If you've ever eaten Christmas Crack you'll completely understand the strange and controversial Recipe Title. Although I have not been able to trace the origins of this recipe, I would put it at around the early 19th Century or so. Christmas toffee has historically been around for at least a century if not longer. However, the discovery and availability of Saltine Crackers has forever changed how this famous treat is made.
Earlier recipes require constant stirring and the use of candy thermometers to insure a perfect texture. The crackers in this recipe add the crunch that makes the toffee perfect without all of the hassle! This is the perfect treat to make in a large quantity and share with neighbors, friends and family.
I still remember my first taste of "crack" at a Christmas party! I could not stop eating it! The crunchy, salty and sweet candy was delectable! The Caramel flavor created by cooking butter and dark brown sugar coupled with a layer of chocolate is irresistible for most people! The sweet treat is known by many different names; Toffee Bark, Faux Toffee, Cracker Toffee, Cracker Candy and so on. The basic Christmas Crack Recipe is fairly standard but the types of crackers, chocolate and toppings used can make the creation entirely your own.
While I love my Easy Shortbread Cookies they take a while to make and decorate.The Crack and a Christmas Chex mix (Recipe coming soon) are quick and easy and if packaged to look festive make cute and affordable Christmas happies to share.
The recipe below is simple and the directions are fairly clear but here are a few tips to help you along. As I've mentioned in almost every one of my recipes on my blog, my favorite butter is Kerrygold Made from grass fed cows, there's a depth of flavor to this butter, just spread it on your bread and you'll immediately know what I'm talking about! The high fat content makes it the best one to use for most desserts.
I like using saltines as they are thin and crispy and add the texture the toffee needs without taking away from the main flavors of the caramel and chocolate. But by all means feel free to experiment, some recipes out there call for Ritz Crackers and Graham Crackers. If I personally were to make a switch I'd go with something thin and crispy like Carrs Crackers although the saltine delivers a similar taste in an affordable manner.
I like using dark brown sugar as it has a richer flavor than the lighter variety. This is due to a higher molasses content, almost double the amount that the lighter variety has. Since we really want that toffee taste, the dark brown sugar with the Kerrygold will definitely give you better results. It's Christmas! Splurge a little!
Needless to say, the piece de resistance of the candy is the chocolate and I go straight for the Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate chips. They melt beautifully and taste amazing! Of course you can go with a dark chocolate or even white if that's your thing!
Using dark chocolate? Drizzle some white chocolate for a pretty design.
Try Lilys dark chocolate baking chips if you want something sugar free, they taste great!
The possibilities are limitless!
Now for the toppings! For Christmas I stick to crushed candy canes and almonds but if you want to get creative the sky is the limit! Some great options are:
Assorted Nuts (Pecans, Pistachios...)
Heath Toffee bits
Hope you try the recipe and like it! Don't forget to add a rating or leave a comment below!
Christmas Crack Recipe
- measuring cups
- sauce pan
- Jelly Roll or Cookie sheet
- 40 Crackers
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Salted Butter
- 2 Cups semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 4 Candy Canes
- ½ Cups Sliced Almonds
- Nonstick Spray
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Line your jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with foil and grease using nonstick spray
- lay out the crackers evenly, no overlapping, just all the edges touching.
- melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- cook the mixture for 5 minutes using a timer. It should look as pictured below when you're done.
- pour over the crackers and spread evenly.
- Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. It will look like this when it comes out of the oven.
- Prep your toppings as needed.
- As soon as you pull your sheet out of the oven sprinkle the chocolate chips in an even layer.
- Within a minute you will see the chips becoming glossy. Start spreading the chocolate using a wide spatula at this point.
- Sprinkle yopur toppings quickly before the chocolate hardens.
- Chill in your freezer for 15 minutes before breaking into pieces.
NOTES AND TIPS
Nonstick foil is great if you can get some and helps eliminate a step. A jelly roll plan works best due to it's raised sides but a cookie sheet will suffice if you don't have one.
MAKING THE CANDY
Overcooking the butter and sugar will lead to a burnt taste and undercooking it will lead to toffee that isn't brittle enough so this step is the most crucial.
PREPPING THE TOPPINGS
I put my candy cane in a ziplock bag and beat it with the back of a heavy spoon or ice cream scoop to break it down. A rolling pin may be too much as you want some larger pieces in the mix.
SPREADING THE CHOCOLATE
Melting the chocolate chips in the microwave and then spreading them can also be done, or if you've spread your chips and it seems like they're not melting properly you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process.
THE COOLING PROCESS
You can also cool the candy in the fridge for 2 hours. Many bakers claim that this yields better results as the candy cools more evenly. I've always used the freezer method as it's much quicker and have had great results but you can experiment and see how yours turns out.