Homemade Sugar Free Salted Nut Rolls

Even though we are doing low-carb and no sugar right now, it's always good to have something to snack on, especially a 'sweet' treat.  I decided to make a 'candy bar' of sorts as I knew my husband would appreciate having a snack like this on hand for when those cravings hit.  (Regular readers might remember a favorite candy of our family is the Salted Nut Roll, which I posted here.)   

PLAY with this recipe.  Low carb and sugar free recipes work completely different for people based on the exact brands used, temperature outside, humidity level, etc.  This recipe started out to be a Twix recipe - but the caramel I wanted to make didn't work so I switched it up and ended up with this instead (more on that below).  I used Xylitol and Erythritol because I was trying to make caramel initially but you can certainly use all of one and not the other if you wish.  If it's just a little too dry add a little splash of heavy cream. Too moist?  Isn't a problem unless it won't hold shape, in that case, add some confectionery texture sugar substitute or a little more vanilla whey powder.   Again... play with it a little if you need to.

In the full sugar version of my Salted Nut Rolls, you use powdered sugar, marshmallow creme and bagged caramels.  
  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 1 - 7 oz. jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/4 t almond
  • 1 - 14 oz. bag caramels, unwrapped
  • 3 T water
  • 3 c salted peanuts and/or cashews, chopped
For a sugar free version I tried to make a sugar free caramel from a recipe using Xylitol - which I was pretty sure wouldn't work - and it didn't.  I know Xylitol has no crystallizing properties so getting a nice warm, brown, thick, caramel from it was going to be tough, but I was willing to try.  It didn't work but I was relentless in my quest so I tried again.  No.  Xylitol will not make caramel and I admitted defeat.

I ended up flipping through recipe files until I fell upon a homemade Snickers candy bar and then adapted the filling to that, played with it a bit and ended up with a Salted Nut Roll!  Individually the ingredients weren't that special but together?  Tastes almost exactly like the store bought Salted Nut Roll candy bars.  YUM!!!

Salted Nut Rolls

1 jar Smucker's  Sugar Free Caramel Topping (you'll only use about 1/3 - 1/2 of it)
1 small can 'party peanuts' which are the salted kind, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 - 1/3 c butter (a little more than 1/4 but less than 1/3, LOL)
1/2 c xylitol
1/4 c erythritol
1/2 c vanilla whey powder (I use Nature's Best Isopure Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla)
1 c cream cheese
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
10-20 drops liquid sweetener

In  a saucepan melt the butter and add the xylitol, stir until disolved and clear.  Add the erythritol, stir until dissolved then add whey protein.  Cook for about 2 minutes, remove from heat and beat in cream cheese and flavorings.  Let cool.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.  It should be like playdoh - so you can work it into a shape with your hands. 

Divide the dough evenly to about 16 pieces.  You can roll them into circles, small 2 inch long logs or shape into squares.  Place them on wax paper or parchment, refrigerate again while you prepare the caramel and nuts.  In one bowl, place about 1/2 of the jar of caramel topping.  I use the topping in the glass jar sold by the ice cream toppings and not the syrup sold in a bottle by the chocolate syrups because the ice cream topping version is thicker.  If you use the syrup it's going to be thinner, more runny, more messy and you won't have a layer of caramel - but they will still taste really good anyway.  Place the nuts into a baggy and hit gently with the edge of a rolling pin to barely crush/chop the nuts.  You can use a processor, but be sure to barely pulse as you don't want them 'fine'.  Place these into a 2nd bowl.

Remove the white center dough from the refrigerator and using your fingers (messy) or a fork, dip and roll in caramel, then roll in nuts and then place on wax or parchment.  When you are done with all the pieces you can either serve as is, or individually roll them in bits of plastic wrap to store.  Keep these in the refrigerator or freezer. They don't freeze solid in the freezer so that is where we keep them.

I individually wrapped ours for ease of 'grab-and-go' or packing them in a lunch

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