We used to make these easy candies all the time. I had about forgotten about homemade tootsie rolls until my daughter texted me today for the recipe. She said she wanted to make some sort of treat that wouldn't use the stove or oven. This treat is PERFECT!
My daughter Jaylyn, who is 11, mixed these up in the mixer by herself. It is easy enough to mix with a spoon and then knead with your hands until it's mixed smooth though, so a younger child could do without a mixer and just a little supervision. (Assuming you don't mind little kid hands & little kids tasting all over your dough.) It's a bit like working with playdoh.
3 C. powdered sugar
3/4 C. regular powdered milk (not instant)
1/2 C. cocoa powder
2 T. butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 - 2/3 C. corn syrup
Mix dry ingredients until blended. Add softened butter, vanilla and corn syrup. (start with the 1/2 C. & see if you need more as it mixes) Mix well. Knead well until it holds together well enough to make a ball. If it is too dry, add a tablespoon of corn syrup at a time and mix until it does hold together well enough. Using about 1/6th of the dough, roll a long rope about as big around as your finger. (you choose which finger) Cut into 1 inch pieces and set on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper. Let dry a little before putting in a container. Put waxed paper between layers.
Joy's Notes: You CAN wrap each piece individually if you'd like. However, I find that they disappear so quickly it seems to be a waste of time. :) If your dough is too sticky, put a little powdered sugar on your counter to roll the rope on. If it is a little too soft, the pieces will flatten out a bit, but still taste great... they also flatten if it's really warm. Keep in the fridge if this bothers you.