Chef John's Chocolate Energy Bars
If you compare these chocolate energy bars to similar fruit/nut bars sold at the store, I think they taste better, are nutritionally superior, and probably cheaper to make at home. The only problem is they look so good it takes your brain a millisecond to process that they're not going to taste like the fudge brownies they resemble.
Recipe Summary test
Try your hardest to find Medjool dates, but if you can't, any dried date should work, as long as it's soft and sticky enough. If the ones you're using seem too hard and dry, simply soak them in water until they soften up a bit.