Homemade “Rolo” Knock-Offs – Vegan, Gluten-Free, & 5 Ingredients

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homemade Rolo chocolate 7146   Homemade “Rolo” Knock Offs – Vegan, Gluten Free, & 5 Ingredients

During my late teens and early twenties, my top 5 favourite chocolate bars were the following (in no particular order):

Chunky Kit Kat, Wunderbar, Coffee Crisp, Rolo/Caramilk, and Twix.

What about you?

For the next Halloween recipe in my Treat-a-thon series, I made a healthier version of Rolo caramels. Instead of making a traditional caramel, I processed Medjool dates into a caramel with a touch of nut butter. I really had no idea how close I could get the flavour, but I figured it was worth a shot.

Well let me tell you, we couldn’t believe how much these taste like Rolo caramels (only better of course because they are homemade). They don’t call dates “nature’s candy” for no reason!

Homemade “Rolo” Knock-offs

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Yield: 18 bites

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams pitted soft Medjool dates (about 11 large)
  • 1/2 tbsp peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter)
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt
  • scant 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • chia seeds (optional)

 

The chia seeds were added for a spooky bug-like appearance and for some sneaky nutrition!

homemade Rolo chocolate 7129   Homemade “Rolo” Knock Offs – Vegan, Gluten Free, & 5 Ingredients

You’ll need soft Medjool dates for this recipe. My favourite brand is by Bard Valley. If you are starting with firm/hard dates, you’ll need to soak them in water until soft. Make sure to drain the water off before proceeding.

How to make:

1. Process dates with nut/seed butter until a sticky paste forms.

2. Chill date mixture in freezer for 10 minutes, then shape into about 18 small balls.

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3. Freeze balls again for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt chocolate with coconut oil.

4. Dunk each chilled ball into chocolate. Tap off excess. Sprinkle with chia and stick with toothpick.

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5. Place bites back into the freezer for at least 20 minutes to set. Bites taste best when they are firm and cold, straight from the freezer. They soften at room temp, but do not melt.

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6. Enjoy!

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Try them for yourself – I think you’ll be surprised by how much they taste like the real thing.

Next on my Halloween recipe list might have to be the Kit Kat bar…

In other Halloween news, I’m thinking about going as an 80’s girl this year. My inspiration came from these hot pink mesh gloves I found at Dollarama yesterday. Hot!

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My mom was visiting on Monday and we were talking about my love for 80’s fashion as a child. Neon colours, side pony, teased curled bangs, spandex (neon of course), high top sneaks, leg warmers, stone-washed tapered jeans, slap bracelets, sweater clips, scrunchies….I rocked it all. There was no mistake that I was an 80’s child.

Anyone else have their costume idea decided yet?

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{ 224 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna October 17, 2012

OMG…I love Rolo’s! One of my all time favorite candy! I will definitely have to make these, think I can use carob chips instead of the chocolate?

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Angela October 17, 2012

Sure, why not! Let me know how it goes. :)

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Anna October 18, 2012

My grocery store was out of dates! How does that happen? Also, saw a great homemade recipe for Twix yesterday; http://www.manifestvegan.com/2011/01/vegan-gluten-free-twixx/

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit October 17, 2012

I haven’t had a Rolo in ages. Well done, Angela! I think my favorite chocolate bars were a toss up between Twix, Mars and Skor.

I too was a crazy 80′s child. I rocked the side pony like no other. And the tights under large neon sweaters? Ya, I did that too. Can’t wait to see the costume!

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Tanya @ playful and hungry October 17, 2012

How Cute! I love those little pumpkins!
Also, I just noticed how dates give a caramel flavor to smoothies. So making a date caramel is just awesome!

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Shana October 17, 2012

That filling looks ridiculously good. Have you noticed how 80′s fashion is making a raging comeback?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2012

Yes it totally is. My inner 80′s child is loving the neon colours, hah.

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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! October 17, 2012

These look delicious!!! Dates are so versatile for remaking desserts!

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Kasandra Bracken October 17, 2012

Yes!! Love that these are sweetened with dates—what a simple, easy treat idea! Thanks Angela :)

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Megan @healthgeekchic October 17, 2012

I cant control my excitement!! Rolos and Caramello Bars were my all time faves, closely follow by a good Kit Kat bar…. I think MUST try to make these asap to re-live my love for the rollo. I havent had them in ages. Thanks for sharing !

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Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) October 17, 2012

These look so cute with the little pumpkins on top. I used to love Rolos so I’m excited to try this recipe. I also LOVE the Apple Bites, they are sooooo cool!

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Sharla October 17, 2012

I can’t wait to try these – I’ve been tempted to buy Rolos ever since the Halloween candy came out, but have been good and RAN the other way!! Have any healthy recipes for mallow pumpkins?!

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Janae @ Bring-Joy October 17, 2012

I love the little pumpkin toothpicks–what a nice touch!

I don’t know what I’m going to be this year. I’m going to be taking all my 4 kids this year, so I’m thinking something that will coordinate well with their costumes…

And 80′s. Oh dear. I loved my crimping iron!

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Melissa October 17, 2012

These sound amazing! I used to love Rolos but I haven’t had any since I went vegan of course. I’ll have to make these! But I don’t have any coconut oil, and my small town grocery store doesn’t sell it. Would it work to just use vegetable oil in melting the chocolate, or does it have to be coconut oil because of its property of being solid at room temp?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 18, 2012

Hey Melissa, you can probably get away with omitting the coconut oil. Just be sure to melt the choc at a very low heat.

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Tiffany October 17, 2012

Wow! These look delicious!! Thank you for sharing your cute and creative ideas.

*I think you forgot to mention to add the coconut oil to the melted chocolate in your picture descriptions.

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Angela October 17, 2012

Thanks, just added it in :)

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table October 17, 2012

Date caramel? Coolest idea ever. I used to love rolos – especially frozen. I’m thinking these would make a perfect homemade DQ Blizzard. Appropriate for Canada, no? ;)

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Andrea @ Vegvacious October 17, 2012

Wow – you are creative!!! That caramel combo is something I would never have come up with on my own. I can’t wait to try these!!!

Last year we were in Las Vegas for a Halloween wedding. I was a pirate & my husband was a flasher {it was very funny and gross at the same time} —- we spent more than usual on our costumes for that, so I think we’ll be doing some recycling this year!!

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Angela October 17, 2012

Vegas would be the perfect place to be on Halloween!! Yes, costume recycling is never a bad thing. I usually alternate the usual suspects each year.

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Franglais kitchen October 17, 2012

What a great idea! I love the idea of using dates and nuts to make the filling. I think I’d like these better than rolos whose filling I always found too sugary

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Britt @ My. Daily. Randomness. October 17, 2012

When I was in High School (the period of time when I consumed a lot of chocolate bars) my favs were: Peanut Butter Cups, Wunderbar, Big Turk, Areo, and Mr. Big – now I barely eat them – but I get cravings for them every once and a while… This recipe sounds delicious – and might just solve that pop-up chocolate craving now and again!

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Farah Chung October 17, 2012

First of all, I just want to say THANK GOODNESS FOR YOU & YOUR AMAZING BLOG!!!! You are soooooo wonderful and I love to read about and from a fellow Canadian in Toronto! I am wondering if these dates are able to be mashed without a food processor if they are soft enough, or if the texture just wouldn’t cut it, probably… I really need to get a food processor soon.

I was going to go as the “wandering womb” for Halloween, which would be a simple costume … I’d cut out a squiggly cloud-like shape and pin it on my thigh or shoulder and have little white dots (like thinking bubbles in comics) going from my abdomen to wherever the “womb” is. I am doing my Master in Library Science so I think most people would get the reference and it’d be an easy costume =P
LOVE the 80s idea though! I do have neon pink tights and neon yellow leg warmers hmmm.. I completely forgot about the side ponytail until you mentioned it! I fully support that ^__^

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 19, 2012

Hey Farah, You might be able to mash the dates with a fork if they are SUPER soft. The brand I buy is very very soft and I would think they could be mashed with a fork. goodluck!

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Abby October 17, 2012

It’s probably wrong, but I would love to have that date/nut butter spread just on a sandwich…or a spoon. Yum!

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Angela October 17, 2012

I was just thinking yesterday it could work as a spread too!

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Anele @ Success Along the Weigh October 17, 2012

I can’t WAIT to make these! I only have half the dates on hand but that might be a good thing since I’ve got some pie weight to lose from vacation last week! HA!

I think I kept Aqua Net in the black in the 80′s. Don’t forget to overlap neon socks! ;-)

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Ashley October 17, 2012

Rolos are only like my favorite childhood candy EVER. Those and milk duds. I am a gigantic sucker for caramel. I can 100% see dates working for this, especially with the stickiness. Awesome!

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Stephanie @ Legally Blinde October 17, 2012

Oh my gosh, I was beyond excited to see your post this morning – I really love Rolos! Yesterday Katie (of CCK) asked her readers what other candy she should make over, and I suggested Rolos (and Twix, 100 Grand Bars, and peanut M&Ms, haha – I couldn’t choose!) so I was practically giddy when I saw that you had already made a healthier, homemade version of Rolos! I can’t wait to try them out!!

And I think you would make a great 80s girl – please share some pictures after Halloween :)

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Senator October 17, 2012

Oooo. I think I might try these!

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Brianna October 17, 2012

I’m either going to be Zorro (a la Amelie) or a zombie. I found out last week I can’t actually watch the show “The Walking Dead” (too scary, spent too long checking under the bed, in the shower, etc., after watching one episode) so maybe I’ll just BE a zombie instead. I’ll probably do both, since I have a few Halloween events to attend.

I will be trying this recipe tonight, thanks for the great idea.

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Abby@ Totes Delish October 17, 2012

What a wonderful idea for a caramel! I need to make these ASAP. It seems when I buy dates I make a million recipes with them, these will be the next : )

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Megan @ The Detoxinista October 17, 2012

These look so adorable! I love chocolate & caramel ANYTHING. I’ll have to get my hands on some more dates, asap!

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Robyn October 17, 2012

I love, love, love you!! Fantastic! My faves were Coffee Crisp amd Wunderbar and Mr.Big,,,But these I will be able to have, guilt free without the yukky chocolate milk fix…Did I say love??

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Joanna October 17, 2012

Looks really good. Do you think you could use regular dates instead? Perhaps if you soaked them first?

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Jamie October 17, 2012

THIS. IS. AMAZING. I can’t wait to make these for Halloween.

I’m going as Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara version. :)

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Willow October 17, 2012

This is a must try, Angela! Such a good idea. I can’t believe how simple they are to make, and so few ingredients… can’t wait to make them!

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Julie October 17, 2012

Any tips on melting chocolate? I seem to always have trouble with it.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2012

I find melting it on the lowest heat setting works for me. Stir it a lot and the coconut oil helps it thin out. The key is to remove the chocolate from the heat when the chips are about 2/3 melted. Remove from the burner and just stir it to melt the rest of the chips. It’s a quick and dirty method of “tempering” the chocolate. Goodluck!

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Sylvia October 17, 2012

lol! Your photography is adorable.

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Stephen@HappyHeart October 17, 2012

You are genius, no other word for you!!! They look incredible!

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Therese October 17, 2012

Now I’m so bummed that I put the dates back on the shelf at the grocery store yesterday. What a great idea. Can’t wait to try them!

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Whitney "To Live and Diet in L.A." October 17, 2012

I have all 5 of these ingredients and am totally making these today! Thanks for putting me in the holiday spirit!

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Heather October 17, 2012

I’m dressing up as Amelia Earheart! Partly because my friend wrote an amazing song about her that makes me cry, partly because I’m reading a book about her, and partly because my husband rejected my couples costume of Garfield and John.

Also, we can’t forget about those horrible leggings with the straps that went under your feet…ouch!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2012

That will be a cool costume, so original too!
I just got the funniest mental picture about those leggings. I am pretty sure I had them in hot pink too.

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Jessica October 17, 2012

Please make a vegan version of Twix! That’s the one non-vegan candy that I still have a weakness for.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2012

I have a twix recipe on the blog from 2010 (Twix or treat bars) however it needs some work! The shortbread crust was crumbly. I will have to revisit it for sure. :)

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Emily @ www.main-eats.com October 17, 2012

WOW-definitely my favorite candy of ALL TIME!!! Can’t wait to try these!
Not sure for Halloween yet….gotta figure that out quick!

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Andrea G October 17, 2012

Oh my gosh! Yesterday, I was saying to my husband how much I missed Rolo! You are definitely the awesomest ever!!!

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Tonya October 17, 2012

Where are snickers on this line up?? :-)

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Tonya October 17, 2012

oh and– there are “chunky kit kats”?? What the! We’ve been ripped off here in the states. :-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2012

You don’t have Chunky Kit Kats in the US? im going to try to recreate them this week…wish me luck!

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Corinne October 17, 2012

Hooray!! I was browsing your comments to see if you were going to attempt these. I LOVE(d) kit kats!

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Claire @ cinnamon and south October 18, 2012

I love that you are making chunky Kit Kats, we have them in Australia too and they were definitely my favourite growing up. Good luck!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2012

I knew someone was going to ask that!! Funny thing is, I was never big on nuts in my chocolate bars! They just get in the way of the chocolate, wafer, and caramel fillings if you ask me. hah.

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Lauren October 17, 2012

Awesome idea! I love to see typical fat-boy candy being healthfully recreated by bloggers. Love the 80s idea! I remember crimping my hair before school and feeling like the coolest chick ever!

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