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.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Saltine Toffee

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10-12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

  • one sleeve salted Saltine crackers (about 3540 crackers)
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (100g) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (450g) semi-sweet, milk, or white chocolate chips
  • optional: 1 cup (200g) crushed M&Ms and sprinkles

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.

Keywords: saltine toffee

129 Comments

  1. Literally salivating reading this recipe! This toffee looks so festive and fun and I can’t believe how easy it seems to make! I am adding it to my list to make!

    1. can i come to your holiday party? and plop myself next to the dessert table?!?! Noone will know I’m there. But the desserts may disappear…

  2. So festive and fun Sally! I’ve had something like this with saltines and it was INSTANT love. The salty crunch with all those sweet flavors is nothing short of amazing!

  3. lol! well, it is practically no-bake! only a few short mins in the oven! most of the magic happens in the freezer 🙂 kitchen sink toffee- i love that name!

    1. A silpat will work, Susan – but toffee may get stuck to the sides of the baking pan (just a warning!). I just used non-stick spray (very generous amount) which was quite simple.

      1. It’s currently sitting in my fridge till I get off work. *crosses fingers that it doesn’t stick too much*

      2. Very sweet, and I accidentally put in double the peanut butter by mistake because I forgot to halve it halved the recipe. but delicious nonetheless 😀

        It also didn’t stick too much:D

  4. i’ve made these before, but without peanut butter. your addition of peanut butter puts these over the top!! love them, sally!`

    1. Hey Katie! Thanks so much – I’ve had it without peanut butter too (sooo good).. but PB definitely is like the cherry on top 🙂

  5. I made a basic version of these, yours look wayyyy better though! The addition of peanut butter…duh. Why didn’t I think of that?!

    1. it’s not the prettiest dessert, so don’t feel bad about yours not looking so great Maddie! Thanks so much for saying that though – and peanut butter… i mean… can you really go wrong adding it?! 😉

  6. OMG!!! I just made this and after tasting them, I was texting/calling friends and family to tell them how amazing they are! I made a similar version from a Trader Joe’s sample last month, but it has nothing on this! I love how versatile it is. I’m already thinking a mixture of chocolate peanut butter chips and halloween sprinkles! You could really put anything on top. Also, my son has braces and is so sad he can’t eat toffee this year. He’s going to be thrilled that these are crunchy, but not “hard”, (if that makes sense), so he can eat them. There should really be a warning on your recipe though….they are highly addictive! 🙂

    1. oh my goodness kimberly, thank you so so much for the sweet comment! It means a ton to me and I am SO glad you and your son can enjoy this. You’re right – this stuff is SO versatile. Any and all kinds of toppings like reese’s pieces, sprinkles, candy bars, butterscotch chips – anything! And yes, it is SO addicting. Hard to stop at just one bite. Thank you for writing in and let me know if you make any other recipes 🙂

  7. I made these today and they were sooo yummy! My husband was eating them out of the pan as I was breaking them apart! Thanks for sharing.

    1. That’s what we did too – stealing pieces off as we broke it all apart. This will be a recipe we’ll make each year and I’m happy you both loved it too!

  8. Man… I hate recipes like this because I can. not. stop. eating.

    Getting out of here before I can no longer resist the urge to get up from bed and go to the kitchen…

  9. Love, love, LOVE these! I made them at Christmas and again at Valentines day. So easy, so yummy! My sister made me send her the recipe after she and her daughter ate half of my tray! I will have to see what odds n ends I have laying around…pretzels, m&ms, PB cups, caramel chocolate…I’m good!

  10. I tried these this yesterday. They were delicious! The only trouble that I had was melting the chocolate chips on top of the rest of the ingredients. It did not melt enough in 1 min to spread around. I had to put it back in for a couple more minutes. I did finally get it to spread and added the M&M’s and sprinkles. LOVED IT! I will definitely make these again!

  11. Yum – will definitely try these Sally – I think they would be a good treat for the firemen! Ok so here is the dumb question of the day. What is considered a ‘sleeve’? Is it the single package that the crackers are in? I saw that in a graham cracker recipe too, ‘use a sleeve’ — had no idea how many that was?? Told you it was dumb!!! And I love your friend Avery’s blog!! Thank you for recommending!!
    donna

    1. Hi Donna! If you buy saltine crackers in the box, they come in a pack or two sleeves or four sleeves. Same with graham crackers. I believe for saltines, it is about 40 crackers.

  12. If i make these today, will they still be yummy and delicious on tuesday? because i want to make them ahead of time to bring to school…..??

  13. OK – these are CRAZY! I made them on Saturday – I didn’t skip a step…crushed M & M’s, sprinkles, peanut butter…the works! These are UNBELIEVABLE! I made them to include in birthday packages for two of my nephews – I kept “sampling” it so finally had to tape it up in a box so I wouldn’t eat it all!!! These are incredibly delicious! I would only warn…they are truly like a drug!

    I followed these up with your Cake Batter Rice Krispie treats. OMG…another one knocked out of the park! Another one taped securely in the birthday package so I would stop eating it! Delicious!

    I toyed with making your Biscoff White Chocolate Oatmeal cookies but…with the boxes already taped shut, they would have nowhere to go but in my belly! Maybe next weekend!!! 🙂

    1. Hi Christine! I’m so glad you tried two of my favorite recipes lately – both the saltine toffee and the cake batter treats. Both wonderful recipes and so, so simple! I hope your nephews love them. I know they will. =) Let me know how you like the Biscoff cookies next!

  14. these are amazing but I found only 6 tablespoons of melted peanut butter did not cover much of the large pan.Do you think I did something wrong?

  15. I made this last night for our Christmas Goodie Day at work tomorrow and it is delicious! My only question is if i leave these out at room temperature all day, won’t the chocolate melt and make a big mess? Just curious! I’d hate to make it with almond bark because that would not taste as good.

      1. Thanks! I’m thinking it will all be gone before it has a chance to melt anyway, but was just curious!

    1. Hey Maria! Hope you had a lovely Christmas as well – I’ve never tried this with pretzels before, but I have no doubt it would work!

  16. Hi Sally, wht r the brands of saltines tht u use because I have to try n find out the same one here in India.also can u just help me with the gram measurements. Ur recipes r always a big hit in my family. So this time during HOLI (a colour festival in India which is on 16th march ) want to impress everyone with ur recipes.
    Love u n ur recipes always.
    Sneha

  17. hi – tried to make this yesterday and don’t know what I did wrong but chocolate chips would not melt…and I only saw 1 post that someone else had that problem – I even put it back in oven for several minutes – I used hershey’s semi-sweet chips – any clue

  18. Would cookie butter work in the place of the peanut butter? I want to make this for Christmas but have some peanut allergies in the family.

  19. After a failed attempt at fudge yesterday, I made these. Always perfect, every time! I wanted to come back and share a moment of inspiration I had with them though…instead of using peanut butter, added in peanut butter chips (TJ”s brand). Worked like a dream…they have that chocolate/peanut butter action going on but I didn’t have to worry about melting peanut butter. 🙂

    Thanks again for the recipe…they are going into my gift boxes again this year!

  20. Hi Sally! I just started trying out your many delicious recipes at the start of the holiday season, so I was excited to try one more that looks just as good! I had a slight problem though – my toffee layer seemed to get burnt after cooking on the stovetop and in the oven. I’m a college student with a finicky apartment kitchen, so it could be either source just got too hot! Overall the whole dessert turned out fairly scrumptious, but there is a slight SLIGHT burnt taste to the toffee layer. Since I was trying to give it as a gift, I think I’ll keep this batch for me and try again. Would love any feedback to see how I can do it right the second time!

    1. Sarah, I assume it is your stove which is totally OK. I’m glad you still like the taste. If you make it again, use slightly lower heat. All stoves are finicky sometimes.

  21. 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?

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