Few people are capable of resisting the siren call of Saltine Cracker Toffee (aka Christmas Crack)! It's got that tempting salty and sweet thing going on with great buttery crunch and rich chocolate on top. It's less than 15 minutes of actual work!
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These kinds of salty-sweet treats with plenty of texture and crunch are most definitely my kryptonite this time of year. Heck, any time of year. It's all I can do to stop myself from having "just one more piece" of Christmas crack or "just one more handful" of my Candy Coated Crispix Mix.
Plus, you probably have everything to whip up a batch of this easy candy in your pantry right now. I know I always have a spare sleeve of saltines lying around waiting to be used up.
Why this recipe works
- Unlike traditional English toffee (which we LOVE, don't get me wrong), this easy version doesn't require a candy thermometer or precise timing.
- People straight up are OBSESSED with this stuff. No joke. I sent my husband in to work with five different Christmas goodies and this was the first thing to go and the one that everybody talked about.
- It can be made in under 30 minutes. That's most definitely a win in my book.
- Saltine crackers: These are pretty traditional for this Christmas classic treat, but you can use graham crackers, Ritz crackers, or pretty much any other kind of cracker instead of saltines for a slightly different taste each time. You can even use broken up pretzels (about half of a bag or 8 ounces - enough to cover the bottom of the pan)!
- Chocolate: Chocolate chips work great for toffee, but you could always chop up a large bar of your favorite chocolate to use instead. Milk chocolate, semisweet, white, or dark chocolate are all excellent for making Christmas crack!
- Toppings: You could definitely serve your toffee straight without any nuts or candy on top, but it's fun to make this your own by sprinkling chopped nuts like pecans or almonds, some red and green M&M's, crushed candy canes, Maldon flaky salt, holiday sprinkles, chopped Heath bar or toffee bits, and Andes peppermint baking chips! Or you could melt some white or dark chocolate and drizzle it over the top for a beautiful design. You could even go crazy and sprinkle some cooked and crumbled bacon on top. Mix and match for endless possibilities!
How to Make This Recipe
Start by combining the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. It helps to cube the butter so it melts evenly. Go ahead and stir until the butter is melted, then stop stirring once the toffee mixture starts to bubble and set a timer for 3 minutes. Let it cook, stirring frequently (or the entire time if you feel like it) then remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Once the toffee mixture is ready, pour it over a grid of saltines laid out in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray to keep the toffee from sticking. You're aiming for even coverage here, but you can spread it around with a knife a bit after pouring so each of the crackers gets covered.
Stick your baking sheet full of toffee crackers into a 375°F oven and bake for 5 minutes (set a timer so you don't forget!). When it comes out of the oven the toffee will be all bubbly and hot.
Immediately sprinkle with the chocolate chips and then don't touch them! Leave them alone for at least a couple of minutes. The residual heat from the toffee will melt the chips and make them spreadable. Some Christmas crack recipes have you melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave and pour that over, but I have never found that step to be necessary (and this way I get to avoid dirtying an extra bowl).
Once the chocolate chips are mostly soft, use a knife or small spatula to spread the melted chocolate over the top of the toffee. If the chips aren't fully melted at first, they will continue to melt as you spread them around.
Sprinkle immediately with whatever decorations you want to top your saltine cracker toffee with. I usually keep it simple with chopped pecans or M&M's but you can use anything you like!
I typically let my toffee set at room temperature for at least a few hours until the chocolate sets up again, but you can speed up the process by sticking the candy in the fridge or freezer.
Once the chocolate has solidified on top, break or chop the toffee up into pieces and store in an airtight container.
Yes actually! Just use your favorite gluten-free crackers and you should be good to go! Legit any kind of cracker works with this method for making the easiest toffee of your life.
The nutrition info below is based off approximately 2 crackers-worth of toffee equaling a serving size.
- Storage: We keep our finished saltine cracker toffee on the counter in an airtight container for about 5-7 days. It will last a little longer (1-2 weeks) if you keep it in the fridge.
- Freezing: You can freeze the toffee for 1-2 months once it has cooled completely. Be sure to keep it in an airtight container to protect it from ice crystals and thaw at room temperature before serving.
- Don't burn the toffee: Really the only mistake you can make when making this recipe is to forget about the toffee on the stove or in the oven and burn it. So I definitely recommend setting a timer if you are easily distracted (guilty).
- Let the toffee set up before breaking apart: It really needs to harden all the way before you break it up. If you start too early, it might be too soft.
More Easy Candy Recipes
- Homemade Turtles Candy
- Homemade Peppermint Patties
- Chocolate Walnut Fudge
- Easy Homemade Peppermint Bark
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
- baking sheet
- 40-50 saltine crackers
- 1 cup salted butter, cubed (227g)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed (200g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips, (or semisweet, milk, or dark)
- ¾-1 cup chopped toasted pecans or M&M's
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Line with a single layer of crackers arranged side-by-side. A jelly roll pan works best but if your pan is larger just fold up the edges of the foil a bit to create a barrier so the toffee doesn't spread too much when it's added. Set aside.
- Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat on the stove. Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted and started to combine with the brown sugar. Once the mixture starts to bubble, set a timer for 3 minutes. Let it boil, stirring constantly, until the timer goes off. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the toffee mixture evenly over the saltine crackers, then use a knife to nudge it over any crackers that didn't get covered. It doesn't have to be perfect though because it will continue to spread as the toffee bakes.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 5 minutes until bubbly.
- Remove the toffee from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Let them sit for 2-3 minutes to melt from the residual heat of the pan, then spread with a knife of spatula to create an even coating of chocolate over the top of the toffee. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans, M&M's, or other toppings while the chocolate is still soft.
- Let the toffee set up until the chocolate has hardened (usually 1-2 hours at room temperature in a cool house, although you can stick it in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process). Break or cut into pieces and store in an airtight container on the counter for 1-2 weeks.
- Saltine cracker substitutes: Instead of using saltine crackers, try making a batch with graham crackers, Ritz crackers, or enough broken up pretzels to cover the bottom of your pan.
- Toasting pecans: This step is optional, but I like to toast our pecans or whatever nuts we are using by spreading them on a baking sheet and popping them in a 350°F oven for 8-10 minutes until fragrant before using. You could also do this in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes until they take on a nutty aroma and darken slightly.
- Topping ideas: Instead of pecans or M&M's, you might consider trying sliced almonds, crushed candy canes, Maldon flaky salt, holiday sprinkles, chopped Heath bar or toffee bits, or Andes peppermint baking chips! Or melt some white or dark chocolate and drizzle it over the top for a beautiful design.