Toffee made from saltine crackers. Aka “Christmas Crack” – this stuff disappears!
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!
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.
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. 😉
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!
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!
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Refrigerate toffee for 2 hours. Once set, break into pieces.
- 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.