Stout-Infused Tootsie Rolls

Blog crush alert: I love Fork and Beans.

A LOT.

If you've never been over there, I insist that you go.  Cara has one of the most creative and fabulous baking blogs that I've seen.  Her VeganMofo posts were out of this world.  If you need creative Halloween treat ideas that are twists on classic noms, you have to check her recipes out.

One of her more recent posts was for homemade Tootsie Rolls.  Look, I've never been a huge Tootsie Roll fan, but her recipe made me a believer!  The dark chocolate cocoa powder makes all of the difference!  These are easy, no-bake and filled with flavor.

My spin: instead of soaking the dates in hot water, I chose hot stout.  By soaking the dates in beer, it gives the candy a bit richer flavor.  

Whether you stick to Cara's original recipe or try mine out, I know that you will love both!

Ingredients:
Very lightly adapted from Fork and Beans

1/4 c. smooth almond butter
1/4 c. medjool dates, soaked in hot stout
2 T. pure maple syrup
2 T. dark cocoa powder
1 T. coconut oil, softened
1/4 c. vegan powdered sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch (or tapioca starch)

2 T. vegan powdered sugar, for dusting
2 T. cornstarch, for dusting

Directions:
This could not be easier! 

In a microwave-safe container, heat up about a 1/2 cup of beer.  Plop the dates into the beer and let them stand for 10-15 minutes.

In the mean time, add the almond butter, syrup, cocoa powder and coconut oil to a food processor.  Once they're ready, add the dates (discard the beer).  Process until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch.  Using a spatula, scoop the mixture out of the food processor and into the bowl with the sugar and cornstarch.  With your hands or a spatula, mix the date mixture with the other ingredients until it forms a malleable dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Dust it with some sugar/cornstarch.  Take chunks of the dough and roll it out, much like Play-doh, into long logs.  Once you've used all of the dough, stick these logs in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

After, cut them into small, bite-sized pieces.

You can wrap them in wax paper, but let me tell you, it's super annoying and tedious.  I wrapped about half of mine and then threw the rest in the freezer for my hubby and I.  They made such a nice frozen treat!

Let me know when you make these and how they turn out!  I promise that you will never eat regular Tootsie Rolls again - these are so much better :-)

Cheers!
-Aileen