[This recipe got new photos in 2018 mostly because I was tired of looking at the old ones, heheh.]
Yes, crack. As in “made with crackers”, as in “crackly like toffee” but also in reference to the addictive nature of this stuff. I may make what seems like an elaborate cake a week these days, I might bake my own icebox wafers and fill and frost my cupcakes but these things right here? They’re the thing everyone asks for by name, and they take almost no time to make.
Thus, despite that fact that this recipe is incredibly easy to find elsewhere on the web, it only seems right to give it a home here as well. Because if there was one person out there that hasn’t made it yet that makes it after reading this, my work here will be done.
You start with a foil and parchment-lined baking sheet, a fantastic thing if you, like me, hate doing dishes. (And seriously, if you don’t hate doing dishes, who are you? And would you like to come over?) You lay out the cracker of your choice — for this week’s festivities, we used matzo but, trust me, if you try it with Saltine crackers, it just might blow your mind — in a single sheet, make a quick brown sugar caramel and bake it onto the crackers for a few minutes. Hot from the oven, you drop chocolate chips on top and when they’ve softened a minute later, spread them into a thin layer. Sprinkling it with sea salt or toasted, chopped nuts is optional, all that matters is that you share with me.
Oh, and this can be our little secret, but you might consider not putting all of the crack(ers) out when your friends and family come over. Because it might just disappear before you get any, and then you’ll wake up the next morning, well, fiending and regretful that you didn’t get any, with no choice but to make some more. Don’t say these didn’t come with a warning label.
Chocolate Caramel Crackers
- About 4 sheets matzo or approximately 40 saltine-style crackers
- 1 cup (8 ounces or 225 grams) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
- 1 cup (190 grams) packed light brown sugar
- Sea salt, preferably flaky
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces or 255 grams) semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips, or 9 ounces chopped semi- or bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice (optional)
Line the bottom of the baking sheet with matzo or crackers, covering all parts in a single layer. [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 making cuts by gently, carefully sawing with a serrated knife.]
Make the caramel/toffee: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and whisk it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for 3 more minutes, whisking it the whole time. The butter and sugar will come together, and the mixture will thicken a little as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add a couple good pinches of sea salt and vanilla, if using, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. Use an offset spatula to spread the caramel quickly over all the crackers, as it will begin to set as soon after it is poured.
Bake: The caramel-covered crackers for 13 to 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.
Finish the crackers: Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, and then use an offset spatula to spread them in an even layer over the caramel. If you’re using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts and/or sea salt. (The extra sea salt is great on matzo. On saltines, it’s really not necessary.)
Cool: Once completely cool — I speed this along in the freezer, impatient as should be expected in the face of caramel crack(ers) — break or cut it into pieces and place in an airtight container. When cleaning up, you’ll see a lot of messy crumbs and bits; sweep them all into a jar for the best ice cream topping that has ever existed, trust me.
To store: Keep both the jar of crumbs and the crack(ers) in the fridge; it won’t go bad at room temperature but it’s less sticky and messy when it’s cold. It should keep for a week but I’ve never seen it last that long.