Chocolate Peanut Butter Saltine Toffee.

Toffee made from saltine crackers. Aka “Christmas Crack” – this stuff disappears!

Christmas Crack - easy toffee made from saltine crackers. This stuff is so good! sallysbakingaddiction.com

There are saltine crackers in my favorite toffee recipe and I’m not afraid to admit it.

So, what on earth is this stuff?

A bubbly toffee syrup poured over a single layer of saltine crackers, topped with peanut butter (oh yeah) and melted chocolate (YES!), covered with crushed M&Ms & sprinkles, chilled to sweet & salty perfection and broken into dozens of sticky pieces. This toffee been known as “Christmas Crack” because as you can imagine, it’s quite addicting!

Saltine Toffee aka Christmas Crack. I like to add peanut butter and sprinkles. Easy recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

I first had this toffee a few years ago when a coworker brought it in for a holiday potluck.   I was definitely hesitant to try it when I learned that crackers are the base layer.  Never one to pass up a sweet & salty treat, I had my first bite and was in sticky toffee bliss.  It’s completely irresistible – the chewy toffee sticks to your teeth and the salty crunchy saltines provide the most wonderful contrast to the sugar and chocolate.

Think of this as a salty, sweet, peanut butter-y Heath bar – but better.

It was time I revisited this luxurious holiday treat, so I whipped up a quick batch Saturday morning and have been knee deep in salty toffee bliss ever since.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Saltine Toffee

If you’ve never made this stuff, you are in for a real treat. It is SO simple to make. First, spray your sheet pan generously with non-stick spray.  Emphasis on “generous” here.

Start with a sleeve of saltine crackers.  The salted variety, of course.  Line them up on the sheet pan in one even layer, leaving some room between each cracker. Take 2 sticks of butter and 1 cup of dark brown sugar – and boil them down into a thick caramel syrup for about 3 minutes.  Clearly, we’re not dealing with diet food today.  You may want to put on fat pants as the butter/sugar boils and carmelizes.

Pour that buttery brown sugar caramelized glaze all over your crackers and stick in the oven at 400F for about 5 minutes.  As the caramel glaze melts down into the crackers, get your melted peanut butter and chocolate chips ready to go. You’re going to layer these two on top of the toffee.

More often than not, I’ve seen this cracker toffee made without the peanut butter layer.  Feel free to leave the peanut butter layer out, because the toffee is plenty good without it. However… if there’s chocolate involved, you better believe I’m adding peanut butter. Its just second nature to me. 😉

Saltine Toffee aka Christmas Crack. This stuff is so easy to make and perfect for gift giving. Easy recipe @ sallysbakingaddiction.com

At the 5 minute mark, remove the toffee from the oven and spread the melted peanut butter over top. Just WAIT until you smell the peanut butter melted all over the bubbling toffee! Then, top the peanut butter with chocolate chips and return to the oven for about 1 minute.  During this step, get your crushed M&Ms and sprinkles ready.

Remove the toffee from the oven and spread the melty chocolate chips around to form one solid, thick chocolate layer.  You could also use Hershey’s bars or even white chocolate chips for the chocolate layer – go with what you have on hand. Likewise, you may top the toffee with just about anything you have in your pantry.  Or even leave the toffee plain.  Mama Baking Addiction loves to buy me festive M&Ms for nearly every holiday, so I crushed up my abundance of green and red candy coated chocolates and used them as the final layer over the melty chocolate.

Oh, and a plethora of sprinkles go on top as well.  Obviously.

The next part is the hardest part of all: waiting. The chilling is when all the magic happens. The layers adhere together, creating one sticky, crunchy, toffee oblivion. Once the toffee is all set up after the chill time, break it into pieces – large or small.  Nothing fancy or neat here;  get your hands dirty!

Saltine Toffee aka Christmas Crack. Easy recipe @ sallysbakingaddiction.com

Mmmm. The underside is nearly as pretty as the top. The peanut butter slips through the cracks and hardens on the bottoms with the toffee.

A simple ingredient list with  practically no-baking involved. I truly wonder why I’ve never made it myself before. Go make this now.  I promise you won’t regret it.

…your waistline might, but your tastebuds won’t.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Saltine Toffee

Toffee made from saltine crackers. Aka "Christmas Crack" - this stuff disappears!

Ingredients:

  • One sleeve salted Saltine crackers (about 35-40 crackers)
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (100g) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 and ½ cups (450g) semi-sweet, milk, or white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (200g) crushed M&Ms (optional)
  • sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Generously spray a half-sheet pan with cooking spray or line with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Stirring lightly, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. As it begins to boil, leave it alone without stirring for 3 minutes. Pour boiling mixture evenly over crackers, then bake for 5 minutes.
  3. As toffee bakes, melt peanut butter in microwave. Remove toffee from the oven, then pour peanut butter over top. Smooth it into an even layer. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips on top, then return the pan to the oven for 1 minute to help chocolate chips melt. Remove from the oven and spread chocolate chips into one melted chocolate layer. Top with M&Ms.
  4. Refrigerate toffee for 2 hours. Once set, break into pieces.
  5. Make ahead tip: This toffee tastes wonderful for up to 2 weeks, so make it ahead and keep it covered tightly in the refrigerator. It freezes well too-- up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then enjoy.

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Q: What are your initial thoughts on crackers in toffee?

It certainly sounded crazy to me at first – but not much crazier than potato chips in cookies. Between the sticky toffee, hardened peanut butter, sweet chocolate, and crunchy salty crackers – this stuff just works.

126 comments

  1. These look great! I only have olive oil cooking spray in the house. Could I use butter or Crisco instead of cooking spray to keep them from sticking to the pan?

  2. Sally-
    I have been making candy for years, so I don’t understand why this doesn’t turn out for me. Instead of getting hard and crunchy , mine is gooey and won’t break apart. Any ideas?? Thanks.

  3. I am trying this for the first time. There are only like three cooking directions and I have messed that up. I fail to bake the crackers and “caramel” for 5 minutes before topping with the peanut butter and chocolate chips. I put it all together and am now baking for the 5 minutes. I will let you know what happens. Also, I used sprayed parchment in my pan which should not be a problem. The 5 minutes are up so I timed it for another 1 for the full 6 minute cooking time. I see the ‘caramel layer bubbling like crazy. Ok, my chips may be cooked since they don’t want to spread very well. I left off the sprinkles except for some course ,white decorator sugar. Once it is chilled I will write again to tell you my results. Good grief! Such a simple recipe that I read several times and still goofed up.

  4. Well, we have tried my Saltine Toffee mistake. Don’t know what it is supposed to be like but Holy Sweet Tooth! I think if I had baked the crackers and toffee for the initial 5 minutes it might be crunchier but I must say it is darned good. Hubby says it must really be bad for him ‘cuz it is so good. I will definitely make it again only correctly.

  5. Hello Sally! I tried my hand making this recipe last Christmas Eve — and messed up in every way possible. The toffee ended up a bit burnt (it smelled burnt), the peanut butter refused to spread properly, and the chocolate chips didn’t melt (which is my fault really, since I left them in the oven over a minute.) So I ended up just chucking the pan in the freezer to cool, thinking I could salvage it the next day.

    Come Christmas morning, I said “What the heck” and just cracked the contents up and took a bite… and then another bite, and still more. Then I offered it to my flatmates, and what do you know: it just plain disappeared! Dare I say that your recipe is simply the best — no matter how messed up it is, it still tasted great! I made a new batch properly a few days ago, and it got wiped out in 24 hours. Thanks for an awesome treat!

  6. I’ve made this twice, and literally could not stop myself from inhaling it all within a few days/a week. And I’m planning on making it with cinnamon chips instead of chocolate chips soon ;). I might just die lol.

  7. I’ve made this a few times, and it’s delicious (although my experiment with cinnamon chips wasn’t all that I thought it was going to be). However, the last couple of times that I’ve made it, it hasn’t gone so well.

    Last year, I used a half-sheet pan that my roommate left behind, but this year, I brought one from home, and it just seems bigger. The crackers spread a lot more while it is baking. Also, I think that my oven this year may be running hot, because some of the toffee starts burning on the bottom and right side. I don’t have a thermometer to test it, though.

    Besides the two differences that I’ve mentioned (different pan, different oven), I’m using nonstick aluminum foil instead of parchment paper. I just get really frustrated and discouraged when something that I spend money on and put effort into turns out badly :(.

  8. That just tickles me that you call it “Christmas Crack”.  How totally appropriate for anything that’s crunchy, salty, and sweet all at once!  Can’t wait to make this stuff.  

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