2023 Holiday Treats – Part 3
One of the more popular recipes on this blog is Saltine Crack Candy – a toffee-like candy that uses saltine crackers as a base. It’s easy to make and even easier to eat. This riff on the original recipe takes the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter to make the toffee and swaps out the saltines for graham crackers. It is utterly delicious and may even surpass the original recipe.
Just like saltine crack candy, this recipe is easy to make:
- Put down a layer of graham crackers
- Make the peanut butter toffee and pour it over the graham crackers
- Bake for a few minutes so the toffee is hot and bubbling and totally engulfs the crackers
- Layer on the chocolate bars, wait for them to melt before spreading, then top with chopped peanuts
- Let everything cool before breaking into pieces and packaging up as gifts
A few notes:
- First, a word of caution: If you are making this with children, be very careful. The toffee is basically boiling sugar. Little ones may be tempted to stick their fingers into the pot and it will result in a nasty burn. It may be best to wait until the toffee is ready to be broken into pieces to get the children involved. More toffee may end up in their mouths than the gift bags but it is far safer.
- Different brands of peanut butter have different amounts of salt. You may need to adjust the amount of salt you add to the toffee layer and also decide if you need sea salt as a finishing garnish.
- If you decide to use chocolate chips rather than chocolate bars, the result will be just as tasty but the look will be slightly different. Chocolate chips are made with less cocoa butter to help them retain their shape when baked. As a result, they may not soften enough for you to spread them into an even layer on top of the toffee. It’s more an aesthetic choice than anything (my taste testers didn’t have a problem eating all of the chocolate chip version).
This easy peanut butter toffee candy is a riff on saltine crack candy and highlights the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter.
2 sleeves graham crackers (about 14 full cracker sheets)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¼ teaspoon salt**
12 ounces chocolate (bars, not chips)*
¾ cup chopped roasted peanuts
Sea salt for sprinkling, optional**
White chocolate, melted for drizzling, optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a half sheet jelly roll pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Line the pan with a layer of graham crackers (it’s okay if the crackers are cracked or broken).
In a medium saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until peanut butter is melted.
Carefully pour the peanut butter mixture over the graham crackers. Bake for 5 minutes until the peanut butter caramel is bubbling.
If you are using chocolate bars, break the bars into smaller pieces. When the pan comes out of the oven, spread the chocolate pieces over the caramel. When the chocolate has melted slightly, spread evenly over the caramel until completely coated.
Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts, gently pressing down to stick. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.
Let pan cool at room temperature then drizzle with melted white chocolate (optional). Place in the refrigerator to set.
Once the candy is set, break into small pieces and keep in an air tight container (in warmer, tropical areas you may need to store the container in the refrigerator).
*Chocolate chips have less cocoa butter than other types of chocolate which allows them to withstand oven heat and retain their shape and texture. Therefore, chocolate chips will not melt enough to provide the smooth layer of chocolate in this dessert.
**Taste your peanut butter as some brands have a higher salt content than others. Adding salt to the toffee mixture or a finishing salt as a garnish may make this dessert too salty.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Inactive Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Candies
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 136.62
- Sugar: 9.24 g.
- Sodium: 124.5 mg
- Fat: 9.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.02 g.
- Carbohydrates: 11.66 g.
- Fiber: 1.04 g.
- Protein: 2.62 g.
- Cholesterol: 6.03 mg
Keywords: chocolate, peanut butter, graham crackers