Copycat PayDay Bars… Date-sweetened!

Okay all you candy fans out there. If you really gotta have your PayDay fix, then these bars will SATISFY! I'm not a big sweets or candy person myself, but I do enjoy a healthy dessert once in a while. I did use lightly salted peanuts for these. Not sure how they would taste using unsalted (they wouldn't be as authentic), but you could give it a go if you prefer.

I've been wanting to try these out for quite a while and I'm very happy with the outcome. As far as being a true copycat, well, they're not exactly the same… while the center has a fabulous caramel taste, it's not sticky and stretchy like caramel. But your teeth and your dentist will thank you! These "candy" bars are fun to make, although it can be a bit tedious pushing all those peanuts onto the logs. If you have children, let them help! I'm sure it would be a fun kitchen project. I realized, halfway through, that using peanut HALVES is much easier than trying to push whole peanuts onto the logs and having them keep falling out :)

  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • 1½ cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 TBS ground flax seeds
  • 2 TBS raw cashew butter
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 TBS water
  • ½ pound lightly-salted, roasted peanuts (Trader Joe's has some good peanuts that are always fresh and not too salty)

  1. Place all ingredients, except the water and the peanuts into a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the water, a bit at a time, until you have a thick paste that sticks together well and isn't too wet. This will be your center.
  2. Refrigerate for a few hours. It's easier to handle when cool.
  3. Portion the "dough" and shape into candy bar-sized logs. I used a scant 3 TBS per bar.
  4. Press peanut halves into the logs all the way around, and shape into bars.
  5. That's it!
  6. Refrigerate in a sealed container or plastic ziplock to store.

Makes 8-10 bars, depending on the size you make them.

Healthy, happy Superbowl watching!

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