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

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 17, 2012

homemade Rolo chocolate-7146

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

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.

homemade Rolo chocolate-7117homemade Rolo chocolate-7123

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.

homemade Rolo chocolate-7131homemade Rolo chocolate-7133

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.

homemade Rolo chocolate-7142homemade Rolo chocolate-7159

6. Enjoy!

homemade Rolo chocolate-7157

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!

20121016_134304

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?

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

Previous Posts

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Page 5 of 5«12345
Nicole April 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

im making this yummy recipe but at what point do i add the salt?

Reply

Amy May 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I made these for my mom for Mother’s Day. Since I have become vegan, my mom has been really supportive and now she’s pretty much vegan. She used to LOVE rollos, so these were the PERFECT mother’s day treat! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!!! :)

Reply

DoTERRAoilsdrmom June 2, 2013 at 2:03 am

Hey there, just wanted to say that I absolutely love you stuff and will def be re-posting it and linking to your site!! Such great ideas and awesome recipes :) Thanks again!
Jenn

Reply

Khushbu August 6, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Hi! I loved your recipe! Thank you for sharing it. I wanted to make this but I just have one question. In the first step, you have mentioned to process dates with butter. I just wanted to know how you do it. Do you do it just with the spoon or you put them in a processor? And do I need to remove date’s skin..?

I need to make this tomorrow so can you please answer it a bit early!? Thanks in advance!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) August 7, 2013 at 8:59 am

Yes you process them in the food processor. No need to remove the skin! Enjoy

Reply

Khushbu August 7, 2013 at 9:24 am

Thanks Angela for a quick reply! And do I must use coconut oil OR I can substitute it with just regular canola oil?

Thanks in advance!

Reply

Susanna August 31, 2013 at 1:42 am

I just made them. Easy and fantastic!

Reply

Ginger September 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm

oh… i made this caramel… and then randomly decided to make it into german chocolate cake icing (typically made with evaporated milk, egg yolks and a whopping whole cup of brown sugar) … added water a tablespoon at a time until it was frosting consistency, then added pecans and shredded coconut… dee-vine! xo

Reply

Ashley October 15, 2013 at 12:59 am

Hi Angela! I am in the middle of making these and I can’t figure out which step I am supposed to add the sea salt listed in the ingredients? Did I miss something?

Reply

allyne October 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm

These are delish! I think my dates were smaller, so I added more but I don’t think it made enough (hehehe). I had leftover chocolate so after they set in the freezer I did a second coating!
So good and super easy, thank you!
Now I’m looking for a vegan wunderbar recipe….any ideas?

Reply

Jenn November 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I’ve been pretty hesitant to try medjool dates.

I’m going paleo & trying to add more natural sweeteners into my diet.

Do medjool dates really taste like caramel?

I LOVE caramel btw, so this would be awesome for a natural ‘caramel’! ^_^

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) November 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Yes they do in this recipe! Try it :)

Reply

Betty November 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I just made these. My children are very picky about my plant-based desserts- they adore these. These aren’t going to last long! SO DELICIOUS!!!! Thank you!

Reply

Em December 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Hi, I really want to make “Rolo Pretzel Delights” (made with rolos, pretzels and pecans, but I am hoping to use the vegan rolos. Have you tried this/do you think it would work? Thanks.

Reply

tammy January 2, 2014 at 7:42 pm

These are amazing!

Reply

Jenn February 11, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Love these! Can they be made with deglet dates instead? My store seems to be out of medjool.

Reply

Pugs June 5, 2014 at 1:09 am

Ok – I’m totally not a vegan, not even a vego, not organic just a regular omnivore – and I was intrigued by this recipe. I have just made these balls (well I made a half recipe as I was doubtful :-) They are actually really, really good. They DO taste like caramel and are so surprisingly rich and luxurious. I used bog standard peanut butter, didn’t add salt (there was salt in the peanut butter), did add about 1/2 teasp vanilla extract and used Belgian dark chocolate for coating. Now I have to go to the store to buy more dates! Thank you for this insight into ‘slightly’ more healthy sweet treats.

Reply

dyannne June 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Just made and ate my first of your rolos. Yummmmaaaaaay as Jim Carrey would say! So easy to make and fun. I love simple recipes, just a few ingredients and things I usually have on hand for when the idea strikes to make something. This will definitely be a favorite for me for forever! Thanks you!

Reply

Alyssa July 19, 2014 at 10:04 pm

I made these (from the amazing cookbook!) today, and they are fantastic. They really, really do taste like Rolos. Yum!

Reply

Fiona August 13, 2014 at 12:16 pm

To be honest, this was not one of my favourite OSG recipes. Followed directions exactly, but it really tasted nothing like caramel, or the original version, to me.

Reply

Sophie August 23, 2014 at 3:07 am

I made these for me and my partners anniversary and they were amazing.
Only my chocolate didn’t stick as well maybe i needed to let it cool a bit more? And funny story I bought my dates from a new place and didn’t realize they weren’t pitted so I nearly broke my mum’s food processor…..ooop…

Reply

Abigail September 15, 2014 at 8:39 pm

These are seriously delicious. My mum made them for us last night and they were so good I have already made a double batch for myself. Thank you for this recipe!

Reply

Julie January 6, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Tried these… They are not Rolos… Rolos have no peanut butter in them.

My husband love them and said they reminded him of Wunderbars without the rice crisps. Maybe that would be something to add to them :)

Reply

Caz February 8, 2015 at 5:31 am

Hi
I’m new to your page and just tried this recipe, substituting almond butter for peanut butter. They are DELICIOUS, but mine had to stay overnight in the freezer in order to come to a consistency in which they could be rolled, and even then they are still very very squishy and soft. Any idea what I’m doing wrong?
thanks!

Reply

Louise October 31, 2015 at 9:20 am

Added too much peanut butter first time but far from being a disaster it tasted like a snicker bar. Have only just realized it was meant to taste like a rolo. Trying again as hopefully I will have two versions. Thank you for a great recipe.

Reply

Jenn Hart January 23, 2016 at 10:33 am

Holy moly these are good!! I’ll definitely be making these again and again! Wetting fingers and using a small batter scoop helped with making balls from the caramel after the freezer time. So so so good!!!! Thank you!!

Reply

Cherianne February 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Wanted to make these for Christmas. Finally made yesterday for Valentine’s Day. Delicious!!! And so easy. Wasn’t sure what to do with the salt so just omitted it. Great recipe.

Reply

Lauren March 24, 2016 at 1:30 pm

I made these for my toddlers birthday… He ate 6 at once!! I didn’t even know that was possible. I was full after having a couple. Guess I’ll have to make more for the party. Great recipe! He also loved helping me roll the balls.

Reply

LizzieF April 29, 2016 at 3:19 pm

I’ve made these twice now. I have to avoid almonds, so I use cashew butter– they taste so good! The most recent attempt was almost thwarted by dates that had unexpectedly gone bad. What a disappointment considering how $ they are! I tried the recipe with prunes instead. It’s fruitier as opposed to caramel-like; but one of my fave chocolate bars is Fruit & Nut–so I added walnuts to some of the balls and I am loving them! I topped others with sesame seeds and the remainder with sea salt. Delicious!

Reply

Lindsey July 27, 2016 at 5:04 pm

I accidentally misread the recipe and added a 1/2 cup of peanut butter, and they came out like peanut butter cups! SO good! I don’t know if I’ll ever try the original recipe now!

Reply

Angela Liddon July 29, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Haha, that sounds like a happy (and delicious!!!) accident, Lindsey! So glad it all worked out in the end.

Reply

Lindsey July 29, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Haha! Thanks! P.S. I’m also expecting a baby (Aug 24th!). Have you heard that dates are supposed to help shorten labor? There’s been a few studies done…I figure it can’t hurt to stock up on these yummy treats and hope for the best!

Reply

Angela Liddon August 8, 2016 at 11:36 am

I just heard this on Detoxinista’s blog actually! It was the first I had ever heard that before! So crazy if it helps. I have been eating a couple dates each day just in case a bit helps (and they are the perfect sweet snack!)

Reply

Clare October 28, 2016 at 9:48 am

Just made these today! Wonderful recipe! I’m too young to remember the 80s, but rolos were definitely one of my very favorites growing up! I left out the coconut oil and melted my chocolate in a metal bowl above boiling water. I also boiled water and poured it into a bowl with my dates and let them soak in the hot water for a few minutes to soften them before I dared tried to blend them I to a paste. This made the chilling time a little longer, but I feel like it helped. They turned out amazing. I’m going to bring them to a Halloween party at work on Monday, so it s nice that they keep well in the freezer! The hardest part about this recipe was keeping my boyfriend from eating them all right off the tray! I’m so glad I found this recipe, ill be making it for relatives this thanksgiving and Christmas :)

Reply

Angela Liddon November 1, 2016 at 10:26 am

I hope they were a hit at your work party, Clare!! Keeping ourselves from gobbling them all up is always a challenge around here, too. :)

Reply

Sherry November 3, 2016 at 10:10 pm

AMAZING!!! SO GOOD!!!!! I teach a vegan cooking class and students tried these tonight- everyone was blown away by how delicious and simple these were. Thank you so much!

Reply

Angela Liddon November 7, 2016 at 10:45 am

It’s so great to hear they were a hit, Sherry!!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: