The Weekend Gourmet: Cinnamon Crack(er) Toffee! F

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cinnamon Crack(er) Toffee!

Sorry for my absence this week...things have been in full-on Christmas mode here at Casa Garcia the past few days, so I haven't had a spare moment to swing by with a proper post since Tuesday!! But...I'm making it up to you by sharing my version of a holiday treat that makes the rounds every December in my circle of family and friends: the ever easy, always delicious saltine toffee. I made a batch of this addictive candy the other night for a work potluck.

A friend once told me that this stuff is "addictive like crack" my name is a play on her little joke! Once people start eating it, it's very hard for them to stop until it's gone. The toffee has a great combination of flavors: a little sweet, a little salty, and a bit crunchy from the secret ingredient: saltine crackers. Yes...plain saltine crackers that you normally serve with soup!! Add in some good-quality chocolate and nuts, and you have something that's truly addictive!! I don't tell people that it's made with lowly saltine crackers...I have them taste it first. They tend to go back for seconds...or even thirds...and then I tell them about the secret ingredient. 

People always want the recipe so they can make a batch of their own. There's lots of variations on this holiday treat, but here's my particular spin on them. Some versions of this recipe don't make enough of the toffee topping for my liking, so I make more. In this case? More is definitely better! I also like to use dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of vanilla extract to boost the flavor quotient a bit. I also like to add can use any nuts that you like, but Texans are partial to pecans!

Cinnamon Crack(er) Toffee
adapted from Kraft Kitchens

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 375. Line a 13x9 baking pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter. Arrange 24 saltine crackers in the pan...they should just fit. Make sure the crackers touch.  

Tip: If you use a rimmed jelly roll pan, you'll be able to fit 36 crackers -- i.e., more toffee. I simply used a smaller pan that just fit 12 extra crackers so we could have some extra toffee for munching...

Step 2:  Make the topping by adding 1 stick butter, 1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 tbs. vanilla extract, and 1 tbs. cinnamon to a non-stick medium saucepan. 

Bring the mixture to a boil over med-high heat...stirring constantly. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat just to maintain a boil. Boil for exactly 3 minutes, but stop stirring.

Step 3:  Carefully pour the toffee mixture evenly over the crackers. It's hot like molten lava, so be very careful not to burn yourself!!

Step 4:  Pop in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. After you remove the cooked toffee from the oven, immediately sprinkle 2 cups of chocolate chips on top. You can use whatever chips you prefer. I had leftover bags of white and milk chips in the cupboard, so I used a combo of those. Let the chips sit for about 5 minutes to melt.

Step 5:  Use a knife or offset spatula to evenly spread the melted chocolate over the toffee. Immediately sprinkle the melted chocolate with 1/2 cup of chopped pecans...before the chocolate begins to set.  Place the pan(s) of toffee in the fridge for a couple of hours to speed the setting process. Once the toffee is chilled, break into pieces and place on a serving platter.

This toffee's really great to whip up for holiday parties. You can make it the night before and store it in the fridge until you're ready to serve. It also makes a nice gift in a pretty holiday container. You can easily make a double know, just in case your "taste testing" gets a bit out of hand. Just sayin'. Not that this has ever happened to ME, right?!?!? 

If you haven't entered my Ruby et Violette cookie giveaway, what are you waiting for? These cookies are so good that you'll be glad you took a few minutes to look over the seasonal gourmet cookie offerings at their website. The winner will receive their very own 1o-cookie bakery box assortment...with their five hand-picked cookie choices. You have until 11:59 tonight to enter...I'll be back tomorrow to announce the winner, answer some questions from my friend Elisabeth at Food and Thrift Finds...and to share my Merry Monday entry for a yet-to-be-determined fudge!

You may now resume your holiday preparations...


  1. i've made a TON of a variation of this recipe this year! i'll have to try it with cinnamon and brown sugar...i usually just use white sugar. i top mine with coconut - yum!! EVERYONE loves this stuff and requests it now!

  2. Oh, yes, crack indeed! I always add this to my cookie gifts and people always ask for the recipe - so good!

  3. I've seen several rcipes, but now I have to make this! Soo yummy!

  4. So yummy and scrumtious, would like to try this recipe, Wendy.
    As always, you come up with some real good treats.
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I made this Toffee yesterday and it is addicting:)
    I love the cinnamon in the toffee.

  6. I am making this tonight I think and bringing it to share with my office guys. I will give you a report tomorrow! :)


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