Disclaimer (for those of you who have never experienced Cracker Candy before): Its pretty amazing. Don’t be turned off by the idea of crackers in your dessert! I chose this specific caramel recipe as my first post because it is about as intro-to-caramel as it gets while also being incredibly, life-alteringly delicious!
Things I love about Cracker Candy:
1. Cracker Candy feeds my deep need to procrastinate in all things. I can get this done, pot washed and everything, in ten minutes and I do not tell a lie. Ten minutes! Which means I can totally leave it until the last second and do the whole thing in a panic!
2. Its sweet and salty. And reminiscent of English Toffee. And satisfyingly crunchy!
3. Cracker Candy has some serious McGyver qualities. Remember how that guy could make an explosive device with a rubber band, hairspray and a paper clip? Well you can make dessert with saltines, butter and sugar! Seriously! How awesome is that? Pretty awesome!
4. People get all freaked out when you tell them its made with crackers. Every-time without fail you get this “What?!? Nooooo waaaay!!!” kind of response when you tell them how you made it, especially if you wait until just after they finish pledging their eternal love to it’s deliciousness. I love a good reaction.
1 package of saltine crackers
1 cup butter (no substitutions!)
1 cup brown sugar
teeny splash of vanilla
1 cup of chocolate chips (milk or dark, your choice, I won’t judge)
How I Do It: Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil or parchment paper (I prefer tin foil for whatever reason but either works). Place saltine crackers, salt side up, on the sheet all close together in rows. Depending on the size of your cookie sheet you should be a whole one of the long, skinny packs and maybe a few from another pack. On my smaller cookie sheet its almost exactly one pack which is somewhere around 35 crackers. On my bigger sheets it’s a pack-and-a-bit. Just being overly detailed here because…well… I can!
Put your butter and sugar in a smallish pot over medium heat. Once its all melty turn the temp up a bit, get a whisk in there and start whisking. It will start to bubble a bit around the edges and into the middle. Once it does that you want to start timing it for three minutes, whisking the entire time without pausing. Im serious, the whisking is very important. Don’t take a bathroom break, don’t answer the phone, just whisk! It should be really bubbly during these three minutes, you are looking for an aggressive boil, not a simmer and you are at a speedy-whisk the entire time. When the three minutes is done, remove it from the heat and whisk in your splash of vanilla (I love the way vanilla sizzles when it gets added to things like this, ya know?)
Once the three minutes is up, pour and spread the caramel over top of the crackers on the pan making sure to get them all covered. Put the pan into your super hot oven and time it for five mins. Remove the pan, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and let it sit for a minute to soften up the chocolate. Once the chips are looking destructible, spread them out smoothly over the whole top.
Now this part is where I have a very strong preference. You can totally stop here, let the stuff cool, get it out of the pan and eat it OR immediately after spreading the chocolate you can throw it into your FREEZER, wait 20 mins, get it out of the pan and eat it FROZEN! I love it frozen, love-love it frozen. Once its hardened I will pull it out of the pan, peel off the tin foil or parchment or whatever, break it all into pieces and then put all the pieces into a plastic freezer bag and right back into the freezer. And then I will find myself standing in front of the freezer at midnight, eating the highly-addictive stuff right from the bag like a freezer-creeper. Or you can just let it cool on the counter and be normal.
And thats pretty much it! Now all that is left is to offer you a warning (omg a disclaimer AND a warning in the same post? this is a very dangerous recipe): Cracker candy is rich, delicious, crunchy, quick to make, delicious, chocolatey, FROZEN (if you go there), caramelly and did I mention delicious? Cause it’s delicious. And if you are someone like me with NO self-discipline then all of that is kind of a problem. But I am sharing the recipe anyways, if you find yourself gorging freezer-side in the middle of night, you can blame me. I have no regrets.
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