This Christmas Crack recipe is one of our favorite holiday goodies! We love to give (and receive) this delicious treat. (It’s the perfect gift to give as neighbor gifts).

If you’ve never had Christmas Crack before let me describe it for you, there are 3 delicious layers. The bottom layer is a crisp salty saltine cracker that’s topped with a sweet buttery caramel toffee. Sitting atop the toffee is a thin layer of smooth chocolate. This holiday treat satisfies the sweet and salty lovers, it’s a huge hit with everyone!

A stack of Christmas Crack on a plate.

We are keeping it simple by using just 5 basic ingredients to make this Christmas Crack recipe.

Ingredients to make Christmas Crack

  • Saltine Crackers – you can also swap the saltines for graham crackers, I’ve had them both ways and you can’t go wrong with either.
  • Dark brown sugar – light brown sugar works well too.
  • Butter – salted or unsalted butter works just fine.
  • Kosher salt
  • Chocolate chips  for the topping. I wanted the top to be a mixture of milk chocolate and semi sweet, so I used a combination of both. You’re welcome to do as I did or you can use just one or the other.

A jelly roll pans lined with tin foil and saltine crackers for making Christmas Crack.

How to make Christmas Crack

Begin by lining a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Make sure the foil goes up and over the edges of the pan.

Line the bottom of the pan with saltine crackers, 35 crackers to be exact.

Next, place the butter, brown sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Cook the mixture, stirring constantly until it comes to a rolling boil. Let the mixture boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  The mixture will visibly thicken and will appear darker in color.

Pro tip: use a candy thermometer or an instant read thermometer in order to perfect this recipe. You want the mixture to reach at least 265°F, but preferable between 270°F – 290°F. This is considered the “soft crack” stage. I wonder if that’s where the term “Christmas Crack” came from….?”

A pan of saltine crackers covered in homemade caramel sauce.

Pour the caramel over the saltine crackers. Using a heat proof spatula or off set spatula, spread the toffee over the crackers in an even layer.

Bake at 375°F for 5 minutes.

A pan of Christmas Crack with chocolate chips overtop, prior to melting.

Melting the Chocolate

Once you’ve removed the Christmas Crack from the oven, it’s time to layer on the chocolate. I wanted a combination of semi sweet and milk chocolate, so I used both. You can opt to have just milk chocolate chips or just semi sweet. Heck! You could even top it with dark chocolate if you’re a dark chocolate lover.

You have two options when it comes to applying the melted chocolate overtop.

  1. You can pull the Christmas Crack out of the oven and then sprinkle the chocolate chips overtop. If you do this you’ll let the chocolate chips sit for 2-3 minutes so that they can get nice and melty. You may have to place the pan back in the oven for 1 minute to help with the melting. Once the chocolate chips appear nice and melty, use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate across the top.
  2. The second option is to melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. If you do this, melt at half power in 20 second increments, stirring well after each segment.

Both options work great! So its personal preference as to what you’d like to do.

A close up photo of melted chocolate overtop Christmas Crack.

Let the chocolate set at room temperature for at least 2 hours, and then feel free to move it to the refrigerator to chill completely.

When set, gently lift the foil, place on top of a cutting board and then cut into squares or bite sizes pieces.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.

Christmas Crack Toppings

It’s fun to add toppings to this recipe! If adding toppings do it after spreading the chocolate overtop. You want the chocolate to be melty so the toppings will adhere to it.

Some of our favorite toppings include:

  • Chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds).
  • Holiday colored M&M’s.
  •  Crushed Oreos.
  • Sprinkles

Tips for making the Best Christmas Crack Recipe

  • The first time I made Christmas Crack I didn’t use a thermometer. The crack came out sticky, not set, and a bit of a mess. Use an instant read or candy thermometer for optimal results.
  • Use nonstick aluminum foil, or spray the foil with cooking spray prior to placing the crackers.

A plate full of Christmas Crack.

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Christmas Crack

Saltine crackers are topped with a buttery toffee layer and then a smooth melted chocolate. Sprinkle chopped nuts or festive M&M candies to take this simple holiday treat over the top.
prep time 5 mins
cook time 15 mins
total time 20 mins
servings: 16 servings
author: Salt & Baker

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  •  Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, making sure the foil covers the bottom and all of the sides of the pan. Spray the foil with baking spray. 
  • Line the bottom of the foil lined pan with the saltine crackers. 
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat cook the brown sugar, butter, and salt. Stir frequently. Once the butter is melted, bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Set a timer and boil the mixture for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. If using a candy thermometer or an instant read thermometer, the mixture should reach 265°F-275°F *
  • Pour the mixture over the saltine crackers and use a heat proof rubber spatula or off set spatula to spread the toffee in an even layer over the saltines. Bake for 5 minutes.
  • **See notes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips (or finely chopped chocolate) overtop. Let sit for 3-4 minutes or until melty. ***Spread the chocolate in an even layer.
  • Let chocolate set.
  • Once chilled and cool, gently lift the foil from the pan cut the Christmas crack into bite sized pieces. 
  • Store in an airtight container.

RECIPE NOTES

**You have two options for the chocolate. You can melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl at half power for 20 second increments (stirring well after each segment). Or you can place the chocolate chips overtop, let them melt overtop of the hot toffee, as noted in the instructions. The microwave method will result in a smoother chocolate appearance. 
***If the chocolate hasn't melted fully, you can place the pan in the oven for 1 minute to help the chocolate chips fully melt.

Suggested Equipment

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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