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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Monday, December 17, 2012

Saltine Toffee aka Christmas Crack

Christmas Crack

A good trashy recipe means many things.  It often includes unlikely, cheap and/or processed ingredients, it's generally easy to make, and it usually becomes much more than the sum of its parts.  This recipe is all those things. It has only four simple ingredients and takes only about 10 minutes of cooking time plus resting and cooling. And it is amazing!  You've got to make it.  It'll become your holiday tradition forever!

All you need is:

40 saltine crackers (one sleeve)
1 cup butter (2 sticks/ 1/2 lb)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 bag chocolate chips

Plus (optional) pecans, white chocolate chips, or anything else you'd care to sprinkle on top.  

I used whole wheat soda crackers because they were out of regular ones at the store, but normal saltines with salted tops are best in this.  I used dark chocolate chips but semi-sweet or milk chocolate ones are good too.  

First preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prep your pan.  You can do this on a non-stick cookie sheet but mine isn't as non-stick as it used to be so I used a couple of layers of foil to keep it from sticking.

First cover in normal foil making sure it hangs over all sides.

Then I used my favourite trick, non-stick foil over top.  If you don't have the non-stick foil you can just use another layer of foil lightly sprayed with cooking spray. You just want to make sure there's no place for the liquid caramel to escape under the foil.

Now lay out your saltine cracker evenly on the cookie sheet.  I used 40 for this pan.  You can use a larger pan if you have one. Just make sure the crackers are flat and even.  If there are a few broken ones, no worries, just piece them together as best you can so there's no space between them.

Now take your cup of butter.  You know butter packages have measurements on them, right?

Add 3/4 cup brown sugar to the butter in a small pot.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat and boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  

Pour the hot caramel over the crackers in the pan.

Spread it evenly to cover all the crackers, right to the edge.  Then pop it in the oven for 5 minutes.

The caramel will bubble and melt into the crackers.  Carefully remove it from the oven, keeping the pan level.

Let it sit for 3 minutes to cool slightly.  The crackers will sort of float to the surface.

If the crackers are uneven, use a butter knife to lay them flat so none are overlapping.

Now pour the bag of chocolate chips evenly over top.  Let them melt for about 5 minutes.

Once the chocolate chips are softened, spread them with an offset spatula (or regular spatula).

Keep spreading...

...until you have an even layer of chocolate over the caramel crackers. 

Now you can add some toppings if you want.  Pecans are good, or other nuts.  I added some white chocolate chips just for contrast.  A sprinkle of sea salt is a classy topping too.  

Now, put it in the fridge or a cool place for about 20 minutes to firm up.  I put mine outside on a cold day which is easier than finding room in the fridge.

Once firm, break it up into small-ish pieces.

Keep breaking it up.  Don't eat it all while you're doing this - very important.

Now package it up in an airtight container and store it in the fridge.  It also freezes beautifully.  I like to serve it cold but it will be ok at room temperature. The chocolate just gets a little softer.  

This is so simple to make for such great results, you've got to try it.  People go nuts for it. 

Thanks Leila for introducing me to this! 


  1. These look to die for! And easy too. Adding ingredients to my shopping list right now. Merry Christmas!

  2. Your tinfoil technique is foolproof! I'm using right now as I make my third batch. We'll see if this one lasts until Christmas (doubt it).

  3. It wasn't that hard to clean off the pan (must be all the butter) but his way you don't even have to wash the pan.
    Hope you liked it Ali!