dark chocolate.