A Southern Grace: saltines have never had it so good...

December 18, 2008

saltines have never had it so good...

Yum

...and neither have I. Quick, easy, and undeniably drool-inducing--what could be better?


Yep. This is good stuff. Perhaps you've tried or at least seen the variety using matzo. I'm here to tell you that if it's at all possible, this version is even better. I think the salt on the crisp crackers combined with the rich, semi-sweet chocolate and crunchy, buttery toffee makes for the perfect candy, any minute of any day of any month of any year. It's probably best to save it for the holidays, however, unless you want to add some more junk to your trunk...

*This post has been updated with the answers to many common questions (such as why the order in the picture is different from the order in the recipe...)! Read more here and here. Print the recipe here.


Terribly Terrific Toffee
(printable recipe!)
1 cup unsalted butter (no margarine allowed)
1 cup brown sugar, packed tightly
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
40 saltine crackers

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan or a 12x17-inch cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Lay a flat layer of crackers out on the foil. Melt the sugar and butter until a boil is reached. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes or until mixture is thickened and sugar is completely dissolved. Pour this mixture over the crackers and spread to coat evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the toffee becomes bubbly. After removing the pan from the oven, let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle on the chocolate chips, let them soften and melt, and then spread them into an even layer. (You can add nuts, cracker crumbs, or whatever else floats your boat at this point.) Let cool and, if desired for expediting purposes, refrigerate until hardened. Break into pieces the size of your choice. I personally prefer a hand-sized chunk.


GADZOOKS, Christmas is in one week! Gracious me.

267 comments:

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grace said...

@Sonnie: i stir it occasionally throughout the process on the stove top. you don't have to do it constantly, but it's a good idea to make sure parts of the goo aren't in direct contact with the bottom of the pan the whole time.

KB said...

@Anonymous: Non-stick foil is the key! You can also butter the foil before laying down the crackers, but the non-stick stuff is awesome and so easy!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely addicting, lol. I ended up using the salted sweet cream butter to give it that more sweet salty taste, it turned out amazing!!!

Kaitlyn Toto said...

Unfortunately I just tried this and the saltines slid in oven and burnt :( maybe I should have used a sheet with higher sides?
I was so excited to try it!

Sarah C. said...

This is sooo good!!! Thanks for the recipe.

Tracy said...

Just made a batch of this "Heaven to my taste buds", and nowI MUST make another. YUMMM!!

Anonymous said...

Made these last night w/toasted sliced almonds to take on our tacky light tour. I opened my roll of foil & realized I didn't have enough so used parchment w/spray w/fingers crossed & it worked great. Saw review 2day where someone else used it. Only oddity was my crackers were on the bottom. I'm guessing I simmered too high or too long but it didn't hurt the taste. I used dark brown sugar & it didn't burn as other reviewer. Also I placed in the freezer cuz I was running out of time & they were ready in A snap. They were a big hit--even the driver asked 4 2nds. Ty 4 a yummy, super easy recipe.

grace said...

@Kaitlyn Toto: the baking sheet i use has about 1/2-inch high sides, but i still have to remove it from the oven with care! i'm sorry that happened. :(

@Anonymous: good idea, with the parchment and pan spray, and thanks for sharing your experience!

Carolyn Hill said...

I can't get enough of this stuff and it's SO easy to make!!! I've tried it with dark chocolate (YUM) and white chocolate too (not so great). I do use salted butter and a couple of times have sprinkled a bit of sea salt on top of the chocolate too because I loooove the salty/sweet combination.

Angela Haraldsen said...

wow! I made these last night and it was PERFECT! I think the secret is to be patient with the toffee and stir frequently. my crackers floated up and I was able to moved them around before adding the chocolate if they shifted a little in the caramel glue. FLAWLESS! Thank you for the wonderful recipe and easy to follow instructions! I still wonder if anyone has tried this with potato chips :)

grace said...

@Angela Haraldsen: potato chips sound GREAT--good idea!

Anonymous said...

I made this a month or two ago after my friend found u via pinterest...been meaning to comment and day how awesome these are! I am commenting right now bc I was here following the recipe and it's in the oven part. :)

grace said...

@Anonymous: it's so hard waiting for the toffee to cool, isn't it! :)

Nanagees said...

Grace just a suggestion so you don't have to keep repeating yourself,,,, maybe add a note to the recipe explaining the change in the layers during the cooking process.
Thanks for a great recipe!

Jodi said...

I just made this and it is FABULOUS!! Thank you for all your words of wisdom and for the recipe!! Yummy!

grace said...

@Nanagees: good call! :)

@Jodi: my pleasure!

Unknown said...

These are awesome and even more so if you use dark chocolate chips.

Artsy-Craftsy Ivy said...

Sounds really good. I think you'd just use Earth Balance or organic Smart Balance to make this vegan, as butter is the only nonvegan thing about it. I make this with matzo every year--and I make it vegan. Yum!

Anonymous said...

My family's new Christmas favorite, and its so easy!

Marsha said...

I have wanted to try this candy since I had tasted some earlier this year. I made a batch last night. Oh my goodness! delicious! Tonight, Christmas Eve made another batch to share tomorrow. I had ran out of brown sugar so I used 1 C white sugar and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Molasses. Worked great! Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Genise said...

So easy to make and was an absolute hit!

Kate said...

My sister makes these and calls then "Crackle" get it??! :)) They include crackers & as addicting as crack. I'm making a batch for New Years Eve.

Kendalyn said...

I go over excited and didn't simmer the toffee but left in the oven for 15 min instead of 10. Will be topping with white chocolate and semi sweet! Anxious to see how they turn out !

Anonymous said...

Hi...I had these when a friend made them for the holidays. I've now tried them 2 times and for some reason the toffee just never comes out right. It never seems like the sugar is completely disolved and the mixture seems grainy. What am I doing wrong?!?! I tried cooking it longer this time on low heat and that didn't seem to change the consistency at all. Help! This treat is so delish but the grainy-ness changes the taste/texture of the treat a bit. Thanks!

grace said...

@Anonymous: from your description, it seems like the problem is somewhere in that first step, when the butter and brown sugar are cooking together. make sure you're using one packed cup of brown sugar and one cup (two sticks) of butter. wait until it starts bubbling all over before you begin your timing of 5-6 minutes, and stir it from time to time during those 5-6 minutes. if it's still grainy after all that, i'll just have to admit to being completely flummoxed!

Anonymous said...

This is chocolate CRACK!!! Everyone loves it.

Laurie Gramer said...

Let time I made these I used a little of my Pampered Chef sea salt on top. Just a little ground right on top of the chocolate!! Oh my word, delightful.

Anonymous said...

cashews on top and they are out of this world!!

Carolyn Hill said...

The kids and I call this "cracker toffee" or really, "CRACK toffee" because we just can't stop eating it from the time it's cooled until it's GONE. Loooove it!

grace said...

@Carolyn Hill: an apt name! :)

Amanda C said...

I tried to skim the comments to make sure no one had already asked this, sorry if you already answered it. I did everything exactly to your recipe. When I broke apart and cut apart after it cooled the bottom toffee layer was crubmling off. It still tastes really good- and it alsmost seems that a good bit of the toffee soaked in the cracker. Just wondering what I did wrong. I am assuming I either cooked the toffee mix too long on the stove or I baked the cracker/toffee mix too long in the oven. Anyone know which it would be? I want to make again, but I want it to turn out perfect like in your pictures.

grace said...

@Amanda C: It sounds to me like you've used either too much butter or too little brown sugar. Is the brown sugar firmly packed? If you're sure that both of those measurements are correct, I'd recommend cooking it less on the stovetop. It may take a few trials and errors, as we all use different equipment and ingredients, but I have to say that it's totally worth the trouble!

GayleMarie said...

OMG - I think we all died and went to heaven!!! We made these a few times for picnics with our next door neighbors last summer who have 3 little girls (aged at the time: 4,6 and 9) They DEVOURED these; I had never seen anything like it!! It warmed my heart and I wish I had my camera out with me! I WILL admit I had no butter in the house, so I used margarine (Tsk, tsk - I know, I know!!!), which IS a BIG, BIG, BIG mistake, because in the hot and nastily humid Maryland weather, these things just started melting in your hands the minute you picked them up. SO, I have already bought 2 lbs of butter, because the girls are already asking about "those chocolate things you made last summer!"

grace said...

@GayleMarie: gotta make the little girls happy! :)

Anonymous said...

I used parchment paper instead of foil and it worked PERFECTLY!!!

helpless in kitchen said...

Showed my wife this recipe and with her out of town I decided to try making it myself. Now I can say that I am able to cook more than just toast!

grace said...

@helpless in kitchen: most impressive! methinks it's safe to say that you're a natural if you conquered this so easily!

Stacey said...

I grew up with club crackers instead...they are so so amazing. Anyone wanting to experiment should definitely try switching!!

Anonymous said...

Confused by your pic and recipe directions. Shouldn't the pic show them as cracker, toffee, chocolate in order of layers? Your pics show toffee, cracker, chocolate.... is there a different order to do this in?

grace said...

@Anonymous: please refer to this post: http://asoutherngrace.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-second-helping.html

Anonymous said...

I know this from camp when I was a lot younger and still make to this day. I know this as pine bark.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine and I make these all the time! My favorite to do is add butterscotch chips on top. Or peppermint pieces on them at christmas ! Its wonderful (:

Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts said...

I followed your link here today, but I think that this recipe may be how I originally found you and your blog! Thank You pinterest!

Melody said...

I hope you don't mind, but I'm reblogging this recipe on my blog. I've let everyone know that the recipe wasn't originally mine, and I included the link to this blog entry so they can refer back to it. I just wanted you to know!

Anonymous said...

I have been making this for years. We call it soda cracker candy. I also use semi sweet chips and peanut butter chips a 12oz. Bag of each.

Anonymous said...

can these be frozen?
if not...how long will they keep in the fridge?

grace said...

@Anonymous: i've never tried freezing or refrigerating the end result--it always disappears too quickly to have to worry about that. i think the candy would last a few days or maybe even weeks in the fridge and a few months in the freezer before the quality would begin to diminish, but i guess you'll have to do some experimenting. please let me know what you find!

RJLong said...

I love this recipe, always a huge hit. I'm making it again this weekend and as it's my 6th batch, I hope to pefect it :)

Everything turns out great when I make it, I put it in the freezer for a while before breaking into pieces. For some reason it always melts on me when it's not in the fridge or freezer and become a sticky blob. I have tried simmering the sugar and butter longer, baking longer, added more sugar, etc.

Any tricks for getting the toffee to stay harder and crunchy when it's room temperature?

Anonymous said...


what happens if you DO use margarine? I have a nephew who cannot have butter but can have unsalted Fleishman's unsalted.
Thanks....

grace said...

@RJLong: I wish I knew the answer to your question, but I don't. Fortunately for us, it always gets devoured before such things can even become an issue. If you figure out the trick, please let me know!

grace said...

@Anonymous: in my experience, the toffee doesn't set up as firmly when margarine is used instead of butter--it stays a little bit soft regardless of how long it's cooked. it's still tasty, it's just not as delicious as the version that uses butter.

Anonymous said...

I did as directed and the problem I'm having is in one batch, getting the foil off the hardened toffee is like peeling wallpaper off in shreds and yes I did spray it first. The second batch, the foil floated ontop of the melted toffee mix so I had a nice layer of toffee then foil then crackers. What the heck am I doing wrong???

RJLong said...

When I use foil I use a large enough piece that I can fold it up and over the sides of the pan, and I spray the heck out of it with Pam. It does peel off of the toffee in pieces, but big enough pieces that it's easy to do. I also freeze the batch in the pan for 20+ minutes then immediately peel off the foil, for some reason that seems to help.

grace said...

@Anonymous: I'm sorry you're having trouble! Try freezing the entire pan of toffee before you peel off the foil--that might do the trick. Also, make sure the foil comes up over the sides of the pans so the liquid can't seep under the foil and crackers. Hope this helps!

JLew said...

What did I do wrong?? I used 8oz unsalted butter, 1cup brown sugar and the consistency is thick and there's not nearly enough to spread out evenly....???

grace said...

@JLew: I'm baffled! Are you positive you used 8 ounces of butter and not 8 tablespoons? It should be completely pourable. I'm going to have to give this one some more thought.

Anonymous said...

Not sure, I brought to boil, then continue to stir while it was simmering. I dont think mine worked out. I could not get the sugar to dissolve and I cooked it for the full 6 minutes. Sad! What happened? ANyone else have troubles?

Anonymous said...

I had same problem as JLEW.

grace said...

@Anonymous: Here's my suggestions--bring your butter to room temperature first. I tried the recipe with butter fresh from the fridge and the resulting goo was pretty stiff (though things did work out in the end). I then tried it with room temp butter and everything worked out better. Also, you might be cooking the goo too hard--it should only be simmering. Try easing up on that and starting your 5 minutes when the boil first begins. Hope this helps!

Tammy said...

These are so scrumptious! Make them every year for the holidays.
Love love love them.

Wholesale Nuts said...

I have the exact recipe, except using white sugar, and Club crackers. Call them "Brutzel Bars". Taste exactly like English toffee. Amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, you can use salted butter. I use the round rice crackers to make them gluten free. I do 3 min. after it starts to boil.

Ally said...

My mother and grandmother have been making this for years long before I was born (I'm 30). The only addition is they add sliced almonds on top. This is my family's favorite Christmas tradition.

Ally said...

It's seriously the best candy ever!

Alilly said...

Why is margarine not allowed?

grace said...

@Alilly: You can use margarine, but it just doesn't behave the same as true butter, nor does it taste as amazing in the end!

Anonymous said...

This is now our favorite candy I make. The name says it all! I use club crackers instead of saltines. It just gives it a more buttery flavor. Everyone that has it says it's just amazing!

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