Thursday, October 21, 2010

cracker candy

I have been utterly failing you lately when it comes to provide healthy desserts.

I can't help it.  I blame mass media...and those islands in the supermarkets that showcase marshmallows and chocolate bars...and my fellow bloggers who keep posting such beautiful cookies and cakes and candies that Willy Wonka would be jealous.

For this particular dessert, I blame flu season.

You see, every year during flu season I buy a box of saltine crackers.  When I was a child and got sick, my mother would give me 7-Up and saltines and the world would become a better place.  Since I don't live with my mom anymore, I figure that I should be every year I stock up on saltines and 7-Up, and I save them for the inevitable day that my husband and I get sick.

The problem is that we didn't get sick last year.  Not that I'm complaining or anything, but I have an entire box of saltines just sitting there taking up space in my pantry...and the expiration date is August 30, 2010.

I didn't want to be wasteful and throw the crackers away, and I figured that what my husband doesn't know won't hurt him.  So, I made candy...cracker candy.

I've seen this recipe numerous times, but this is the first time I've actually ever made it.  The result was a nice combination of salty and sweet...and the perfect way to use up my last-season's flu crackers.

First, line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and then cover the bottom with saltines.  If you need to, break some of the crackers in half so that the bottom is completely covered. 

The next two ingredients are where my failure comes in...a cup of brown sugar and a cup of butter.  So not healthy, but oh, so good!

Combine the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

Then, pour your boiling caramel over the cracker and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

Here's where I need some advice...has anyone ever made this before?  Are the crackers supposed to rise up or are they supposed to form a "crust" for the caramel?  My crackers definitely rose...

When you pull the caramel and crackers out of the oven, sprinkle a package of chocolate chips over the top and let it rest for a few minutes.

After the chocolate chips get soft and shiny, spread them around with the back of a spoon so that they evenly cover the caramel.  Be sure to lick the spoon when you are done!

If you are feeling feisty, sprinkle some chopped nuts over the top, pressing slightly into the chocolate layer.  I used pecans, but I think just about anything would taste great.

Some recipes I've read say that you can just let this sit overnight and then break it into pieces, but I found that my caramel didn't harden enough for that.  I had to place my cookie sheet in the freezer to get everything to firm up before breaking up the candy, and then I found that it was best to store the candy in the refrigerator to keep it hard.

Experts out there - what has been your experience?

Either way, it tastes great and definitely solved my "cracker problem."  For another similar and delicious looking recipe, check out Picky Palate's Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Caramel Club Bars.

Cracker Candy
saltine crackers
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter
12 oz. package chocolate chips
chopped nuts

Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and completely cover the bottom with saltine crackers.  Combine brown sugar and butter in a heavy saucepan and boil over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Pour over the crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top, spreading with the back of a spoon after they are melted.  Freeze until firm and then break into pieces.

Linked up with Foodie Friday and This Week's Cravings: Thanksgiving Treats and Sweets!


  1. That looks really good! I wonder how many Weight Watcher points a piece would be??? Hmmmm...

    I think I'm going to have to follow you! La

  2. Oh my! Now I'm craving sweet and salty! I've made these using club crackers, but now I'll have to try saltines.

  3. La, I don't even want to know...I'm scared to think about the calories for these!

  4. Oh, now this really looks delicious! YUM!

    Thanks for this recipe!

    Happy Foodie Friday...


    Sheila :-)

  5. I absolutely love these. I make them every Christmas. Great recipe!

  6. Oh yummy...this brought back memories of the the most random event in my life...This goes back to when I was spending my first year in Germany as a college exchange student. It was my very first month there...and some of the other American exchange students and I got together for a meal...and a couple was making this "English toffee" candy using saltine crackers...reall similar to your recipe. Something went haywire...and I don't remember what it was...but it didn't harden like it should as I recall...or maybe it turned into one giant sheet of saltine toffee crackers? No matter :) :)...but this recipe looks super yummy and reminded me of some excellent times in college :) :) :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  7. I think my family would dig these. Good recipe for my college children who live away from home and also stock up on crackers and ginger ale in case they are sick. We moms can't help ourselves and give crazy advice.

    Plan B

  8. Yummo!!!!! This is such a great use for leftover saltines! What a wonderful hostess gift this would be! Thanks for the informative how-to's!

  9. This would make a great gift and I am sure you could use gluten free crackers too!

  10. I have totally made this and a few variations... I will share with you a recipe I wrote when I was like 10 years old (it's on facebook, so I will share it there) You will laugh!

  11. Yum! My husbands Aunt makes something similar to this at the holidays, but she uses graham crackers!

  12. Oh, this is delicious!!! A friend gave us a small bag of this last Christmas...and I was craving more!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe...
    Jane (Artfully Graced)

  13. This looks so good and easy! I'm saving the recipe to try soon. Bet my children would love it.

  14. Wow, great presentation! Looks yum too! Happy Weekend!

  15. I've heard about this I'm going to have to try it!!!

  16. I've heard about this recipe so many times and you definitely make it look good.

  17. What a delicious recipe! I've not heard of it before, and I definitely need to make it!!

  18. This is one of my favorite treats to make for Christmas! I use Ritz crackers for mine and I also sprinkle some red & green sprinkles on top to amke it "Christmasy" and my kids love it.
    Stopping by from Moms Crazy Cooking.

  19. Cracker Candy will harden within an hour of refrigeration if you boil the butter and brown sugar long enough. I use the "ball test". After boiling 3 minutes, I drop a few drops of the mixture in a glass of tap water. If it forms a ball, it's ready to pour over the crackers. It'll harden up.


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