Chocolate Peanut Butter Saltine Toffee

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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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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

 

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.

135 Comments

  1. Ok I have a tiny story to tell you:

    A few years ago I went through a phase where I ate saltines like…all the time. My boyfriend started to tease me and call them “Miracle Food”

    That is no longer a joke. You made crazy amazing toffee with saltines, so obv. they are miracle food. 😛

    1. That is TOO funny Kayle. To be 100% honest, I just went through like a 2 month stint were all my snacks were peanut butter and saltines. It started when I was sick in October and then I just couldn’t stop snacking on them when I was hungry! I adore saltines as well and yes… they are totally a miracle food. I honest-to-goodness think they go with everything!

  2. Sally your toffee looks divine! The pics are tack sharp and love the sprinkles 🙂 It’s amazing what a nice, cool, normal room temperature type room will do for chocolate. Every.time.I.look at my saltine toffee pics I am reminded of the hot day in my Aruba house that I shot those pics. It was a good 90F that day…one year ago right now, actually. I am envious of how pretty your pics (and your toffee!) turned out!

    Peanut butter is a welcome addition to anything, and so are saltines!

    1. stop being so hard on yourself Averie, before you mentioned those photos earlier this year to me in an email, I honestly NEVER noticed the condensation when I silently stalked your blog. Honestly. I was not happy with these photos – I do feel they could have been better but given the lighting situation this week (read: NO lighting) – they took some editing to look normal again. I appreciate ALL of this though and I am glad they turned out clear.

  3. I love Saltine crackers. Like, for a long time in high school, it was pretty much all I snacked on. And when I’m sick, I eat those instead of chicken noodle soup–it’s totally comforting! As a kid, I even ate them with butter and peanut butter as a dessert 🙂 haha you can say I’m obsessed! Anyway, I have a version of this toffee recipe given to me from a friend’s mom and while I’ve made it, I’ve never posted it! However, I think I’ll need to alter her recipe to add the PEANUT BUTTER. Buttery caramelized toffee + pb + chocolate–you better believe I’m all over this bad boy!

    1. The first time I trued this Karly, I literally could speak for a minute or two haha. It’s SO crazy how such simple ingredient can make something SO darn good.

  4. Looks delicious. I have to cracker/toffee snacks I make. One we call brickle bars and it’s almost identical to your recipe except it uses graham crackers instead of saltines. The second is layers of Ritz or Club cracker with caramel, topped with chocolate. OMG YUM. Now I need to try this version too!!! DELISH.

    1. i like sounds of the graham cracker “brickle bar” recipe Aimee! And the club crackers with caramel and chocolate – so simple and yet, sounds like the ultimate sweet/salty caramel indulgence. Yum!

  5. I made a similar version of this over the weekend and it’s like CRACK!! I love it! I really like that you added peanut butter with yours – seriously, saltines and peanut butter are the best snacks ever, but then when you top with chocolate and caramel – it’s crack, I tell ya!

    1. nice!! we are on the same wavelength Julie. I totally want some of your chocolate peppermint cookies from last week right about now. 🙂

  6. These look easy and delicious. I can imagine they would be addictive. I’ve just opened up the mint chocolate chip brownies that have caught my eye too. There are too many treats to handle on here. 😀

    1. dangerously addicting Sally!! the salty/sweet gets me every time. You would love that Andes Mint Fudge. It’s not even that difficult to make!

    1. I was just telling another reader that I’ve sort of been on a saltine cracker kick lately – snacking on them with peanut butter spread on top. They are a staple in my pantry too – didn’t even have to go to the store to buy them when I wanted to make this toffee.

    1. Anna, I think you’re going to find a winner with this toffee. I feel like we have the same tastebuds and I knwo you’d flip for this stuff. And it’s SO easy!

    1. Dorothy, stop! Your photography is gorgeous, everyone has their own style! And I can see how hard you are working on yours. I look back on photos from just last month and cringe – it’s a constant “improvement journey”!

  7. Ooooh, I’ve seen recipes for the saltine toffee before and I have been curious about trying it…I’m not one to pass up any kind of toffee! 🙂 This looks amazing, Sally. Your pics are fab, and your description of this toffee makes me want to head right upstairs to my kitchen and make some NOW.

    1. I’m glad my description helps show off this toffee – I didn’t really know how to describe it besides sweet/salty/addicting. 😉

    1. oh my goodness, thank you Elizabeth! I think you know me too well. Hand me peanut butter + sprinkles and I’m all set. Maybe some running shoes too, since I have no self control around either!!

  8. I made Averie’s toffee last year and named it Christmas Crack because it was so addicting! I also made a white chocolate cranberry version yesterday which I am looking forwrad to sharing. But, I had a major problem with my foil sticking to the bottom. Does this ever happen to you? Suggestions?

    Ps I also love your decorations!

    1. I do NOT suggest using foil. you do not have to line the baking pan – just spray generously with non-stick spray! Try that next time and let me know how it turns out!

  9. I have all these ingredients yeah! Typically no saltines in the house but the flu just went through (ok tmi) but I have saltines and I just bought the Christmas M&M –so yeah can not wait for another Christmas treat addiction!!! I love the picture where you have the saltines layered in between – cute!

    1. Thanks Angela! Have I overloaded your inbox yet today? I’m glad you like that little cracker/toffee layered picture. I was being corny with the photo shoot. 🙂 I hope you’re feeling better!

    1. I made this toffee for Kevin to bring into work and for a get-together. Of course, after I saved a huge ziplock bag of it for the apartment! And now, I can’t stop breaking off little pieces when I open the fridge. Oh well.

  10. We are so on the same page right now! I just made toffee last night… although I made it too late to try any… booo. Is it bad that I am already thinking about it this morning and haven’t even had breakfast yet? Clearly I have my priorities : )

    1. I won’t judge you if you have a piece before breakfast. Or if you have a piece FOR breakfast. On Sunday, I had a piece with my coffee. And then was all sugared up for the morning lol!

    1. Hey Colleen!! I agree – the flavors of salty crackers, creamy peanut butter, melty chocolate, and sticky caramel – unbeatable. I cannot resist this stuff!!

  11. Oh my goodness, these are too pretty! Great pictures, as always, but I love the festive look to them! Maybe you need to get yourself a blast chiller since you often mention the difficulty of waiting for things to chill before or after baking…heck, maybe we ALL need blast chillers! 😉

    1. A blast chiller!!! YES! Caley, you read my mind. I hate hate HATE waiting around for my fudge, toffee, etc etc to set up as it chills! I clearly have no patience. 😉

  12. I’ve had these without the peanut butter and they were to die for…. can’t wait to try it with the PB! I love how you suggest other recipese at the end of your post. It reminds me of the treats I still want to try. Love your blog!

    1. thank you for the sweet comment Meredith! I love this toffee with or without peanut butter. But I prefer the latter. 🙂 Let me know if you make any of the goodies I linked up to!

  13. I think this may be a Baltimore or Maryland thing, because I had never heard of these until my family moved here and a friend of mine made these. (Although sadly without the addition of peanut butter and sprinkles. But they were still good, albeit a bit too sugary.)

    1. I had it before when I lived in a different state, but the popularity of this recipe is really hit or miss. I have people saying “of course I know what that is!” and others saying they have never heard of such a thing! The salty crackers counteracted the sweetness for me, but yes.. they are high in sugar!

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