Christmas crack is super tasty and addictive, just as the name suggests! It is also known as toffee saltine cracker candies that takes only 4 ingredients and only 15 minutes of active time! It's perfect as an everyday treat or for the holidays, just like nama chocolate.
What is Christmas crack?
If you've never had Christmas crack, you are in for a real treat! It's also known as toffee saltine cracker candies and is an easy candy to make for both an everyday snack or for the holidays. It's made of three layers - saltine crackers, toffee, chocolate, and an optional layer for garnish and toppings.
With the three layers, you get the perfect flavor combinations of sweet, savory, and buttery. As for texture, the saltine cracker gives it a nice, light crisp. The toffee, as it is not a true toffee, has just enough snap but soft enough to pleasantly chew on. And lastly, the chocolate, after it's chilled gives the candy a wonderful, crisp snap before melting away in your mouth, leaving behind a luxurious, smooth and velvety texture.
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
- Crackers - This is the base of this Christmas candy provides a nice crisp and the perfect amount of salty, savory contrast to the rest of the sweet layers. It's classic to use saltine crackers, but we prefer buttery crackers.
- Unsalted butter and brown sugar - These two ingredients will be cooked to make a quick toffee. Either light or dark brown sugar will work. Personally, we prefer dark brown sugar because it's got more flavor and better color.
- Chocolate chips - This is used to make the top layer of Christmas crack. We recommend bittersweet chocolate chips so that the candy won't become too sweet. However, if you're not keen with bittersweet chocolates, feel free to swap it out for milk chocolate, semi-sweet, white chocolate, or even mix and match it!
- Optional toppings - You could finish off the Christmas toffee cracker candies with just the chocolate layer, but why not add a flare to the candy?! Feel free to top the Christmas crack with nuts, chocolate drizzles, pretzels, candies, such as M&M.
How to make Christmas Crack
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe and instructions!
1. Prepare the ingredients and equipments. Preheat the oven to 375°F and prepare a jelly roll pan (or any pans around the size of 15x10 inches) lined with parchment paper.
2. Arrange the saltine crackers. Place the saltine crackers in the prepared jelly roll pan next to each other in a single layer.
📝 Note: Depending on the size of the crackers, you may use more or less and may need to break up pieces of crackers so that the entire bottom of the pan is covered.
3. Make the toffee. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and brown sugar. Let the butter melt and stir occasion until the mixture comes to a simmer. Let it cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture looks emulsified and bubbly.
4. Add the toffee layer. When the toffee mixture is ready, pour it onto the saltine crackers and immediately spread the mixture as evenly as possible.
5. Bake. Carefully place the pan into the oven and bake for about 5 minutes, or until the toffee is bubbly all over and looks kind of crackly. If you have an infrared thermometer, it should register around 290°F. Remove from the oven.
🚨 Caution! Be very careful when handling the pan! The toffee mixture will be EXTREMELY hot and fluid. So it can easily spill and splash.
6. Top with chocolate. Once removed from the oven, immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips onto the toffee. Let the chocolate sit for 5 minutes, or until melted, then spread the chocolate as evenly as possible with a spatula or the back of spoon.
🌟 Pro tip: If the chocolate is added when the toffee has cooled a little, you can pop the pan back into the oven for 1 to 2 minutes to help melt the chocolate.
7. Add additional toppings. Drizzle on melted chocolate and/or sprinkle on chopped nuts, pretzels, candies, and any other desired toppings now.
8. Chill and refrigerate. Let the Christmas crack cool at room temperature until completely cooled. Then, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, until the chocolate is hard.
Common troubleshoot tips
My layers separated:
The most common issue for separated layers is that the toffee was too cool when the chocolate was added. We recommend to sprinkle the chocolate chips on the hot toffee as soon as the pan is take out of the oven. Then, let the chocolate sit for about 5 minutes, untouched, so that it can melt before spreading.
The toffee is chewy:
- Toffee was not cooked enough. If the toffee isn't cooked for long enough, it will not solidify properly. Make sure the toffee is simmered until the mixture is completely emulsified.
- Toffee was exposed to too much moisture. When making true toffee, it is most ideal when the weather isn't humid. This applies to make the toffee for these toffee cracker candies. Try to keep the kitchen air dry and wrap the Christmas crack well or store it in an airtight container.
The toffee mixture looks oily:
- The toffee mixture needs to cook longer. If the toffee mixture is not cooked long enough, the butter will not properly emulsify with the sugar. So make sure to let the mixture simmer until completely emulsified.
- Heat was too high. If the heat is too high when simmering the toffee mixture, there's a higher chance that the butter may become separated. Try to keep the heat on medium and no hotter than medium high.
- Chocolate is not smooth. This is most likely because the chocolate wasn't melted enough before spreading. If the chocolate was sprinkled onto the toffee right out of the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, it should be completely melted. If not, you can pop the pan back into the oven for 1 to 2 minutes.
- The chocolate looks greasy or separated. The chocolate may have been exposed to high heat. This will cause the cocoa butter to separate, making it look separated or greasy. If following this recipe, the chocolate should not have this issue.
These toffee saltine cracker candies will stay good in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 2 to 3 months. Just make sure to store them well in an airtight container because humidity and moisture will cause the toffee to become chewy and/or melt.
Since we are not making a true toffee, no thermometer is necessary. Simply let the toffee mixture simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the butter and sugar looks emulsified (no longer looks separated).
Saltine crackers provide a nice crisp and a nice salty, savory contrast to the rest of the sweet layers. However, if you prefer, you can use graham crackers. They are a popular substitute.
Although you could use white granulated sugar instead of brown sugar, we do not recommend it. Regular granulated sugar is more suited for making true toffee, which is a bit more technical to achieve the proper texture and color. Brown sugar will naturally provide both the color, flavor, and texture you'd want for this toffee cracker candy.
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Christmas Crack (only 4 ingredients!)
For the Christmas crack:
- 44 saltine crackers or as many as needed
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (or 1 cup)
- 1 cup brown sugar packed (light or dark)
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or chocolate bars roughly chopped
- White chocolate melted for drizzling
- Nuts chopped
- Pretzel chips
- Preheat oven to 375°F and prepare a jelly roll pan (or any 10x15 inch pan) lined with parchment paper.
- Arrange the saltine crackers in the lined jelly roll pan in one single layer. Set aside until needed.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and brown sugar. Heat until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Then, let the butter and sugar mixture come to a high simmer and let it cook until bubbly and emulsified, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour the butter and brown sugar (toffee) mixture over the pan of crackers and immediately spread out the toffee mixture as evenly as possible.
- Carefully place the pan into the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until the toffee is bubbly all over.
- Carefully remove the pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the toffee. Let the chocolate sit for about 5 minutes, or until all melted. Then spread out the chocolate evenly with a rubber spatula, offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
- If you wish to add additional toppings, garnish the Christmas crack now. Once finished, let the Christmas crack cool completely at room temperature. Then, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, until the chocolate is hard.
- When the chocolate has hardened completely, peel off the parchment and break the Christmas crack into 20 pieces, or into your desired size pieces. Enjoy immediately or keep it refrigerated until ready to enjoy!
- Chocolate - Feel free to substitute the bittersweet chocolate with milk chocolate chips if you prefer sweeter chocolate.
- Saltine crackers - Different brands of saltine crackers can vary in sizes, is adjust the amount needed, as you see fit.
- Also, if you prefer, you could also use graham crackers or other types of crackers instead of saltine crackers. We do recommend sticking to crackers that are square or rectangular for easier arrangement.
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