Christmas Crack

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.

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


  • 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:


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.)

Christmas Crack Christmas Crack

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.

Christmas CrackChristmas Crack

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.

Christmas Crack Christmas Crack

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  • Barbara

    Did not realize you are to use semi-sweet chocolate ( baking chocolate) and not the semi-sweet mortals used in cookies. Know for next time. Maybe the recipe should clarify using the baking chocolate.

  • Michael

    The recipe was easy to follow and my first batch turned out perfect! They’re fairly easy to make — for a novice baker like myself. Trying to find another special occasion to make these…


  • Ashley

    Excellent thank you for the recipe!
    One thing I do differently is melt the chocolate chips right on the crackers for a minute then pull it out and spread the chocolate. I then place them right in my large stand up freezer & within 10 minutes I’m able to cut them into squares :)


  • Patti

    So easy and so good!




  • Sheshe

    Too good. I have got to stop making this, for I just cannot stop eating it. This is a sinful treat, so should only be made for special occasions ! So easy to put together and no fancy ingredients- what’s not to love.


  • JMB

    Does it get any better or easier than this??!! Love this recipe-always a big hit! Sometimes I top it with nuts, sometimes sea salt, and sometimes sprinkles at Christmas. Just made it now and had to substitute Ritz crackers for Saltines which I’ve never done before, so we shall see!


  • Eloise

    Wonderful! I’d been wanting to try it for awhile! It was worth the wait! The recipe tells you how long to cool it. I couldn’t wait… tasting then the next day, after they’d really cooled and wallowed in that caramel and chocolate truly made a difference!


  • Kay

    Super gooey and mushy so sad. Definitely no crack


  • Jodie

    Try it with graham crackers and sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of the chocolate. Yummy!


  • Rose

    Make with Ritz instead of saltines. Yummy

  • Vicky Larsen

    Awesome treat


  • Laura

    I made this today with white chocolate chips. I found an easier way to do the chocolate. After you finish cooking in oven for five minutes,sprinkle the chocolate chips over put back in oven for a couple of minutes long enough to melt then spread chocolate chips. Much easier for the chocolate part. This recipe is delicious.


  • Connie

    I made this today with my granddaughter. We had a great time together. We added sprinkles to one half and sea salt on the other. It was terrific, but it didn’t last very long. It was quickly devoured by my family.


  • Michelle Guest

    Love it, made several. One with coconut on top also. Yum


  • Sharon Angela kim

    I’m embarrassed to admit this but I tried to make this recipe for the Christmas crackle however I messed it up. I tossed the chocolate chips on the saltines and placed it in the oven to melt. I was trying to not have to check the recipe over and over. Any way it didn’t look good it it tasted ok. I didn’t ant to share them because they looked horrible but I don’t like to waste anything. So I decided to chop them up into a semi type of topping for ice cream. It tasted great so I added some to my chocolate chip cookies and I also grounded up some pecans. And the moral to this is when you think about how hard you try something good will happen if your baking in your kitchen.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Sharon! I’m so sorry that your batch of Christmas Crack didn’t turn out, but I’m really glad the story had a happy ending! Happy new year!

  • Belinda

    This is always a hit. I forgot the vanilla and salt in the last batch and it was still amazing. I usually just throw chocolate chips on top. The residual heat will be enough to melt them. No fear of burning the chocolate.


  • Nancy Jarck Clontz

    A favorite every holiday at our home. We call it brickle, or crack-since it’s so addictive!I usually top it with crushed pecans, but this Christmas I topped it with Bob’s soft peppermint sticks that I crushed first in a ziplock bag. Deliciousness!

  • Chaini

    I made this as well as a few other things to hand out for Christmas! This was everyone’s favorite. Very easy to make and tastes uhhhhhhhhhmazing


  • Twanette Adkins

    Thanks! Can’t stop eating this stuff.


  • Shantell

    Great snack


  • Barbara

    Easy and quick, and delicious….


  • Katie

    That was pretty easy and this is my first time making it…I have tried it before and it definitely is AMAZING!
    Merry Christmas


  • Stephanie Hallock

    So freaking good!! I know why its called CRACK!! You can’t stop!


  • Susan Garcia

    Just delicious! Big hit for my two grandsons football championship party. Just made another pan for Christmas eve and Christmas day dinner.


  • Kelly

    Freshly made so haven’t had a chance to try it but recipe was super easy and looks very professional. Will use this as Xmas gifts with some other tasty treats! Thanks :)


  • Tesla

    Where do u add the vanilla extract

  • Debby

    It was a hit with my family and ladies of the culinary ministry at my church! I sent most of the pan to my son office Christmas party! They loved it, too! Just made another pan for Christmas dinner.


  • Brenda

    Thank you for the advice on melting the chocolate on top of the toffee when it comes out of oven. That worked out perfectly. I tried a row with pecans on top and a row wIth peanut butter chips. And the Maldon sea salt flakes. Fantastic. Has anyone tried this recipe with parchment paper instead of the foil?


  • Bry

    I’ve made this before. It’s super good. Except in this recipe.. they microwave the chocolate. Instead of wasting your time, energy and making more dishes, just throw the chocolate chips on the top as soon as you take the toffee out of the oven and wait a few minutes for it to melt then spread.

  • Elaine

    You don’t have to melt chocolate in microwave, when crackers come out of oven pour chocolate chips on top they will melt and you con spread it around

  • Jeanne

    I have a question: I’ve made several batches 1st was perfect soft smooth caramel after that they haven’t turned out right the caramel is granular. Do you have any suggestions?

    • SW

      I had the same issue the first time. You’ll need to cook the caramel longer. I cook mine about 5 minutes and I don’t have an issue.

  • anu



  • Mandee

    My great grandmother started off making this recipe, and then my grandmother, now me!! It’s been a Christmas staple for decades, and we all think they taste best when they’re made with dark chocolate and just a little frozen!


  • Michelle

    Second year in a row I messed up the chocolate. Grrr. Keep a close eye on the chocolate when you microwave to melt them. I caught it just before it completely seized up on me. The final product doesn’t look very good, but it tastes good!


  • Pattie

    Made this in a slightly larger pan than indicated, extra row of crackers so increased amount of caramel to 1.5 of recipe. Also, increased cooking time in oven to 10 minutes to ensure caramel with more of a crunch. Topped with both dark chocolate and white chocolate chips and finished with crushed pecans. Very good.


  • Cyn

    Easy! The yearly request from my coworkers!


  • Wendy

    Omg…so addicting. I just cant get enough!


  • Debbie

    I made this for our work Christmas parties. Oh yea, big hit! Caution: it is addicting.


  • Ann loflin

    This is wonderful! I make a batch with butterscotch chips too !

  • Jeff

    We have made this a couple of times for our Christmas Eve party with a slightly different recipe. We crumble crushed candy canes on top. Everyone loves it !!


  • [email protected]

    oh my gosh!!! Fabulous. Addictive. Easy to make but hard to save any for a second day.


  • Marilynn benson

    The photo of crackers in pan results in a significantly smaller area than 10 x 15. Which is correct, please?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Marilynn! It sounds like your crackers are perhaps a smaller size than the ones we used. Just use as many crackers as it takes to cover the bottom of a 10×15-inch jelly roll pan. The exact number doesn’t matter significantly; just that the bottom of the jelly roll pan is covered with a single layer. Enjoy!

  • Connie

    I think this stuff is amazingly good! I don’t melt the chocolate. I simply open a bag of chocolate chips and spread on top. Sometimes I find it necessary to throw the pan back in the oven for a few seconds and then spread the melted chocolate chips all over the crackers with the caramel mixture on it. DELISH.

  • Patricia L Cromwell

    CoWorker brought this and we loved it!!


  • Margaret Harvey

    Can this be put in the freezer to keep for Christmas?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Margaret! I’d “crack” the treats before freezing, but yes, I believe they should freeze fine! Wrap them in foil and then store them in a freezer bag or other container to protect them. Enjoy!

  • Margaret Harvey

    I just made this morning, but needs to put in fridge over night! It looks yummy!

  • Terri

    Easy and yum!


  • Kristin

    I did not have a 10×15 jelly roll pan, so I used a metal 9×13 baking pan lined with foil and it came out great! I followed several commenters’ tips to just put the chocolate chips on top when it comes out of the oven. I put it back in the oven for about 2 min. then spread the chocolate with the back of a spoon. Next time I will try some of the different flavor combinations suggested!


  • Bridget

    Can the crack be frozen for about a week until the party?


    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Bridget! I’d “crack” the treats before freezing, but yes, I believe they should freeze fine! Wrap them in foil and then store them in a freezer bag or other container to protect them. Enjoy!

  • Michelle

    Hi! This recipe turned out amazing but I’d love for it to be less soft and more hard toffee-like. Should I cook the mixture longer before pouring, or keep it in the oven longer? Which option would give me a slightly harder bar?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Michelle! Yes, I haven’t tried this myself, but you should be able to get a harder candy by cooking the sugar for longer. If you have a thermometer, try cooking it to 250F to 275F. Let us know how it turns out!

    • Emma Christensen

      Another idea that I just thought of while answering another readers question: try making our English Toffee and then just pouring the candy over the saltine crackers. No need to bake in the oven. This will make quite a hard caramel; you could cook the toffee to a lower temperature (250F to 275F, as I suggested before) if you want a somewhat softer toffee instead. Good luck!

  • Graci

    This was amazing, I also topped it with crushed crackers and sea salt.

  • Debbie

    I’ve made this once and I wasn’t real crazy about the brown sugar and butter mixture so I’m planning on making it again but this time I am wanting to melt my own caramel then bake so forth and so on. Do you think that will work out using real caramel?? I appreciate you taking time to read this!!

  • Amoreena

    I made four versions of this recipe.
    I crushed up candy canes and sprinkled it on top of dark chocolate, coconut, peanut butter swirled and a white chocolate with crushed up golden Oreos. All four are delicious!

  • Barbara

    Is light brown sugar ok to use or does dark brown make it better

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Barbara! Dark brown sugar has a slightly deeper and more caramelized flavor, which we like with this candy, but light brown sugar will also be just fine. Enjoy!

  • sarah

    I use Graham crackers instead of saltines. I top mine with heath bits and marshmallows or with crushed candy canes.

  • Maria

    Fantastic…next time going to sprinkle some course salt on top.


  • Victoria

    Has anyone tried making using cinnamon chips?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Victoria! We haven’t tried this ourselves here at Simply Recipes, but as long as cinnamon chips melt well, then I see no reason why you couldn’t use them! They’d also be good mixed with chocolate chips. Yum!

  • Michelle

    I’ve been making this recipe for years I’ve never added vanilla but it was a good tip. I also never melt the chocolate chips first – just sprinkle chocolate chips over top as soon as you pull it out of the oven, let sit for a minute or two then run a fork across the top


  • Shauna

    Hi!! Does parchment paper work too?

  • Haley Jones

    I did make it and taking it to a Christmas party tomorrow.


  • Kristie

    Can you ise townhouse crackers?

  • Kalonji

    I can see myself picking the crumbs out of the shag carpet, after dropping the plate at 4am.

  • Jenna

    Do you need to put it in the fridge? Will it melt if you keep it out of the fridge? I want to put it in plastic bags for a goodie treat!

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Jenna! Put it in the fridge to help the chocolate set, and then after that, you can keep it at room temperature. Yes, it would be great in goodie bags!

  • Dayna

    Are the saltines the salted or unsalted kind? Guessing salted but thought I should check!

  • Carrie

    Sooo yummy. Didn’t take that long to harden up enough to eat in the fridge, only a few hours.


  • Dan

    I made this with cannabutter in place of the butter, they turned out great!!


  • Elizabeth

    I spread the chocolate chips over the crackers once I remove them from the oven, cover with tin foil and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove tin foil and chips are ready to spread nice and easy

  • becky

    I used nestle chocolate chips, heated them in microwave, then they hardened back up so quick before I could get them on the pan. Could not get them to soften back up enough to get them to spread out nice. I have made this before but often have issues with the chips melting nice… suggestions???

    • Brittany

      Becky I put a little bit of butter in the chocolate and it’s better to put a boiling pot of water on the stove, take a heat safe bowl and put the chocolate in it, place the bowl over the pot with the water and stir constantly.

    • Jenny j

      Sounds like you didn’t put the Crisco in them or you cooked them for too long.
      Try 30 second intervals wth 2 TVs of Crisco lard. Should turn out perfect!

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Becky! Be careful that you don’t over-heat the chocolate. Warm it just until it’s mostly melted, but you see a few lumps in there. Keep stirring (off the heat), until those lumps melt. Then pour it over the saltines. I’ve also seen versions of this recipe where you scatter the chips over the saltines, put the tray back in the oven until they’re softened, and then use a spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer. Good luck!

    • Phyllis

      I don’t melt my chips first. I put them over the crackers wait about 30 seconds then spread the chocolate. Never a problem.

    • Lori Bures

      The chocolate was either over cooked or seized which mean water or moisture of some kind got into your chocolate. You have to be very careful melting chocolate not to get it around any water or moisture. It’s siezes and cannot be used for dipping or melted .

    • sarah

      I use mini chips instead of regular size and sprinkle just after taking out of the oven. The residual heat melts them quickly. No need to pre melt.

  • Susan

    I’m allergic to chocolate (well actually the cocoa powder in it) could you use white chocolate or butterscotch chips instead?


  • Shirley

    Hershey’s has a new sea salt caramel chip. Am going to try adding some of them to the chocolate chips for an additional hit of caramel and salt.


  • Chelle

    Omg I made this and added coconut on top with some Pink Hawaiian salt (didn’t have sea salt) and I honestly made myself sick from eating it. It was so good!


  • Rachael Ikins

    Love love this so simple and tasty.


  • A

    I like it made with graham wafers instead of saltines.. Good both ways,,, Enjoy

  • Nancy N. Roy

    Absolutely loved Christmas Crack. I made it recently for our Northeast Texas Choral Society after party. I also used parchment paper and it worked very well. I sprinkled pecan chips after adding the chocolate. I had nothing to bring home…it was GONE!!! It will be made several more times before Christmas and probably frequently afterwards. Loved it.


  • Bob

    Parchment paper cut to size is better than foil. Made mine with peanut butter chips too and pecans


  • Brooke

    My sister in law used to make this all the time and I wanted to learn how to do our own batch. I did everything it said except I used dark chocolate and once the chocolate cooled a little before refrigerating I sprinkled m&m’s on top and it turned out amazing. My family loved it! This is definitely my go to recipe from now on! Thank you

  • Drew

    Super good! My fiancee won’t let me share them with anyone…

    I made the recipe as-is, but also threw a cup of honey roasted peanuts in a food processor and chopped those up into pretty finely-crushed consistency, and sprinkled that over the caramel layer before putting it in the oven. Woah, how awesome that turned out! I’m sure it’s great without them too.


  • betty

    i will make this treat for holiday’s thank you very much bj

  • Sally K

    Quick, shortcut version: When I want these but don’t want to make a full pan of them, I mix equal parts of butter and brown sugar and spread about a teaspoon of that mixture on however many crackers I want to use. Bake at 400˚F for 6-7 minutes. Then sprinkle a few chocolate chips over the top of each. Craving satisfied.

  • *

    Simply divine!

  • Therese D

    So simple and yet so yummy!


  • Cass

    Loved it… we couldn’t stop eating it. I crushed candy canes and sprinkled on top for that peppermint kick.


  • Jackie

    Will parchment paper work? Or has anyone used a disposable aluminum pan sprayed with oil instead of foil?

  • Denise Roland

    Easier than I thought!!!


  • Tara Steeples

    Made and let set in the fridge overnight. It’s very sticky/gooey pulling it off the foil like it didnt completely set. Did I do something wrong? I feel like I followed instructions exactly.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Tara! I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t work for you! The caramel in this recipe doesn’t set quite as hard as, say, English toffee, and is still a bit soft after cooling. (The “crack” comes more from the saltines!). But it also shouldn’t be gooey or super sticky. If it was very gooey/sticky, then my best guess is that it might have been an issue with your oven temperature. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!

      • Stephanie

        I have been making a similar recipe for years. I have had this problem a few times. Most likely you did not let your caramel mixture boil long enough (I stir constantly for a full 5 min). The sugar crystals did not melt together and combine enough.

        Also my original way of making it is as soon as it comes out of the oven take a full bag of chocolate chips and sprinkle them evenly. Wait 2-3 min and then spread with a butter knife (then add toppings if desired. A little less steps for the same result

  • Lisa

    I sprinkle chocolate chips over the caramel and place back in oven to melt, then spread! I’ll add nuts next time!


  • Susan

    One of our favorites! I add nuts and coconut over portions of it as well. One of my friends likes hers all white – white sugar and white chocolate. Either way it’s pretty awesome! Have even done it with Ritz crackers, but I think Saltines are the best.


  • Stephen Fromwiller

    Have you tried this recipe with gram crackers ?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Stephen! We haven’t tried graham crackers specifically, but I bet it work — and taste — GREAT! Please give it a try and let us know how you like it!

  • Shykai

    Made for 2018 thanksgiving dinner. It went over like crazy! True crack, I need an intervention!


  • Jill Harkey

    This taste amazing !!! Easy to make too.

  • elizabeth

    I make this every year for Christmas. I put chocolate chips on top the stick back in the oven for 3 min, then spread all over. My friend that gave me the recipe puts half butterscotch and half chocolate chips. They melt the same but when cool the chocolate comes out on top!


  • Ellen Marcell

    I first tried with with chocolate. But since my family and I like butterscotch best, I use the butterscotch bits instead. I’ve also used white chocolate, heathbar bits and mini marshmallows using graham crackers instead of saltines and the chocolate. I give tins of this to my family and friends for any holiday. Be inventive my friends because it’s very addictive and fun to give.

  • Jenelle

    Can anyone tell me if these freeze well?? I am wanting to make them ahead of time for a cookie swap! Thanks!!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jenelle! There’s a thread on freezing further down in the comments 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.

    • Elizabeth

      Yes, I freeze min before I crack it. I have put it in the freezer, but it never lasts more than a few days, everyone eats it!

  • Margaret

    fantastic, lovely and crunchy, i used the foil, sprayed well with oil and not a problem with sticking.

  • Starzkeeper

    Just an FYI, it is called ‘crack’ because it is addictive!

  • Sydney Card

    I have been making this for 30+ years..I just put the chocolate chips on the crackers after they come out of the oven and then turn oven off and put back in until melted. I use the disposable cookie sheet you can get at the Dollar Store. Works perfect and I use it more than once. Now all my kids have started making it.


  • Susan

    My girlfriend Sharlene and I call these labor cookies. We’re sure they started our labor 30 years ago!


  • Joan

    This was delicious but I found out if you use the foil it will stick to the bottom of the crackers. So I used one of those air baking sheets I believe Wilton and there was no problem getting them to come off the pan.


  • sarah

    Very tasty! I use salted butter, no added salt, heath bits on top and mini marshmallows before cooling.


  • Cookie. Szwejcer

    This stuff is soooooo good .

  • Jo

    IT sure is good but for some reason mine didn’t want to ‘crack’. It’s a soft caramel candy but still is great. Next time I cook it on stove a little longer.

  • Tracymayvalente

    Easy, to make
    Kids love love love it!
    You can also add sprinkles, & or coconut flakes


  • Ziona

    I used regular chocolate chips…I don’t like semisweet chocolate…


  • becky lowery

    I bet this would be good with graham crackers or cinnamon grahams ..


  • Ty

    I added Heath pieces to the top for more crunch family and friends love them. Thanks for the great recipe!!!

  • bob

    it was AMAZING also if you want you can skip the backing step so it isnt hard but is still delish


  • Judy

    OMG these are sooo delish!!! Addictive and amazing!!


  • Renee

    SO addictive!lol
    Absolutely delicious with any toppings or any types of crackers!


  • Mary cooley

    Used gluten free pretzels worked great. My husband who has celiac disease loved it!!

  • Anne

    Has anybody made this using a silicone pan? Sounds like the simplest non-stick way to go.

    • Emma Christensen

      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!

  • Rhonda Williamson

    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?

    • Emma Christensen

      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!

      • CAROLINE

        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)

    • Kearia

      I know my boyfriends mom makes this with club crackers its super good that way

  • Denise Lewis

    Made it! Awesome . Only thing i added was a sprinkle of SEA SALT after the chocolate was spread on top

  • Robin Gunther

    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!

    • Ty

      Made that mistake last week, still turned out ok.

  • Rebecca Boster

    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.

  • Judith Schmitt

    Just made this with white chocolate chips and crushed candy canes on top! Good Lord have mercy!!!

  • Yuri

    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


  • Linda S Alleman

    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.

    • Irvin Lin

      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!

  • susan jenkins

    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!

  • Em

    Can you use milk chocolate

    • Irvin Lin

      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.

  • Kathy Watkins

    I just got done making. I make it every year. Really can add topping of choice. Always A Hit!!!

  • Laura

    So simple… good! Has anyone tried using parchment paper instead of foil?

    • Cindy

      I would love to know that as well!!!

      • Steph

        Yes i did use parchment paper.

    • Jessica Ehrhardt

      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!

  • Tina Rabbit

    My granddaughter is allergic to chocolate so I wonder if this would work with white almond bark instead?

    • Emma Christensen

      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!

  • Kris

    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.

  • Susan

    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!

    • Emma Christensen

      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!

  • Kandi

    Hi I was wondering if I decided to use sugar., would I use the same amount as the brown sugar?

    • Irvin Lin

      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!

    • Monica Camilli

      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!

  • alex

    make it more “christmasy” by sprinkling cranberries and pistachios for the red and green. this also amps up the salty-sweet effect. incredible.

  • Melissa Steuer

    Or maybe it is called crack because it is made like crack hahaha. Baked on a sheet in the oven and “cracked” into pieces.

  • Don McPhee

    I planned on only eating one. Didn’t work out that way.
    Will serve for Christmas visitors.
    Fun and easy to make. Taste great!

  • Lynn

    Can I use light brown sugar?

  • Mary Lou Pieczarka

    Is it possible to.use peanut butter chips instead o f chocolate?

    • Emma Christensen

      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 ?

    • Emma Christensen

      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?

      • JOANNE

        Thanks for your comment. ….looks as though I have got graham crackers mixed up with salt in. … which case I can use ordinary crackers ( which are square at least ) and add extra salt…. look forward to trying it

      • Angie

        It is made with Saltine crackers or premium plus if that helps. Using biscuits doesnt give the same taste

    • Sharon

      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.

    • Allison

      My mom makes them with Graham crackers and it’s still very tasty, just not salty ;)

    • Carol

      Delser makes one that’s pretty similar and they come in little sleeves of biscuits.

      • D

        Do you have Jacob’s Mediterranean lightly salted? I got them in Tesco and they work fine. Just like saltine crackers from US.

  • Gina

    Can you substitute the butter with margarine?

    • Emma Christensen

      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!

      • Gina

        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.

        • Steph

          I didnt use butter either and was wondering why it was all sticky!! Looks like I know why now! Must use butter!!

  • candace

    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?

    • Irvin Lin

      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!

    • Maggie

      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 :-)

    • Katie R

      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.

  • Feleena

    Does anyone freeze them??

    • Emma Christensen

      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.

    • Lauren Hurst

      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!!

  • Kay

    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!

    • Judy jurisic

      I used white chocolate chips

  • Gena

    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!

  • Renee

    I used Graham crackers on the bottom and topped the chocolate with slivered almonds. Looks very pretty.

  • Susie

    Bottom of crackers stayed sticky. What did I do wrong?

    • Emma Christensen

      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!

    • Renee

      You may not have cooked your brown sugar mixture long enough.

  • Tina

    I top mine with mint m&m and people really like it!

  • Beth

    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.

    • Emma Christensen

      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.

      • Beth

        Thanks, Emma!

  • Veronica

    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!

  • Roberta

    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.

  • Julie Stadt

    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!

  • Carla Edenfield

    Could these be stored in the freezer? I’m trying to get a head start on Christmas baking. ;-)

    • Emma Christensen

      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!

    • Miss Vera

      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!

    • JJ

      They will get sugar bloom if you put them in the freezer. The ugly white color Miss Vera wrote about.

    • nancy kasparian

      I always freeze them and have no issue with discoloration.

    • Lainie Woolway

      I have found that they get a bit soggy after freezing longer than 2 weeks

  • Stephanie

    Would milk chocolate work or would it mess with the texture?

    • Emma Christensen

      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!

    • Miss Vera

      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!

  • Kathleen

    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.

  • Non cook Nancy

    I also make this recipe. An old friend called it ” Nancy’s Chocolate Thingy”. Oh my. Leave it
    in 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!

  • Sandy

    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 !

    • Emma Christensen

      Oh no! What a bummer!

      • Rhonda

        Yikes! Don’t use wax paper, it will burn in the oven. Spray your tin foil if needed instead

    • Jill

      Sandy, parchment paper won’t burn or stick – give it a try!

      • Renee

        parchment paper works great!!

    • Katie Drymon

      I use foil backed parchment paper, works like a charm!
      Christmas Crack is so easy & I make it all the time.

    • Sherri

      Use parchment paper not wax paper. Wax paper outs not oven safe.

    • Kim

      Line with foil and then parchment on top and you should be ok.

  • Stephen Delger

    Easy for a novice chef. Loved it!!

  • Christal Prout

    Is there a reason that it must be kosher salt? I’m not familiar with what the differences are.

    • Emma Christensen

      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.

  • Angela

    Is there a good way to hurry up the cooling process? Is it absolutely necessary to let stand over night?

    • Emma Christensen

      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!

  • Barbara Bent

    I use nonstick foil it comes off easy

    • Nita Tisdale

      Where do you get non stick foil? Never heard of that!!

  • Ann

    Try adding cooked bacon sprinkles after you’ve spread the melted chocolate chips

  • Emily

    Could you make this without the chocolate? I’ve never really liked chocolate and wondering if the caramel covered crackers would still set up?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Emily! Sure, I think you could definitely do this without the chocolate. Let us know how it turns out!

    • Tammy S Gillette

      I have used mint flavored chips of any flavored chips are great

    • Sherri

      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.

    • Gena


  • Marci

    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.

  • Barbara Young

    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.

    • Candice

      What a good idea! Less dishes and mess, thanks.

  • Maribeth Kuczo

    I also made this with pretzels instead of crackers…..yum!

    • Emma Christensen

      Ooooooh! That is an EXCELLENT idea!!!

    • Trisha

      What size and kind of pretzels. Thank you

    • Ms Johnson

      What kind of pretzel did you use if you don’t mind me asking?

  • Joseph MacAuley

    I use Graham crackers just as good

  • Carrie Havranek

    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….

  • elaine

    I love these with ritz crackers,yummy

  • T Johnson

    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

  • Serena Milan

    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.

    • Elise Bauer

      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:

      • Edie

        I tear my paper, wad it up and then straighen it out. It lays much easier.

      • Mary

        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!

    • Veronica LaTorres

      use butter on the pan BEFORE the parchment paper to get it to lie flat.

    • Becky knudsen

      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.

    • Lynn

      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.

  • Cheryl

    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.

  • Cynthia

    use parchment paper, should just peel off..

  • Carrie

    I used crushed pretzels on top. Also i used parchment paper so it wouldnt stick

  • Julie

    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.

  • musethalia

    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.

  • KathyB

    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.

  • missvitamin

    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!

  • Rosy Saadeh

    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.

  • Sylvie

    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!

  • Jen

    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.

  • Valerie R Colip

    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?

  • Carrie

    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?

  • Julianna Mathers

    Hi Elise!

    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!

    Holiday blessings,

    Julianna Mathers

  • Karen

    I use maztah crackers. Just as good, but a little less crumbly :-)

  • Lillianne

    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.

  • Cindy

    Do you have to use a jelly roll pan? i don’t have one.

    • Connie Warefield

      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

  • Coco Morante

    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.

  • Neah

    I’m not a giant dark chocolate fan, would milk chocolate work or would that make it too sweet? Thanks!

    • Emma Christensen

      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).

  • Anne Hassett

    This was horrible. Too sweet. Waste of time and ingredients.

  • 2pots2cook

    OK ! I have cracked my “to bake” list because of this :-) Thank you and have a pleasant weekend.

  • Erica

    Is the refrigeration critical? These seem like a great holiday treat to send in the mail.

  • Greta

    My friend’s mother makes something like this every Thanksgiving and I think it’s called “crack” because it’s so addictive!!