If you follow my personal blog (and let’s be honest, there’s only about 4 people who do so there isn’t a huge likelihood) you know I was in some serious need of caramel & chocolate last Friday. Well, I’ve been wanting to make my own batch of these delicious caramel chocolate saltine toffees my friend Tori brought to a meeting once, and Anie totally supported me doing so.
Following the recipe at Smitten Kitchen, I made a batch before round two of our spoon flower mirror project.
Melt two sticks of butter over medium heat.
While melting, add 1 cup tightly packed brown sugar. Stir until it begins boiling, then allowing to continue boiling for 3 additional minutes.
While it’s boiling, line your baking pan with parchment paper. On the other hand, if you have no parchment paper… or baking pan, you can use greased foil on a cookie sheet.
* As a note, I’d be sure to have a real baking sheet and parchment paper! The foil definitely stuck to my toffee, and the caramel leaked off my cookie sheet. :(
Lay out your saltines! I love saltines, so I snacked on some. :D
Since my butter and brown sugar is all done…
I’m gonna throw in just a little salt, and then a generous 1/2 tsp of vanilla.
Your caramel should be fairly thick, and you can pour it over your crackers. Try to spread it evenly across the pan.
* If your caramel looks really thin still (like mine way), I’d suggest waiting for it to thicken some more before removing it from the heat. Mine didn’t harden properly, so some bites were chewy. (Unless that’s how you like it!)
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
You’ll need 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips. I had milk chocolate on hand, but I think semi-sweet would have yielded better results.
Just lay them over your crackers for 5 minutes so they can melt.
And then they’ll spread really easily! I put walnuts on one section, and heath bit on another. Heath bits were definitely the most popular, should have just covered it in those!
Let cool, break ’em apart, and package for sharing (or not)! Here’s the full recipe from Smitten Kitchen:
Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers)
- 4 to 6 sheets matzo or approximately 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- A big pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)
- 1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice (optional)
- Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.
- Line the bottom of the baking sheet with matzo or crackers, covering all parts. [If using matzo, you’ll need to break pieces to fit any extra spaces, which will be annoying because despite being perforated, it does not actually break in straight lines. I have some luck pressing a serrated knife straight down along a sectionbetween perforations, if that (hopefully) makes sense.]
- In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.
- Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening.
- Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you’re using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts and/or sea salt. (The sea salt is great on matzo. On Saltines, it’s really not necessary.)
- Once completely cool — I sometimes speed this process up in the fridge, impatient as should be expected in the face of caramel crack(ers) — break it into pieces and store it in a container. It should keep for a week but I’ve never seen it last that long.
Here are the tips I learned & can share with you (especially if you’re just going to follow the recipe on Smitten Kitchen):
1. (As previously mentioned:) use parchment paper. And a baking sheet. And let your caramel cook longer if it seems really thin still. You can avoid most of that mess up there! Yuck.
2. Pretty much the same advice from above would have allowed me to totally avoid this. Especially if you read my teaser about setting fire in my oven. This was the cause. And so even though Anie said “at least we aren’t ordering pizza” when I was making us pizza… well, we had to order the pizza instead.
3. Use semi-sweet chocolate chips, or better yet, dark chocolate. Also, just because adding the rest of the bag is only another 1/2 cup… just save your chocolate for another project. The toffee and chocolate layers should be pretty thin to really master this recipe.
4. Seriously. If you get caramel in your oven… don’t turn your oven on. Clean your oven. Avoid fires. And fire alarms.
5. I think next time I’ll only use 1 stick of butter.
6. Make enough to share.