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I added Heath pieces to the top for more crunch family and friends love them. Thanks for the great recipe!!!
it was AMAZING also if you want you can skip the backing step so it isnt hard but is still delish
OMG these are sooo delish!!! Addictive and amazing!!
SO addictive!lolAbsolutely delicious with any toppings or any types of crackers!
Used gluten free pretzels worked great. My husband who has celiac disease loved it!!
Has anybody made this using a silicone pan? Sounds like the simplest non-stick way to go.
Hi, Anne! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. You mean one of those flexible silicon pans? Sure, I think that would work. Let us know if you try it!
Seems that I made something similar long ago with graham crackers. Memories are a funny lot. No reason not to use saltines, but just curious. Do you think it would work?
Hi, Rhonda! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes! A few other people have tried graham crackers in this thread and have reported having success, so I say go for it! Let us know how it turns out!
My aunt has been making this with graham crackers for as long as I can remember. Differences are when melting the butter/brown sugar she adds 2 tbps heavy cream. And no salt. Instead of melting the chocolate she adds the chips to the pan after removing from oven, let’s them sit for 3 mins, then spreads. And adds thick salt at the end, 1/2 tap. Both are so super delish! She calls her Chocolate Salted Pecan bars. (Adds toasted on top of caramel mixture, before placing in oven, and cooks that 10 mins instead of 5)
Made it! Awesome . Only thing i added was a sprinkle of SEA SALT after the chocolate was spread on top
Oh goodness! Trying to make these for New Years Eve family gathering and mistakenly sprinkled chocolate chips over Carmel mixture I had just spread over crackers and realized my mistake right as the chips were melting in the oven! I left them in the warm oven turned off til chips completely melted, then spread evenly over crackers. We shall see how they turn out Going into refrigerator now!
Made that mistake last week, still turned out ok.
Quick tips. You don’t have to melt the chocolate first. We always pull our crackers from the oven and top with chocolate chips. Wait a few minutes for them to melt and the just spread then even.
Just made this with white chocolate chips and crushed candy canes on top! Good Lord have mercy!!!
OMG ! this is very easy and so good! I just made this today with light brown sugar and Milk Chocolate. It is no problem ,everything came perfect ! Definitely repeat . Thank you
I made these for the very 1st time Christmas Eve using Nabisco saltine crackers, real butter, light brown sugar….cooked as recipe said, poured on crackers, baked then cooled 1 min. Poured melted choc. chips over, spread it, then topped with crushed pecans, then spread again to mix nuts into choc…….placed in freezer only about 45 min. (it was very hard)…….”cracked” it…..came out good…..BUT some on the chocolate fell off the caramelized crackers……Could it be that I took out of freezer too soon or should i have put in fridg. instead overnight? even tho…..they were delicious and we still at ethe ones without the choc., just took the broken pieces of choc. and put on top those without the choc.
Hi Linda! So if you put this in the freezer, it will harden the chocolate a lot, making it more brittle and more likely to break off from the caramelized crackers. The reason I have folks put it in the refrigerator is to make it easier to peel the foil off on the back.
If you freeze it, you can pull it out, and peel the foil off and then let it come to a slightly warmer temperature to “crack” it. That will help with the keeping the chocolate on the crackers. You can also try using a more “semi-sweet” chocolate with a higher milk content. Darker chocolate tends to be more brittle in nature. I hope this helps!
I’m going to try this recipe with Keebler Club Crackers instead of saltines. They’re so buttery and crisp, I’m sure it will be delicious!
Can you use milk chocolate
Absolutely! You should use the chocolate you like. That said, the “caramel” is fairly sweet by itself, which is why I choose dark chocolate to pair with it. If you use milk chocolate just expect it to be even more sweet.
I just got done making. I make it every year. Really can add topping of choice. Always A Hit!!!
So simple…..so good! Has anyone tried using parchment paper instead of foil?
I would love to know that as well!!!
Yes i did use parchment paper.
Yes, I use parchment paper every time. I let the paper hang over the edges a bit so I can lift it right out to break once hardened. Works awesome – I never tried foil.
I make this all the time and change the toppings based on the occasion or holiday – candy corn & crushed Oreos, candy canes, nuts, sprinkles – possibilities are endless!
My granddaughter is allergic to chocolate so I wonder if this would work with white almond bark instead?
Hi, Tina! We haven’t tested it with white almond bark, but if it melts similarly to chocolate, then yes, I think you could use it. Let us know how it works out!
Definitely let the crackers sit a little longer than 1 minute before putting the chocolate on top… It didn’t spread very nicely with the liquid caramel on top.
Going to make these for Christmas! Could you use the Caramel Topping that comes in a jar? I thought that might speed things up, but just bringing the store bought Caramel to a boil? Just a thought before I make them!
Hi Susan! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. I don’t think the caramel topping would set firmly after baking, so I wouldn’t recommend it. Sorry!
Hi I was wondering if I decided to use sugar., would I use the same amount as the brown sugar?
Hi! I have never made it with regular white sugar, and I’m fearful you’ll lose the “caramel” toffee flavor. But if you do try it, I’d probably recommend just using the same amount of white sugar as brown sugar (1 cup). Please come back let everyone know how it turns out!
My 25 yr old recipe called for white sugar, it was always a hit. It also called for mini chips sprinkled over top, placed in oven 60-90 sec’s then simply spread to cover. Less to clean too!
make it more “christmasy” by sprinkling cranberries and pistachios for the red and green. this also amps up the salty-sweet effect. incredible.
Or maybe it is called crack because it is made like crack hahaha. Baked on a sheet in the oven and “cracked” into pieces.
I planned on only eating one. Didn’t work out that way.Will serve for Christmas visitors.Fun and easy to make. Taste great!
Can I use light brown sugar?
Hi, Lynn! Yes, light brown sugar should work fine. Enjoy!
Is it possible to.use peanut butter chips instead o f chocolate?
Hi, Mary Lou! We haven’t tested it with peanut butter chips, but I think they should work just fine! My experience has been that peanut butter chips don’t set quite as firmly as chocolate chips do, so definitely put the Christmas Crack in the fridge to chill and then try using a knife to cut it into pieces if “cracking” it doesn’t work. Let us know how it turns out!
Hi….would this work with crushed biscuits as here in the uk the graham cracker equivalent is a digestive……only problem is they are round….any ideas ?
Hi, Joanne! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. I don’t think I’d crush up biscuits for this recipe — I think you really need the biscuits/crackers left whole to give the pieces enough structure. I’d give it a try with round cookies left whole. Best case, it’s awesome! Worst case, you get a little softness in the spaces between the biscuits…which still sounds pretty great to me! Let us know how it works out?
Thanks for your comment. ….looks as though I have got graham crackers mixed up with salt in. …..in which case I can use ordinary crackers ( which are square at least ) and add extra salt…. look forward to trying it
It is made with Saltine crackers or premium plus if that helps. Using biscuits doesnt give the same taste
Joanne, the crackers used are not sweet, I think the closest thing would be Jacobs cream crackers. Saltines are a little thinner and are salted on one side.
My mom makes them with Graham crackers and it’s still very tasty, just not salty ;)
Delser makes one that’s pretty similar and they come in little sleeves of biscuits.
Do you have Jacob’s Mediterranean lightly salted? I got them in Tesco and they work fine. Just like saltine crackers from US.
Can you substitute the butter with margarine?
Hi, Gina! We haven’t tested it with margarine, so I’m not sure. However, my guess is that margarine won’t be have the same way as butter in this recipe and probably isn’t a great substitute. If you try it, please let us know how it works out!
I did try it, it tasted fine. However didn’t set correctly. So…do not use margarine as a substitute. It leaves it soggy and doesn’t form correctly.
I didnt use butter either and was wondering why it was all sticky!! Looks like I know why now! Must use butter!!
Could I use white sugar instead of brown sugar for the caramel? Or sweetened condensed milk or something? I live in China and the brown sugar in my are is very molasses-y in flavor. Or do you think if I cut the brown sugar a little, it will work ok?
Hi Candace, I wouldn’t use all white sugar or sweetened condensed milk, as you really do need a little molasses to make the caramel, which neither has.
But if you wanted to cut the flavor, you could try and do a combination of the brown sugar and the regular white sugar. Depending on how molasses-y it is, a 50/50 split might work. If you try it, come back and let us know how it turned out!
I just made it with white sugar as that is what my 25 year old recipe says. I was looking on the internet for other ideas and saw this one. I gave it to all of my teacher and they said they couldn’t stop eating it… It tastes like toffee :-)
I have been making this for years and the person who gave me the recipe used all white sugar (the rest of recipe is the same). It’s just as delicious with all white sugar.
Does anyone freeze them??
Hi, Feleena! There’s a thread on freezing below that you might want to read through! We haven’t tested it, but other readers report that the crackers freeze well for a few weeks.
I make and freeze these every year and have no trouble with them. I break them up, put in containers with parchment between layers and freeze. I freeze all my goodies as I go and pack them up as gifts right before the holiday. Happy treat making!!
I’ve made this many times, but my recipe uses semi-sweet chocolate chips as mentioned in previous comments. I don’t even put it back in the oven. Spread it over the hot caramel. It melts. I usually add chopped nuts, but have also used chopped candy canes or Heath bars. Lots of choices!
I used white chocolate chips
I sprinkle mix of butterscotch & semisweet chocolate chips over after oven when bubbling stops. Don’t touch for a couple of min. Then spread melted chips. Top tiny bit sea salt. To die for!
I used Graham crackers on the bottom and topped the chocolate with slivered almonds. Looks very pretty.
Bottom of crackers stayed sticky. What did I do wrong?
Hi, Susie! Did you let the crackers chill in the fridge overnight? That usually works to get the caramel to harden. If so, and if the caramel is still soft, then my best guess is that your oven temperature might have been a little low, so the caramel didn’t get quite as cooked. After baking, the caramel should be very hot and bubbly all over when you pull the sheet pan out of the oven. Hope that helps!
You may not have cooked your brown sugar mixture long enough.
I top mine with mint m&m and people really like it!
I repeat Erica’s question: do these have to be stored in the refrigerator? I am going to a cookie party and want to make trays up in advance.
Storing them in the fridge helps the chocolate to set and the crackers to firm up, but I think you’ll be fine taking these to your Christmas party! I think they’d be fine at room temperature.
Instead of vanilla, I use almond extract and use milk chocolate and we make all year long. For a Christmas treat I sprinkle over melted chocolate peppermint pieces!
Yeah – just buy a 12 oz bag Of dark choc chips and put them on when the caramel \ crackers are hot from the oven. Pop back in the oven for 30 seconds and they will melt and spread easily. Saves a lot of effort.
My family loves this. The last 2 batches I changed it up a little. I sprinkled about 1/4 cup butterscotch chips over the top of the chocolate and just a bit of chopped almonds over that. Wonderful! Thanks for the recipe!
Could these be stored in the freezer? I’m trying to get a head start on Christmas baking. ;-)
Hi, Carla! I’ve never tried it myself, but yes, I think they would freeze alright in sealed in a bag. Be sure they are completely cool before freezing and to press out as much air as possible from the bag. Enjoy!
I would think the chocolate would get that ugly white color … better to just store it in a traditional Christmas tin or better yet a glass container!
They will get sugar bloom if you put them in the freezer. The ugly white color Miss Vera wrote about.
I always freeze them and have no issue with discoloration.
I have found that they get a bit soggy after freezing longer than 2 weeks
Would milk chocolate work or would it mess with the texture?
Hi, Stephanie! I think milk chocolate would work just fine. Be forewarned, though, this stuff is SUPER sweet! I think the dark chocolate helps cut the sweetness, but milk chocolate would be good for a full-on sweet experience!
My grandmother made this when I was a child ( 50+ years ago )dark chocolate wasn’t even available in grocery store in our area… milk chocolate was always used. Make sure to cut into bite size, super super sweet!
I first heard of this recipe from Trisha Yearwood. She makes it for her family and they can’t keep it in the house. That’s why they named it crack.
I also make this recipe. An old friend called it ” Nancy’s Chocolate Thingy”. Oh my. Leave itin the frig for a week? Nope. Just eat it the next day and enjoy! Makes a great dish for pot lucks. I won first prize with it and a huge gift basket and I DON”T cook!
Used foil and I guess it wasn’t non stick so pretty much the entire tasty treat was ruined. I will try this again with waxed paper or no paper at all. The piece i was able to get off the foil tasted delicious !
Oh no! What a bummer!
Yikes! Don’t use wax paper, it will burn in the oven. Spray your tin foil if needed instead
Sandy, parchment paper won’t burn or stick – give it a try!
parchment paper works great!!
I use foil backed parchment paper, works like a charm!Christmas Crack is so easy & I make it all the time.
Use parchment paper not wax paper. Wax paper outs not oven safe.
Line with foil and then parchment on top and you should be ok.
Easy for a novice chef. Loved it!!
Is there a reason that it must be kosher salt? I’m not familiar with what the differences are.
Hi, Christal! Kosher salt just has a larger grain than regular table salt and it’s usually not treated with iodine. A lot of chefs and bakers like to use it because they like the flavor better. You can sub a scant 1/4 teaspoon (or a mounded 1/8 teaspoon) regular table salt in this recipe.
Is there a good way to hurry up the cooling process? Is it absolutely necessary to let stand over night?
Hi, Angela! They definitely need a little bit of fridge time to get the chocolate to get hard enough to cut/crack the candy, but I think a few hours should probably do the trick. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out!
I use nonstick foil it comes off easy
Where do you get non stick foil? Never heard of that!!
Try adding cooked bacon sprinkles after you’ve spread the melted chocolate chips
Oh. My. Goodness. Ann, this is genius.
Could you make this without the chocolate? I’ve never really liked chocolate and wondering if the caramel covered crackers would still set up?
Hi, Emily! Sure, I think you could definitely do this without the chocolate. Let us know how it turns out!
I have used mint flavored chips of any flavored chips are great
I am going to try it with white chocolate. I’ve never been a fan of milk, semi sweet or dark chocolate. Half the Penn I plan on a milk chocolate drizzle for my husband.
I crushed candy canes and put on top of the chocolate and then refrigerated. I also used parchment paper instead of foil. This allowed me to lift it out of the pan, drop it on the counter top and it cracks easily.
A person here said it lasts forever in the fridge. Uh, no it does not. It does not last because certain people eat it.
After baking in the oven just sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and let them melt, then spread it around.
What a good idea! Less dishes and mess, thanks.
I also made this with pretzels instead of crackers…..yum!
Ooooooh! That is an EXCELLENT idea!!!
What size and kind of pretzels. Thank you
i am wondering the same thing?
What kind of pretzel did you use if you don’t mind me asking?
I use Graham crackers just as good
This is what I like to call problematically good; thank goodness it’s also easy to share and keeps in the fridge for like forever, which helps in situations when you have no dessert but want just a little something sweet. Of course, once you start eating this, it’s a little hard to stop….
I love these with ritz crackers,yummy
I love this recipe! We use it as a base for all year round! Tonight i am making it with leftover easter bunnies salted caramel milk chocolate! Also great for smores just add marshmellows and swap crackers for grahms! Thanks
I would love to be a parchment paper user for more of my baking, but how do you get it to lie flat when you get it off the roll without cursing like a sailor and throwing a few plates at the wall? Otherwise, I absolutely love this recipe and make it as often as I can get away with it.
Hi Serena, I feel your pain! That’s why I usually use Silpat or a silicone mat for things like this. Many baker friends I know order parchment sheets that are cut to size for their baking pans. See: https://www.amazon.com/UltraBake-Parchment-Paper-Sheets-15/dp/B000E4KQRE
I tear my paper, wad it up and then straighen it out. It lays much easier.
when i get to the end of the roll like that most of the time I just flip it upside down and smooth it out in the opposite direction since both sides work too, but it confirms why parchment paper is so freaking amazing. there is literally nothing better for whatever you’ve baked, if you’re wanting it to just slide right off. I stil use foil, for specific purposes, but if baking everything from bread to stuff with cheeses, to cookies in every shape form or fashion, make sure you have several rolls of parchment paper in your kitchen for the holidays!
use butter on the pan BEFORE the parchment paper to get it to lie flat.
I work in a restaurant & we get parchment in flat sheets. So at home i got the idea to pre cut mine off the roll ahead of when i need them the size of my pan. I use a craft paper cutter to get a perfectly straight edges.
Serena,You can lightly spray your pan with Baker’s Pam. Wipe with paper towel to remove excess. Then line with your parchment paper. The Baker’s Pam will hold the parchment in place as well as gently coat the sides of the pan.Lynn
Loved it but changed it a little. I used parchment paper so it wouldn’t stick. I first used melted 1/2 of the choc chips and put on the parchment paper immediately laying the crackers on top. ( I did the pan in 1/3rd’s). The crackers stuck in the chocolate and was easier to make doing this then added the caramel and then sprinkled it with the rest of the chocolate chips. Put in oven for 3 minutes then spread the chocolate. After spreading the chocolate I added English toffee pieces on 1/3 of the pan, chopped pecans on 1/3 of the pan & the rest got crushed up pretzels and a little crushed candy cane. Then let set…these were a hit. Thanks for a great recipe that was easy to change up for the crowd.
use parchment paper, should just peel off..
I used crushed pretzels on top. Also i used parchment paper so it wouldnt stick
Just made these! I used ghirardelli dark chocolate and modified the recipe a little by sprinkling pecan chips onto the caramel before layering on the chocolate and then sprinkled the top with sea salt. Haven’t gotten to try them yet but damn they looked and smell good.
I definitely line the pan with parchment, it makes cracking them apart less messy (and I’m also paranoid about them sticking). I also sprinkle smashed candy canes on top of mine.I don’t find it needs to be stored in the refrigerator, but I do keep in an airtight container to keep the saltines from going stale.
I just sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top after baking, put it back in the oven for another 1-2 minutes & spread melted chips evenly if necessary. Much easier than melting the bigger chips in a double boiler.
A big hit with the office — made exactly as directed. Next time, for my own tastes, I will use even darker choco to make less sweet. Will also try using coconut sugar instead of regular brown sugar. The reader comments re pretzels and letting the choc melt in the oven are great! Will try next time. Thank you! Happy Holidays!
Some slight mods. Heat the brown sugar and butter till it begins to bubble and then let it do it’s thing without stirring for about 5 minutes.
Finally, when you take the boiling crackers and caramel concoction out of the oven, sprinkle 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips throughout, wait about 3 minutes, then spread it. No need to melt it apart.
Hi! In reading this recepie , I was not sure if I should use unsweetened chocolate or half sweeten, well unsweetened does not do it, so I juste pored 8 once of semi sweetened on top, to leave over nite…to be followed!
I make this with pretzels all the time (mini pretzels, lined up on the pan with as little room in between them as possible). And I always sprinkle some sea salt on top – even with all the salt on the pretzels, it’s not too salty! I think the pretzels may be crunchier than saltines would be, although I’ve never tried it with saltines.
I love making this recipe but every time I have issues with the caramel being to sticky and goopy when I try and plate them. I thought that boiling the mixture longer would help make the caramel harder but I have had no such luck. Any suggestions?
I have a question I burned the chocolate So had to wait till the next day to run to the store to get more chocolate. Can I reheat the crackers to add the chocolate so it melts?
I have been making “Christmas Crack” for years. My family loves it and I’m not allowed to make it unless there’s a crowd coming over otherwise we will eat it all! I have a few shortcuts I have mastered. One year I decided to see what would happen if I “cooked” the butter and sugar in the microwave with good success. I’ve been doing it that way ever since. It just requires a few minutes more baking in the oven. Also, I don’t pre-melt the chocolate any longer. I sprinkle a 12 ounce bag of semi sweet morsels on the top of the cooked crackers and leave them for a few minutes. The heat from the crackers melts the chocolate and soon it’s easily spreadable. I then top it with chopped nuts; pecans, walnuts, almonds or a combination. I DO line the pan with foil and I cool the pan in the refrigerator or even the freezer and crack it when it is solid. The foil allows me to lift the entire pan of bark and break it more easily.
This year I will be adding a sprinkle of sea salt thanks to your recommendation! Please thank Ivan for his Christmas Crack contribution. I’m so happy this recipe is being widely shared. It’s so yummy!
I use maztah crackers. Just as good, but a little less crumbly :-)
The only thing wrong with this recipe is that they don’t last a week in the refrigerator. So far I’ve made two batches and they only lasted 24 hours each. If I keep making this we will all be as big as a refrigerator.
Do you have to use a jelly roll pan? i don’t have one.
I just made this, you can use any size/kind of large pan the has an edge to it, but the shorter the height oon the sides makes it easier to spread the butter sugar mixture
Yum! I used to make this as a kid with my Aunt, from a recipe in the SF Chronicle titled “Secret Toffee.” You can make it with matzoh on Passover, too.
I’m not a giant dark chocolate fan, would milk chocolate work or would that make it too sweet? Thanks!
Hi, Neah! My gut feeling is that milk chocolate would end up making these too sweet, though if you have a sweet tooth, then maybe that’s ok! You could also maybe try a dark chocolate with a lower percent cacao or even a semi-sweet dark chocolate (like semi-sweet chocolate chips).
I used milk chocolate. .it was great
Awesome! And good to know!
This was horrible. Too sweet. Waste of time and ingredients.
OK ! I have cracked my “to bake” list because of this :-) Thank you and have a pleasant weekend.
Is the refrigeration critical? These seem like a great holiday treat to send in the mail.
My friend’s mother makes something like this every Thanksgiving and I think it’s called “crack” because it’s so addictive!!