Saltine toffee is also known as Christmas crack, and it's so easy to make! Just 4 ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. I love that this is a toffee recipe made without nuts, and plus, it comes together in just minutes in the oven. Also, if you're scared of melting chocolate, this recipe is fool-proof--you'll never made it another way.
If you've had Saltine toffee before, this recipe needs no explanation. Maybe you're already nodding your head in agreement that this candy recipe, if any candy recipe ever, needed to be slightly scaled down to prevent over-consumption. Personally, I can eat a whole pan of this stuff. I start chipping away at it shortly after breakfast, and before dinner, it's gone. I'm the same way with my easy fudge recipe, since it's made with only 2 ingredients.
It is commonly referred to as 'crack toffee,' a sentiment that I fully understand after one bite. It's salty, sweet, and it's chocolatey. What's not to love? Plus, it's so simple and a great recipe to bake with kids.
Besides the addictive qualities of this toffee, another slippery slope is the ease with which you can whip it up. Got 10 minutes plus 20 minutes of chill time? You have toffee--a toffee made without nuts, even. I always seem to have the ingredients laying around to make this saltine toffee. I love to make pork schnitzel with crushed Saltines before frying, so I've always got a few boxes on hand. And chocolate chips, hand-to-mouth, will always and forever be a favorite snack in this house. Add butter and brown sugar (even the hard stuff you forgot about in the back of your pantry), and you're on your way!
How to make saltine toffee
Once you gather your ingredients: crackers, chocolate chips, butter and brown sugar, you're ready to start baking. Please note that you can use any type of brown sugar: light or dark. It can also be super hard brown sugar that you forgot about in your pantry from last year.
You can top the toffee with anything you like--pecans, peanuts, heath bar bits, anything crunchy, really. I'm usually giving this as a holiday gift, so I err on the side of caution with nut allergies and just crush extra saltines on top. Plus, I like the even more salt. Plus, extra crushed saltines on top is the best way to keep this nut-free.
If you've never had Saltine toffee before, I'm going to recommend that you never try it. It will wreck you. And your waist line. You should make this small batch recipe, divide it in two for holiday gifts, and delivery it immediately. Do not break off a tiny piece, do not lick the pan, do not pass go and collect $200. Just kidding, let's jump on the sugar sleigh and get going!
- Saltine Crackers. You need 28 saltine crackers, and please do not use the low-salt version. I just don't think it tastes right here.
- Unsalted Butter. It's unsalted because we're using salty crackers here, but if all you have is salted butter, it will still work.
- Chocolate Chips. I recommend semisweet or dark chocolate chips here, because this saltine toffee recipe is super sweet. Milk chocolate chips might be too sweet for most palates.
- Brown Sugar. Light or dark brown sugar, whatever you have, really. I usually always bake with dark, because I love the molasses flavor so much. If you do too, you would love my brown sugar chocolate chip cookies.
- Optional toppings: You can sprinkle anything you want on top of this toffee: extra crackers (crushed), crushed candy canes, Christmas sprinkles, or finely chopped nuts.
- Gather your ingredients (go ahead and pre-measure everything to make it easy), and preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Line a quarter sheet pan (the same one I use for my Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake) with aluminum foil. A quarter sheet pan measures 9 x 13 x 1-inch.
- Place the crackers on the prepared sheet pan in a neat row. Place them salted-side down on the sheet.
- Next, in a small 1-quart sauce pan, add the butter and brown sugar. Bring this mixture to a FULL ROLLING BOIL over medium high heat. A full rolling boil is when the entire surface of the mixture boils, not just the edges. See the photo below.
- Immediately pour the mixture over the surface of the crackers. Try to pour it evenly over the surface of the crackers, but if you can't make it perfect, do not worry. The mixture will spread a bit in the oven. Don't attempt to spread it with a spatula or spoon, because it will just stick to that and lift the crackers off the pan in a very annoying way. Slide the crackers and brown sugar mixture into the oven for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, open the oven to check on the toffee mixture. If it's bubbling, you can remove it from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. If it's not bubbling, slide it back into the oven until it is, for about 3-5 extra minutes. Let the chocolate chips sit on the surface of the toffee for 1 whole minute without touching them. Then, use an offset spatula to smooth the chocolate chips evenly over the surface. The residual heat from the oven is enough to melt the chocolate chips. Plus, it's so fun spreading chocolate chips like this!
- While the chocolate is still melty, sprinkle over your topping of choice. I used 4 extra crushed up crackers here in the photos for another salty hit. You can use sprinkles, nuts, or crushed candy. Refrigerate the candy for 20 minutes until set, and then break into pieces and serve.
How to store:
Once the chocolate hardens, this saltine toffee can be stored at room temperature, as long as it's slightly cool. Warm temperatures will obviously melt the chocolate and make it soggy. I don't recommend storing this candy in the fridge, because it will soften the crackers. Just leave it in a cool, dry place, like the pantry.
Equipment to Make Saltine Toffee:
- This Quarter Sheet Pan is my favorite, and it comes in a two-pack, in case you want to double the recipe for gift-giving.
- An Offset Spatula is such a simple but highly effective tool to add to your baking equipment.
- A small One-Quart Sauce Pan for boiling the butter and sugar is helpful, too.
Saltine toffee variations:
-Saltine toffee with crushed peppermint or candy canes on top
-Cracker toffee with Christmas sprinkles
-Christmas Crack with Pretzels instead of extra crushed saltines on top
- 28 Saltine crackers (do not use the low-salt version)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line a quarter sheet pan that measures 6 crackers by 4 crackers with aluminum foil. Gather the ingredients to make the saltine toffee, and have everything measured and ready to go.
- Line up 24 of the crackers on the pan, salted side down.
- In a small 1-quart saucepan, add the butter and brown sugar. Bring to a rolling boil--the entire pot will boil, not just the edges.
- Immediately pour the brown sugar mixture over the crackers. Try to pour it evenly, but know that it will spread some in the oven. Place the pan in the oven for 5 minutes. Check on it after 5 minutes to ensure that the toffee is bubbling. If so, remove it from the oven and scatter the chocolate chips on top. If it's not bubbling, return it to the oven for another 3-5 minutes, until it is.
- Let the chocolate chips set for 1 minute, then use an off-set spatula or knife to spread the melted mixture over the top of all of the crackers. Sprinkle over your topping of choice while the chocolate is still melty.
- Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set. Break into pieces and serve.
Saltine Crackers: Regular crackers, not the low-salt version.
Chocolate Chips: Semisweet or dark chocolate chips here, not milk chocolate chips.
Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar or dark brown sugar both work here.
Optional toppings: You can sprinkle anything you want on top of this toffee: extra crackers (crushed), crushed candy canes, Christmas sprinkles, finely chopped nuts, or crushed pretzel pieces.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 53mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 1g