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 prepared...so 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.
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter
12 oz. package chocolate chips
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!