After dealing with a moody little lion for most of the weekend, I decided it would be best to keep him occupied and engage him in a little project. Since we were fresh out of lion bars, I decided to put that ferociousness to work and engage him in a little help around the kitchen. As crazy as this little dude can be, I will say he loves nothing more than to help. He loves cleaning up toys, unloading the dishwasher, feeding our dog George…If I want good behaviour from him, it sometimes happens when I involve him in things. Not always…just sometimes. Who are we kidding…toddlers are like honey badgers and honey badgers don’t care..especially whether you want them to behave.
The other great thing about this flavour of Lion Bar is that it’s chocolate peanut butter and that’s pretty much my religion…well, that and the goonies.
First things first…when you got a kid that is bat shit crazy most of the time…prep is key. I had to get my station prepared before that little goober woke up from his nap cuz I knew there would be no way that he would have the patience to watch while I measure out my ingredients. Again…honey badger don’t care…honey badger wants to help NOW. There have seriously been times where I have caught myself uttering the words: “If this was Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen, he would have called you a Donkey and told you to GET OUT!!…FOCUS” Truth be told, I really just wasn’t in the mood for utter and total chaos so I thought I would take care of this step.
Next I set up my equipment, my food processor, the bowls of prepped ingredients and the lion’s trusty step stool. After pushing my buttons all day, he now gets to push buttons that are actually useful. Next, I get him in to position and set the stage for the moody little kitchen rules…1) Listen to Mama’s instructions 2) Don’t touch anything unless Mama asks you to
First Pulse the nuts (peanuts and almonds) in a food processor. This always makes the lion jump and giggle because its super loud and it ALWAYS catches him off guard, even though we make these like once a week. I think it’s hilarious and super cute. You want the nuts to be ground in to a courser looking flour but still pretty fine. If you want more texture to your lion bars, don’t pulse them as much.
I had the lion do this and he lost a few nuts in the process. The good thing is that we operate on the 5 second rule in our house so we were all good!
Next add the rest of your ingredients
Let this pulse until the mixture forms a big ball and basically starts to go all ‘house of pain’ and start jumping around. This normally takes a few minutes.
Remove from the food processor and press in to a square baking pan until its even spread out. I use one of those silicon baking pans cuz it’s easy to remove at the end.
Next take a pastry roller or if you don’t have one like me, just use a cup and roll along the pan to create a more flat and smooth surface. Lightning McQueen seems to do the trick for us!!
Now place in your fridge for a few hours to harden so they will cut in to bars a lot easier. (At least 2-3 hours) I have even left mine in overnight and cut them up the next day.
Next remove from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut in to bars of your desired size. I made 10 bars out of this batch.
Wrap them up and you got yourself some snacks for this week’s lunch! High Fives all around!!
Look how proud this little goober was when he made them???
Chocolate Peanut Butter- Lion Bars
Makes about 10 bars
- 18 Medjool Dates (Pits removed)-Approximately 2 cups
- 1 1/2 cup peanuts
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (you can use less if you don’t want them too sweet or too chocolatey) *You can replace with carob chips if you want to make this vegan/gluten free.
- 1 Tbsp of natural peanut butter (I use Adams Brand)
*Food Processor is required for this recipe
- First pulse the nuts in to a fine almost course flour using a food processor.
- Next add dates, chocolate chips and peanut butter
- Pulse until everything is well mixed and your ingredients form a ball in the food processor and almost start to jump around a bit in the bowl.
- Remove the clump of ingredients from the food processor and press in to a square cake pan until evenly spread out.
- Use a roller or cup to roll across the mixture in the pan to smooth it out a bit.
- Place in fridge for a few hours to set
- Cut in to bars (you get 10)
- Either Individually wrap each one in plastic wrap or place bars in an air tight container
*This will last in your fridge for about 3-4 weeks. Mine never actually last that long.
so that was really just nuts crushed? not sure i can do dates can we use anything else?
If you aren’t allergic…seriously try the dates Lynda!! You can barely taste them and they add such a great texture. If you do have a food sensitivity, then I would suggest using dried figs or raisins as a substitute. Hope that helps 🙂