Oh my goodness. The holiday season is quickly approaching, and you know what that means: TREATS!
Since I was a child, I’ve always loved giving gifts from the kitchen to friends and family on the holidays. I remember helping my mom dip chocolate covered pretzels and bake cookies to give out to my teachers at school each year. We had such a fun time making the treats, wrapping them, and giving them out!
Nowadays, I still continue the tradition. There is something so wonderful about giving a homemade treat at the holidays. Store bought gifts are always nice too…but homemade sweets? Yes, please. I’ve broadened my treat making repertoire from chocolate covered pretzels to making truffles and other candies in the past few years, and I’m sure I’ll be attempting a few more recipes in the coming weeks.
However, there is one candy treat that I absolutely adore, and always brings holiday memories to mind when I enjoy a piece. This chocolate toffee crack does the trick…I’m telling you! My mom would make the “crack” and keep it outside in the garage in tins (we lived in Wisconsin and Michigan at the time, so it stayed really cold), but nowadays I just keep it in the fridge. I used to sneak out into the garage to swipe a piece or two…braving the chilly temperatures to get my hands on some sweet and salty goodness.
What’s so great about this recipe is that it’s SO easy to make: you have no excuse not to do it. Seriously. So easy. All it takes are some saltine crackers, butter, brown sugar, vanilla…and chocolate. It’s not complicated, and it is so unbelievably addicting. I may or may not have consumed almost the entire tray in the past 4 days. The shame.
The chocolate toffee crack makes a great gift for the holidays – you can keep it simple like my pictured version…or sprinkle chopped nuts on top of the chocolate layer…or add some holiday sprinkles or a drizzle of tinted white chocolate for a festive touch. It’s really up to you. Just hurry up and make a batch…and then promptly gift it to someone before you consume the entire pan on your own like I did. Just warning you…
Saltine crackers (I used 51 exactly in my recipe)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
15 ounces dark chocolate***
***The higher the quality of dark chocolate you use, the more over the top amazing the toffee will taste. I used a 12oz bar of Scharffen Berger chocolate and 1/2 a bag of Hershey’s dark chocolate chips for mine.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12×17 inch jelly roll sheet pan with tin foil.
2. Arrange saltine crackers, salt side up, across the lined pan in even rows, covering the entire pan. Pack them as tightly as possible, but don’t overlap. I typically have to break a few crackers in half to fill in the spaces on one side of the pan. Set pan aside.
3. If you are using a chocolate bar, use a knife to chop the chocolate into small pieces, about the size of chocolate chips. Set aside.
4. In a medium sauce pan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Stir frequently with a spatula during this process. When the butter is melted, add the dark brown sugar and stir to combine. Continue to cook the mixture for about 5 minutes, until it is bubbly and dark brown in color.
5. Pour butter and brown sugar mixture evenly over the top of the pan of saltine crackers. Use the spatula to spread it evenly across the pan, covering each of the crackers.
6. Place the tray of saltines in the oven and bake for 5 minutes, until the butter mixture on top begins to bubble. Remove from the oven and sprinkle evenly with the chocolate pieces, allowing the heat to melt them. You can also pop the tray back into the oven for 1 minute to speed the process up. When the chocolate is melty, use the spatula to spread it evenly across the pan.
7. Place the finished tray of chocolate toffee crack into the refrigerator to set/harden (at least a few hours). Remove from the pan, peel away the tin foil, and break apart to serve. You can also use a sharp knife to slice the candy into even squares if you don’t want to break apart pieces unevenly. Enjoy!
***For best results: keep chocolate toffee crack refrigerated – it tastes better that way!***
And if you want even more inspiration for some gifts from the kitchen, check out what the Sunday Supper folks have on the menu: