Christmas Crack is the perfect sweet and salty treat for the holidays! This simple saltine cracker toffee has a layer of salty crackers, brown sugar butter toffee, and a mix of semi-sweet and milk chocolate. Enjoy as is or top with your favorite toppings!
Don’t you love all the holiday goodies that come this time of year? It’s my favorite! Satisfy your holiday sweet tooth with my Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, and Christmas Pretzel Hugs!
Why This Recipe Works
- 5-ingredient Christmas Crack. We are keeping it simple by using just 5 basic ingredients to make this Christmas Crack recipe.
- Make this saltine cracker toffee in bulk. This Christmas crack toffee is easy to make in bulk and give out to neighbors or friends as a treat during the holidays.
- Customize your toppings! See my Recipe Tips section for all the different toppings you can add!
- Sweet and salty. The salty crackers and the sweet toffee and melted chocolate layers is the perfect combination.
- 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 for this Christmas cracker candy recipe.
- Dark Brown Sugar: If you don’t have dark brown sugar, that’s fine. It will work just as well with light brown sugar.
- Butter: If using salted butter, I would reduce the added salt by half. The butter and brown sugar will be melted together to create a toffee layer.
- Chocolate Chips: I used a combination of semi-sweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. But if you prefer one over the other, you can just do one type.
- Preheat oven and prepare pan. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, with he foil covering the bottom and the sides. Spray the foil with nonstick spray.
- Place a layer of crackers. Line the bottom of the pan with a single layer of saltine crackers.
- Melt the butter and sugar. Add 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup butter to a small saucepan. Melt over medium heat, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Bring to a boil and set a timer. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Using a candy thermometer or instant read thermometer, ensure the mixture reaches 265ºF-275ºF.
- Pour over crackers. Pour the sugar mixture over the saltine crackers. Using a heat proof rubber spatula or offset spatula immediately spread the toffee mixture over the crackers as best you can. Bake for 5 minutes.
- Add the chocolate layer. You can either melt 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl in the microwave (stirring every 20 seconds); or you can add the chocolate chips on top of the toffee layer and return the pan to the oven for 3-4 minutes for the chips to melt.
- Spread the chocolate. Spread the chocolate in an even layer over the crackers. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes, then chill in the fridge.
- Break into Christmas Crack. Once the chocolate is set and chilled, break into pieces. Enjoy!
You can make Christmas crack with graham crackers or ritz crackers too! I find that graham crackers have more of a sweet flavor than a salty flavor so keep that in mind if you’re looking for something saltier.
The first time I made this Christmas Crack recipe I didn’t use a thermometer when cooking the brown sugar mixture. The crack came out sticky, not set, and a bit of a mess. Use an instant read or candy thermometer for optimal results.
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 name Christmas crack came from….?
The brown sugar/butter mixture isn’t your typical toffee or caramel. So don’t be worried if it doesn’t look the same as homemade toffee or homemade caramel.
Use nonstick aluminum foil or spray the foil with cooking spray prior to placing the crackers.
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.
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.
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)
- Coconut flakes
- Sea salt flakes
- Holiday colored M&M’s
- Crushed Oreos
- Drizzle with melted white chocolate chips
- Christmas sprinkles
- Pieces of candy canes
- Heath toffee bits
- Use peanut butter chips, cinnamon chips, or butterscotch chips too … or instead of chocolate chips
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
Store the Christmas crack candy in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.
Do not freeze. If you freeze, the layers can get too brittle and they will separate from each other.
If you are finding that the chocolate layer is separating from the toffee layer, it could be that the toffee layer was set a bit too much before adding the chocolate layer. Another tip that can help is to use chopped chocolate instead of chocolate chips. High percentage cacao chocolate can be more brittle, so keep that in mind too.
You’ll want to pour the toffee around the pan, not just in one pile. This will help in spreading. As you can see from the pictures, it’s OK if you can’t spread it completely around.
I wouldn’t freeze this Christmas cracker recipe because the toffee and chocolate layers can get really brittle and you can get some separation.
No, you can store it at room temperature.
No, because saltines contain gluten.
More Christmas Treats
- Chocolate Orange Cookies
- White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
- Christmas Ice Cream Cake
- Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
- Orange Cranberry Cake
- 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.