2020 was the year to end all years and if you’re like me, you were anticipating 2021 to be an easier, less stressful year. Man oh man, were we wrong.
With 2021 Christmas baking upon us, what you need this year is a simple, yet show-stopping treat, that is SO AMAZINGLY delicious, the last 2 years fade into oblivion.
Friends, I have your back. And, I have the recipe.
Just 2 words – Christmas Crack.
Without a word of a lie, Christmas Crack is DIVINE. It’s like a Skor bar, mixed with Twix, mixed with Almond Roca. It’s delicious straight out of the freezer (although I’m sure I don’t know this from personal experience), it makes a thoughtful gift and is impressive on your Christmas treat tray.
So, without further adieu, let’s get cracking… get it? Cracking? Ha!
The Best Christmas Crack Recipe
First, pre-heat your oven to 400° F.
Next, line a jelly pan (some know it as a baking sheeting) with parchment paper. DO NOT SKIP THE PARCHMENT. If you don’t have any, go buy it! Some people say that you can use buttered tinfoil, but I’ve only heard sad, sad stories of ruined Christmas Crack because the foil glued itself onto the bottom of the dessert. Invest in parchment paper, my friends.
Take a box of buttery, flakey crackers and cover the entire bottom of the pan. This time I used Toppables, but I think Ritz Crackers are my fave – they are flakier and have more air pockets which makes the texture beautiful.
My gluten-free friends, these Lance Crackers work perfectly!
Put the crackers in tidy, pretty lines.
If you’re using Ritz (which are round), crush some of the crackers and use the crumble to fill in the spaces between the crackers.
Next, get yourself some nuts – any kind, about 1 cup – and roast them. I’ve made this with pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, & almonds, and they’re all delicious. I think pecans or pistachios would be just lovely as well.
How to Roast Nuts:
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Toast nuts BEFORE chopping them into smaller pieces.
- Place nuts in a single layer in an un-greased shallow pan or RIMMED baking sheet such as a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
- Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until they are GOLDEN brown.
- Remove from pan to cool.
Once the nuts are roasted and cooled enough to touch, chop them up. You don’t want them too big or they have trouble sticking to the melted chocolate, so make sure you get em nice and little.
Pro Tip (because I’ve already made 3 batches this year): Make SURE you don’t chop the nuts on a cutting board that has been used for dicing onions and/or garlic. This is especially true with wood or bamboo cutting boards as they permanently absorb the taste of these 2 potent veggies, and then release that taste into everything else you cut on those boards.
Set the chopped nuts aside.
Now, we’re going to make the toffee. Don’t let this intimidate you. I’m not a candy maker, and I can do this successfully! If you own a candy thermometer (or a digital one), it comes in handy, but isn’t necessary.
In a medium pot (not too small), measure 1 cup of butter (NOT margarine), and 1 cup packed brown sugar.
On medium heat, bring butter & sugar to a boil, and keep in a rolling boil for 3 minutes (set a timer).
DO NOT STIR while boiling – this is important if you want toffee that is the texture of a Skor bar. If you stir it, your toffee will be a softer, chewier consistency, and you loose the desired “crack” of the bottom layer.
If you’re using a candy or digital thermometer, the temperature should be between 270-290°
Pour the hot toffee over the crackers.
Then, using a buttered spatula, spread it all around so that all the crackers are covered, right to the the edge of the pan.
Don’t panic if the toffee at the very bottom of your pot is darker and more “roasty” smelling than the rest – you can see that there are some really dark brown swirls in my toffee, and that’s just fine.
You might also notice that the hot toffee is slightly separated (oil from solids), which is completely normal and actually very good: since you’re not stirring the toffee while it boils, the grease from the butter separates slightly – this just soaks into the crackers and makes the bottom layer that much more decadent.
Do this step as quickly as you can, and then put the pan in the pre-heated oven.
Bake in the oven for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, and turn the oven off.
Pour 2 cups chocolate chips over the top, and put back in the still-warm oven for 1 minute.
You can use semi-sweet, or milk chocolate, or a mix of both! I do recommend using a fairly high-quality chocolate chip though; if they are too waxy, they don’t melt and spread nicely.
Spread the melty chocolate chips over the toffee, and swirl it into pretty patterns!
Then sprinkle all of the chopped roasted nuts over the warm chocolate. Sometimes I gently press them into the melted chocolate to help them stick.
It’s a thing of beauty, I tell ya!
Put the tray in your freezer, or fridge, or (if your temperature is 14° F like mine) set it outside on your deck!
Take a corner piece, just as a taste test.
Break it into large-ish pieces, and store it in a container in your fridge or freezer.
Enjoy eating and sharing this scrumptious treat!
- Crackers enough to line a jelly roll pan. Ritz or Toppables are my favorites, and Gluten Free Original Crackers by Lance are a great GF alternative.
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups chocolate chips milk, semi-sweet, or dark
- 1 cup nuts toasted and chopped (optional)
- Pre-heat your oven to 400° F
- Line a jelly pan with parchment paper. DO NOT SKIP THE PARCHMENT!
- Cover the entire bottom of the pan with crackers, being sure to fill in any gaps with cracker crumble.
- Roast, and finely chop 1 cup of nuts. Set the nuts aside.
- In a medium pot (not too small), measure 1 cup of butter (NOT margarine), and 1 cup packed brown sugar.
- On medium heat, bring butter & sugar to a boil, and keep in a rolling boil for 3 minutes. DO NOT STIR WHILE BOILING. If you’re using a candy thermometer, the temperature should be between 270°-290° F.
- Pour the hot toffee over the crackers, and spread it (using a buttered spatula) so it completely covers the crackers.
- Bake in the oven for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, and turn the oven off.
- Evenly pour the chocolate chips over the top. Put it back in the still-warm oven for 1 minute to melt the chocolate, then spread the chocolate over the crackers & toffee.
- Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the warm, melty chocolate.
- Put the pan in the freezer until it’s fully hardened, then break the Christmas Crack into pieces.