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Chocolate Cookie Dough Product Review

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The other day, when I spotted the new Larabar flavors at the store—chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate chip brownie, carrot cake, and peanut butter chocolate chip—my hand involuntarily reached out to snatch them.


(Well, I only got these two, so I did manage to not buy all the newest Larabar flavors.)


I love to make my own Homemade Cookie Dough Larabars, where I can put in extra-dark chippies and use whatever nuts I want (sometimes I like using almonds in place of the cashews). But then again, isn’t homemade always better?

As far as packaged bars go, I thought the cookie dough was Larabar’s best flavor yet!  But the brownie bar was seriously lacking in the chocolatey department. Jocalats are much richer. I ended up giving the rest of the brownie bar to my dad (who really would eat anything!) and took all of 5 seconds to make myself a different snack:


Homemade Peanut Butter Larabars

Question of the Day:

Have you ever tried making your own Homemade Larabars?

If so, what’s your favorite flavor? If not, you really should try; it’s super-simple, quick, and much less expensive than buying pre-packaged bars. Plus, you get to make up your own flavors! Best part!!

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. ruby red says:

    I agree with you, although I liked the Choc Chip Brownie more out of those two. I love their Cashew Cookie flavor, so I don’t know what went so horribly wrong with the C. C. C. Dough! Part of the problem is it just doesn’t fresh – it has this “old” taste (even though they are brand new flavors!). I think homemade is the best way to go for these flavors! Low-quality chocolate ruins everything, even if they did use fair trade, taste matters too!

    Can’t wait to hear more about the guy adventures! Oooooh la la!

  2. Yes yes! I make homemade Lara bars, except in England, they’re homemade Nakd bars (Nakd do bars that are very similar to Larabars, which we don;t have here). I love them! It’s nice to gfive them my own flavours :)

    1. Frankie says:

      yay! thanks britchickruns – i’m in england too and have been wondering what this seemingly ubiquitous and essential larabar was “in english”!

      As for putting something like this together myself, I semi-accidentally picked up carob powder whilst shopping today. Is this gonna be any use, anyone?! :S

      1. Hmmm… I don’t know much about carob powder. Maybe you could use it like cocoa powder? Try googling “recipes with carob powder.”

  3. I hate to admit it, but I’ve never had a Larabar!!! I know, I know, where have I been?! I’ll have to try one, so I can see if my homemade ones are similar! :)

  4. Ilana says:

    I haven’t tried the new laras yet but when I heard about them I thought they were so superfluous because of Jocolat bars! Whatever, yours look WAY better! PB+B=Elvis!!! Love it!

    1. The chocolate Jocalats are so good that I really wonder why they even TRIED to improve upon them! Boredom?

  5. Meg says:

    I don’t buy larabars anymore because I agree that homemade ones taste sooo much better! I’m glad you reviewed the new flavors because I contemplated buying them yesterday. I’m gonna trust your judgement and stick to making my own! (It helps that making your own is so much cheaper, too!!)

    1. Definitely make your own! Especially where the cookie dough ones are concerned. They really do taste… stale :(

  6. Krystina says:

    I’ve made my own before because spending over $1.00 for a bar made with just dates and nuts seems silly, but for some reason I’ve been wanting to try the new ones just because I can’t seem to find them! It’s like a challenge for me. I found the carrot cake yesterday and grabbed it right away.

    1. Did you try it? When you do try it, let me know what you think, since that’s one of the flavors I left behind.

  7. Yes! I finally made my own the other day. I used your site for reference but forgot to take pictures…so I couldn’t link to you.

    I made peanut chocolate chip and “Cherry Pie!” My boyfriend loved them!


    1. Aww you’re such a sweet girlfriend :)

  8. Your bars ARE better, no question.

  9. I just tried making some of your “babies” yesterday! I made a Pecan Pie flavor– and it was delish! I’d say they ARE better than the packaged version!

    My favorite Larabar flavor is Gingersnap, so maybe one day I’ll try re-creating that! And I’m dying to try the new Carrot Cake flavor! (carrot cake is one of my favorite treats EVER!)

    Thanks for the recipe ideas! 😀

    1. Melissa says:

      The carrot cake one is GOOD.
      The brownie wasn’t bad and neither was the cookie dough.
      Not amazing but not terrible. Too dry, for sure, and the brownie could have used more cocoa oomph. I thought the chips tasted fine, though. I ate them frozen so the texture of mine were obviously a bit different than folks who ate them room temp.

      I agree that homemade are better than both those flavors.
      The carrot cake, though? Really excellent. Full of spices and soft and chewy. Definitely a winner.

      I tend to like my babies with more dates than nuts so they are super caramel-like and chewy. I freeze mine and eat them “frozen” (since dates don’t ever truly freeze) so they are chewy chewy and like little balls of candy. I used about half the amount of nuts called for in Katie’s recipes, typically, so the Laras aren’t ever date-y chewy gooey enough for me.

      The carrot cake, cherry pie and the coconut cream pie are my favs of the Lara Bars, probably due to them being so much more than just a date/nut bar… they’ve got other stuff going on and, now that I think of it, they are the softest varieties I’ve had. I like ’em CHEWY! :)

  10. Vanilla says:

    Haha thanks for the heads-up! I was wondering if I should try them, I heard they will be coming to canada this fall.
    So far, my fave Larabar is their PB cookie. But since we always have cashews in our house, I like to do your Babies and Averie’s cookie dough balls :)

  11. Fi says:

    I WISH homemade was better, I am sure it is, but I am just unmotivated to make my own! :) i like the idea of cookie douh/peanut choco chip bars though because we dont have anything like that here. My fave lara bar is pecan pie or pb and j, or the banana bread one (albeit a bit dense!) i DETEST the cinamon roll one!

    1. Hahaha I detested that one too! But when I make my own cinnamon ones, they’re one of my favorite flavors. Go figure!

  12. Aww you didn’t like em? :) I actually haven’t tried any of them, but it was nice to read a perspective other than “AMAZING” like I’ve read on other blogs. I have a feeling I’ll end up liking the Larabars, but it’s also a good idea to make them at home, cause you can customize them to your tastes.

    1. Hehehe many companies probably don’t like me… ’cause I definitely say what I TRULY think about a certain product, and that’s not always positive!

  13. Jess says:

    I have the new peanut butter chocolate chip, but haven’t tried it yet. That’s gonna happen this afternoon, for sureee.

  14. I had to stop making homemade Lara bars because I didn’t exercise a whole lot of self-control around them. They’re too delicious! But I did discover another way of making them – replace half or all of the nuts with raw oats. That plain combo of oats and dates was my favorite.

    1. Oats and dates? oooh that sounds like raw oatmeal cookies. I’ll have to try your idea!

  15. Veggiesmack says:

    I tried the peanut butter chocolate chip Larabar and really liked it, but the regular cookie dough was less impressive–Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Babies are much better. :-) I bet if I added some peanut butter or PB2 to the “dough” the Babies would come out tasting as good or better than the Larabar.

  16. Erika says:

    Thanks for the Larabar review – I have to admit I’ve been wanting to try some! (Never had them before!) Maybe I will make your homemade ones… :-)

  17. Justine says:

    I still haven’t attempted fudge babies or home made larabars, and it is mostly the fact that there is so much fat in them. I know that it is all good and healthy fats, but I still can’t help but be a little afraid of it still. I’m sure they are to die for though!

  18. Ooh, I didn’t even know about the new flavors, but I must try! Even though your homemade ones are better, I do like the convenience of throwing a wrapped Larabar in my purse for afternoon snackin’ at work.

    Oh, and good call on the Elvis babies. Elvis Week in Memphis started on Sunday and runs through Aug. 16th, the 33rd anniversary of his death. It’s a huge big deal here … we have tourists all over the place right now.

  19. I haven’t tried the new larabars (as Freya above mentioned we don’t have them in the UK), but I love your fudge baby recipes! I agree with you, it’s nice as you can then make your own flavours. :)

  20. Gloria says:

    I made homemade peanut butter larabars from your recipe and loved them! I haven’t bought any larabars since. I like more nuts than dates – laras are just too sweet for me now! I’ve been anxious to try the new flavors, but your review just saved me the mucho bucks I would have dropped :) I’m still curious about the carrot cake, though!

    1. Me too! If you try it first, let me know!

      1. Gloria says:

        Katie, I just tried the carrot cake larabar. It was horribly sweet. I think it might have been the pineapple that did it. Bleh. It needs more nuts :(

        1. Thanks for telling me! Makes me glad I didn’t buy one!

  21. i can’t believe you found them!!! i’m not suprised that they are too sweet though! i thought it was interesting to see sugar as an ingredient :( do you think this is because larabar was bought by general mills?? love the originals and yours though!!

    1. Wow, I didn’t even notice that until you pointed it out! I never thought to *look* for sugar as an ingredient in a Larabar. I’d say that’s a letdown… but eh, I didn’t like the flavor anyways! I’ rather have a fudge baby bar with Ghiradelli’s 100% chocolate blended up into it. Cheaper, tastier, and more fun to make!
      Anywhoos, thanks for pointing it out!

      1. Melissa says:

        The sugar is just in the chocolate chips.
        Which makes sense to me, unsweetened chocolate chips would be sorta nasty/too bitter. Even my good quality, dark dark dark chocolate has some sugar in it. I don’t hold it against them. :)

        1. I realized that after I wrote my comment. I don’t hold it against them either… unless I use 100% chocolate, my fudge babies have sugar too.

  22. jodye says:

    Homemade certainly is always better! I’ve done several riffs on homemade larabars, my favorite was made with dried pears, dried mangos, and of course, chocolate! Your peanut butter version sounds wonderful, though; I’ll have to try that!

  23. Marianne says:

    I still have not tried making my own Larabars…one day. I just need to break down and get some dates I guess. I’ll watch for when they are next on sale :)

    I would like to try the new Larabar flavours though, just to give them a go. I’m hoping they make their way to Canada sooner rather than latter.

  24. I’ve never made homemade larabars before because I can’t handle the sugar content of the dates!!! I really want to try, though. Do you have any other ideas?

    1. Dried fruits are the base for the Larabars, so you can’t really sub anything. (Well, maybe you *could* try reversing the proportion of nuts to dates… whatcha think?)

  25. Laura says:

    I’ve never tried my own Larabars..but homemade is ALWAYS better!!!! xx

  26. BroccoliHut says:

    I once made some pretty rockin’ faux Chocolate Coconut Chew bars. YUM!

  27. ahh i want to attempt to create my own larabars! youre so talented, share the skills! hah

    hope your day is going well!

  28. Serena says:

    I always get so tempted by pretty packaging and new products. It’s hard to stop myself sometimes, yet I know what I make at home is usually at least 10x better :)

  29. Serena says:

    Are the larabars made with “real” chocolate chips or nibs?

    1. Chocolate chips. You can actually taste whole chocolate chips in there, which was one plus in my opinion (but not enough of a plus that I’d buy them again).

  30. mama says:

    i’m a fairly new reader and was just wondering why you are so skinny? If you’re embarrassed about it couldnt you wanted to gain weight if you tried? Or is it some sort of medical reason? and if that is the case I fully understand! I”m really not trying to be rude or mean just a little curious!

    1. Hi mama,
      Thanks so much for your respectful comment! Have you read my faq page?
      Hopefully that’ll help answer your question :)

  31. never tried making my own!! I want to try the new ones so bad!!!

  32. I agree, your recipe is better than packaged bars. And think of all those pesky wrappers we’ll be saving from landfills!! Sorry, I’m a hopeless hippy at heart (<– check out that alliteration)!

    1. I hear you on the hippiness! (hippyness? hehe)
      When I make mine, I re-use the bags so many times that my mom has to yell at me to throw them out lol.

  33. Kate says:

    I just discovered these, too. I relied on Larabars when I was first diagnosed with a gluten allergy. Since then, I’ve learned to experiment in the kitchen. But you’re right, homemade versions are so much better. Please keep the clever, chocolate-y recipes coming – they’re inspiring!

  34. I love making homemade larabars! Once I made a blueberry one, since larabar has never come out with that flavor.

  35. Mimi says:

    I feel so behind the times! I had no idea there were new flavors!

    1. Oh don’t worry, girl, they’re EXTREMELY new! I don’t think my local WFS is even selling them yet!

  36. I have made my own ‘lara bars’ before but kept them very simple. They are SO easy to make. I think my favorite lara bar is the peanut butter cookie one. I love that with an apple :)

  37. Penny Knight says:

    I just started making my own LARA Bars (1.59 + is to much for such a simple bar) I recently made PB with 82%dark chocolate bar. Instead of cashew I used honey roasted peanuts…mmmm they were so good I was sad when I ate the last one on my Sunday hike, mostly cause I wanted another one right then. I will have to make more for this weekends hike;) Thinking about doing a Jocolat peanutbutter bar for this weekend though:)

    1. Oh that sounds amazing! And you’re way ahead of the Larabar company… I wonder why they haven’t come out with a pb jocalat yet!

  38. I know I could get kicked out of blogland for this, but I’m just not a bar fan. I don’t like the thought of eating something on-the-go like that. I rarely actually enjoy them.

    But, given my insane life right now, I may change my mind on that since I often find myself up creek without a healthy snack. Hmm…perhaps some homemade bars a la CCK?

  39. Rachael says:

    I’ve never had a Lara bar – not a big bar person. But, I think that the ingredients sound like they make up a happy medley, so maybe I ought to try to homemade version!

  40. Hey Katie!

    I LOVE Lara bars! They are so GOOD. The Ginger Spice version is one of my favorites! It tastes like pure Thanksgiving pumpkin pie:) I love making homemade cookie dough too ! I’ve never made the bars, but have some dough of my own called “Cookie Dough Coins”- here’s the link address for those:)-

    PS- I can’t believe you didn’t buy the Carrot Cake version~ that’s the one I can’t wait to try! YUM to Carrot Cake- I’m making your muffins this week for a new recipe:)

    Heather McClees

  41. well of course yours are better!!! these ones look good but theyre missing your extra ingredient… LOVE <3 hehe

    seriously tho, i think i will make urs before i try these!

  42. Ann Claire says:

    I’ve been wanting to try the cookie dough Lara bar but I think I”ll just take your advice and make my own. Off to buy ingredients for your cookie dough babies :)

  43. I must start to make my own Lara bars!!! They are so expensive and yours look amazing!

  44. tracey says:

    i thought of you when i bought one out last week… think they stole the idea from you. pretty good, but homeade are better!
    ps. i never match when i run because i tend to buy the crazy colored nike shorts that are on the sale rack!!! sans matching top!

    1. Tracey, that’s EXACTLY my problem!!! LOL so now I have all these mismatched tops and bottoms and they’ve discontinued the colors, so there’s no hope!

  45. Rebecca says:

    Wanna hear something RIDICULOUS? Larabars are made in Colorado (where I am currently living) and the new flavors are NOWHERE to be found! Geesh!

    1. Sheesh, that IS ridiculous! Maybe you should sneak into the factory and get some not-yet-packaged larabar “dough” :) :)

  46. We’ve reviewed a few of this brand’s products and have also not been impressed. In general, sadly, we are left unhappy with many “healthy” treats and products available today. Why can’t companies figure out that you need to think about both — health and taste?

    1. Agreed! Just today, I tried a free sample of some new “healthy”” product, and I was left thinking, “How on earth did this thing make it past the first batch of taste testers, let alone into production?!”