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

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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

To email, text, or print this recipe, click here.

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!

homemade Rolo chocolate 7157   Homemade “Rolo” Knock Offs – Vegan, Gluten Free, & 5 Ingredients

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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{ 227 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren(PB&G) October 18, 2012

Angela, you’re amazing! I miss rolos soooo much.. Can’t wait to try your recipe out!

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Alexa October 18, 2012

So much healthier to make rolo’s caramel with dates! I must try this!
And as a fruit lover… I’m being the Chiquita Banana Lady for Halloween!

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Kathryn October 18, 2012

Looking forward to making these for my parents, but I’m really excited for the Kit Kats. I was never huge on chocolate…but Kit Kats…MMMMMM.

That date carmel has be thinking about snickers…wonder if there is a vegan version of the nouget.

Thinking of going as a vampire.

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Michelle October 18, 2012

So simple and so delicious!

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Brooke October 18, 2012

I made these tonight, and my boyfriend, who is VERY picky about his sweets, adored them. The one change I made was to add a bit of vanilla to the caramel. I’m already thinking up variations…blending in some shredded coconut maybe? Yummm.

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Brooke October 18, 2012

Also, to aid in the rolling of the very sticky caramel balls, I covered my hands in cocoa powder–it really helped!

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Cher @ Weddicted October 18, 2012

Yum!! What a great halloween treat so as not to be tempted by all the mini chocolate bars :)

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Ranelle October 18, 2012

Mmmmm rolos! My favorites when I was younger (and still my faves!) are reese’s, snickers and kit kats. You could probably make snickers from this recipe with the addition of chopped peanuts and then the nougat part… not sure how you’d do that!?

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Radhika Sarohia October 18, 2012

Omg can’t wait to try making these!!
I was a Skor and Butterfinger kind of girl myself, back in my pre-vegan days:p

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Radhika Sarohia October 18, 2012

P.S. Your blog is AWESOME for vegan recipes, you should have a vegan cooking show on TV

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Robert October 18, 2012

Yummy! great idea!

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Heather October 18, 2012

I made these last night and they were soooo good and super easy. I tried to get people to guess what the “caramel” was made from, and they couldn’t! There’s something so satisfying about sweets that you make yourself from simple ingredients you can pronounce. Thanks for this. I will be making it again for sure!

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Kirsti October 18, 2012

I made these, just because I had ingredients for once! They are delicious! Perfect amount to satisfy the sweet tooth!

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Dee October 18, 2012

Oh My God! How can anyone say being a vegan is boring? We can have vegan anything these days. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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Lindsey October 18, 2012

ooooooh….how about Twix!!!???

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Chanelle October 18, 2012

Angela!! These are amazing, I can actually say they are BETTER than a true Rolo!! Thank you for making such a great, east recipe. Keep them coming!

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Wendy Hudson October 18, 2012

I made these delicious little marvels tonight. Wow! Tickled with how they turned out. I shared with everyone on my fb page!!! https://www.facebook.com/LivingOnGodsGreenEarth

Thanks for your wonderful recipes.

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Kathy October 18, 2012

Yum! I tried this recipe today (also because I only had a small amount of dates left in the fridge and wanted to use them up) and I have to admit, I ate 1/2 of the recipe, if not, 2/3 of it (and I’ll shamelessly admit it too)! I’m having to ban myself from the kitchen just to keep myself from eating the rest!
I used to go as a witch, using my cousin’s old costume, for about a year or two, then I just began going as myself!

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Amber from Slim Pickin's Kitchen October 19, 2012

My top 5 favorite candy bars are: Snicker’s ICE CREAM bars, Butterfinger, Heath Bar, Pay Days, and Almond Joy. I’m so stinkin’ excited about this recipe! It looks so easy yet so healthy while being guilt-free! *stoked*

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Andrea October 19, 2012

I will have to try these, always looking for healthy treats. For Halloween, last week my friend and I did a Halloween 5k Run and dressed up as hula girls! It was a blast! We had to make our own costumers – grass skirts out of rafia – since the 6 Halloween stores we visited did not carry the costume.

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Kelly October 19, 2012

Oh wow Angela! These certainly are impressive! Can’t wait to try these out!

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K October 19, 2012

This looks like a yummy treat for next week!
I will be making these for sure. I will be selecting a costume this week, hope the costume stores are still well stocked!

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IVONNE October 19, 2012

Did you use the Vitamix to mash up the dates?
Or a food processor?

Thanks

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 19, 2012

A food processor :)

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Cheyanne October 19, 2012

LOVED them. Can I consider this a health food? ;)
I don’t have a processor so I chopped up the dates as best as I could and added more peanut butter. Turned out great:)
Thank you

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 19, 2012

So glad to hear you enjoyed them!

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Sarah Williams October 19, 2012

Just made these! I love that they are so-flippin-easy!!!!! And you are right, they taste very similar to rolos!! YAYYY!!

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Preena @ A Teaspoon of Turmeric October 19, 2012

I’m craving something sweet right now and you’re the first one I turn to for the “yummy + healthy” combo. I’m making these this weekend!

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Janice October 20, 2012

These are SO yummy! They taste more like Milk Duds (my favourite!) to me. I may have to bring a baggie of them to the movies…

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Summer October 20, 2012

Yum! These are inspiring me to run to the kitchen right now! I am sure my kids will be happy that I did when they taste them. My husband just said, “What no caramel?” I can’t wait to serve him one. :)

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Aimee October 21, 2012

I made these yesterday, and my gosh they truly taste like the real thing! My Dad will usually go nowhere near my healthy creations but he LOVED these and has nearly eaten them all! Thank you so much for creating these!

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Amanda October 21, 2012

I’m going to have to make these! I can eat quite a few rolos, I love them!

I was soooo an eighties child…. I had the side pony and the neon pink skirt.

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Jackie October 21, 2012

Ok, I’ll admit it- at first I thought “yea right, I bet this tastes nothing like caramel.” Well, it totally does and now I have to buy dates in bulk and experiment. Thanks, Angela!

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skyler October 21, 2012

I made these this afternoon and they came out wonderfully! Only difference was that I had to add a smidge of water to my blender to get the dates/PB to process smoothly and I mixed the chia seeds directly into the date-caramel. SO Yummy!! Thanks!

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Sara October 21, 2012

I made these and they are amazing. I think they taste better than Rolos because they don’t include the guilt associated with eating massive amounts of candy.

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Katrina October 21, 2012

Made these today and we LOVE ‘em!!! Thanks for another great recipe!!

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heidi @ a week from thursday October 22, 2012

The best thing to come out of this recipe is date caramel. I’ll have to try that.

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Cathy October 22, 2012

I made these on Saturday and they are amazing! Thanks again for another great recipe!

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Kristen Walker October 22, 2012

I made these twice this weekend because they went so fast! They are delicious. Blew my mind :)

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Tanya October 22, 2012

Angela, these were amazing! It took a while for my date paste to come together (I was getting worried about crumbly centers), but it worked out in the end. My husband is a total dried-fruit-a-phobe, but he said these tasted like Milky Ways! I’m definitely making these again :)

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Kendra October 23, 2012

Oh I just bought medjool dates tonight- Yay! But I may top these with sea salt instead of the chia. I love the trader Joes dark choc caramel black sea salt bars and I’m thinking this may be very similar:)

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Sarah October 23, 2012

I made these, and they are delicious! I followed the pictorial steps, and I found they are missing instructions on when to add the salt. I ended up sprinkling it on top with the chia seeds because it was too late to add it too the date blend. Still superb!

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Deb MacLeod October 23, 2012

I’m lovin’ your Rolos. Pair those little cuties with a latte and suddenly a frosty morning gets a nice warm “glo” on.

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