Christmas Crack

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Christmas Crack! Saltine crackers coated with caramel and chocolate. A salty, crunchy holiday treat. What's not to love?

Photography Credit: Irvin Lin and Emma Christensen

I don’t know if this is called “crack” because of the way it breaks into big, wonderful pieces, because it’s made with crackers, or because it’s so darn addictive. Regardless, I’m a fan.

With this classic Christmas treat, Saltine crackers get a double dunking: first in caramel and then in chocolate.

The result is a salty, crunchy, chocolate-covered treat that’s nearly impossible to stop eating.

Christmas Crack

Constant stirring as you make the caramel mixture gives you a finished candy that’s closer to the texture of pralines than English toffee. You have a deep caramel flavor, but the bites are fairly soft and easy to chew. The crispiness comes from the crackers themselves.

You can get fancy and sprinkle nuts, coconut flakes, or holiday-colored sprinkles on top if you want, but I’m a purist when it comes to my Christmas crack. I like it just as is.

The only thing I might consider is a sprinkling of crunchy Maldon sea salt on top of the chocolate to make them even more crunchy and salty. But I’m fearful that if I do that, I might not stop eating them!

How to make Christmas Crack

Christmas Crack Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: About 35 pieces

Feel free to add 1/2 cup of chopped nuts or coconut flakes on top once you’ve poured the melted chocolate.

You can use darker chocolate with higher percentages of cacao, but these chocolates sometimes become brittle and separate from the cracker layer.

We recommend cooling this candy overnight in the fridge since cooling in the freezer can cause the chocolate layer and the cracker layer to separate when you "crack" the candy. If you need to freeze, let the crackers warm up for about 10 minutes before cracking.

Ingredients

  • 28 to 35 saltine crackers (about one sleeve, enough to line your tray)
  • 1 cup (220 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (225 g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (10 to 12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate

Special equipment:

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan with nonstick aluminum foil (preferred) or regular heavy duty foil, making sure that the foil completely covers the bottom and sides of the pan. If using regular foil, spray lightly with baking spray. Line the saltine crackers in a single layer on the bottom.

Christmas Crack

2 Make the caramel sauce: Place the brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium sized saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the butter melts. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3 to 5 minutes, just until the mixture comes to a boil and starts to darken. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

(Note: You're not actually making true caramel here, so you don't need to be as precise or worry about the temperature of the caramel. Just make sure it comes to a boil and wait for it to darken slightly, then continue.)

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3 Pour the hot brown sugar mixture over the saltine crackers. Spread to evenly coat the crackers.

Christmas Crack

4 Move the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. The caramel will be hot and bubbly.

Christmas Crack

5 Melt the chocolate: Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook it in the microwave in 30-second intervals at full power, stirring between each cook time, until the chocolate has melted.

Christmas Crack

6 Pour the chocolate over the baked crackers: Once the crackers are done baking, remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 minute, until the caramel is no longer bubbling. Then pour the melted chocolate over the crackers. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the top.

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7 Cool the crackers overnight: Let the crackers cool to room temperature then move to the refrigerator and cool over night.

8 "Crack" the crackers: The crackers will form a single sheet once cool. Remove from pan and gently peel the foil away, being careful not to tear the foil. (If any bits of foil tear and get stuck in the caramel, break those bits away and discard.) Cut the candy into snack-sized pieces using a chefs knife (you can use your hands, too, but I find it easier with a knife).

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week.

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Christmas Crack

Irvin Lin

Irvin Lin is an IACP award-winning photographer, food writer and recipe developer, blue-ribbon baker, public speaker, and occasional social media consultant. His blog is Eat the Love and his first cookbook is Marbled, Swirled and Layered.

More from Irvin

405 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Walena Holman

    I’ve made these every Christmas for several years now. Every one loves it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Kendra

    I make this every year, multiple times, for the holidays. I often make 2 batches at a time. I love to put crushed peppermints on top & my kids love it with melted marshmallows on top! It’s one of my favorite recipes.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Tina

    Love it!! Addicted to this treat!!! I put marshmallows on top of the sauce before putting it in the oven and then added the chocolate. Yummy!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Yanke

    We are addicted at our house. For easy clean up and removal from the pan I use parchment paper instead of foil.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Jenny

    My .I made these for us every year to leave for Santa too. She used Graham crackers vs saltine crackers. I’ve tried both and prefer grahams. It is addictive!

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