t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.


Homemade Tootsie Rolls

I try to have no refined sugar around the house. I can't hope to control what happens at school, church and with friends, but I can control what happens in my house. To some degree anyway.

So rather than have my children go wild every time they are around sugar, I try to have lots of fun sweet things available to them. One of our favorites are homemade tootsie rolls.

The girls love to make these with me. Twist and snitch. Wrap and snitch. You get the idea. The cooking part is so simple. The pulling, twisting, cutting and wrapping takes some time, but we get lots of chit chat in.

Today we made 3 varieties. Peppermint, chocolate, and a twist.

Homemade Tootsie Rolls

1 c honey
1 c powdered milk (not instant)
1/2 cup powdered cocoa (unsweetened)
1 t vanilla

If making peppermint, omit cocoa and add 1 t peppermint oil

Boil the honey until 255 degrees. This is the hard ball stage. Be careful not to overcook or you will have to suck instead of chew! I use high heat and it takes about 5 minutes. (A simple candy thermometer can be bought at any grocery store for under $5) Try to keep the thermometer in the middle, and not touching the bottom of the pan. Keep the kiddos away for this part.

Remove from heat and add vanilla (and peppermint oil and food coloring if desired). I get my peppermint oil at the health food store, so it contains no alcohol.
If making chocolate, mix the powdered milk and cocoa together. Then add to the honey and vanilla mixture. Stir well
Pour out onto a greased surface and let cool.
After 15 minutes, it should be cool enough to handle. Put a little butter on your hands and pull the candy for a few minutes. Pull and roll into long snakes. Cut with scissors into bite size pieces or twist 2 different flavors together.
We were feeling the Christmas spirit so we made a few candy canes.
I had 7 little helpers today with the children's friends over. And even with all those little hands we still ended up with over 200 candies. (1 batch peppermint, one batch chocolate)
Don't be fooled by the carrots. Yes, she was eating carrots at this particular moment, but only after she had eaten herself silly with tootsie rolls!

Why I love these:
  • They are so yummy!
  • My kids think they are the best treat in the world, and I make them tiny, so it doesn't wreak havoc on their blood sugar
  • No refined sugar
  • I know exactly what is in them
  • The neighborhood kids think I am cool, because I make candy
  • Easy.
Experiment with all sorts of flavors. We also have made them with orange oil and they were great.


My Year Without said...

That has to be one of the greatest sugar-free recipes I have come across all year! I never would have thought to try to imitate tootsie rolls--where did you find the recipe?

I have gone without white refined sugar all year and am always excited to find new recipes. This one looks especially fun and rewarding.

Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

This is exactly the recipe I was looking for: honey-based tootsie rolls! Would love to try to make these... but you're missing a unit of measurement on the powdered cocoa. If I had to guess, I'd say probably 1/2 cup, but it might be 1/2 tablespoon? Please let me know -- thanks!

Rebecca said...

You are exactly right 1/2 cup would be the correct measurement. Sorry about that. It is an awesome recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

Unknown said...

Thanks! I made a very similar self-invented version of these today involving fresh cream and unsweetened bar chocolate -- they turned out very yummy, but very greasy -- looks like powdered ingredients are the way to go! I'll definitely try this way next time. :)