I’m a big fan of making elaborate and ornate desserts, especially around the holidays, but sometimes I need a simple recipe that’s still delicious, too, of course. That’s where this Christmas crack comes into play.
Who knew that simple salty crackers could be the base of one of the best holiday (or even year-round) desserts? Topped with sweet toffee and creamy chocolate, those crackers are transformed into holiday magic.
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If you’re looking for an easy and affordable DIY food gift, or just something simple but special to add to your cookie plate at your holiday party, this is the best recipe for a sweet and salty treat that’s guaranteed to be a huge hit.
Common Questions about Christmas Crack
Why is this called Christmas crack?
Some say its moniker came from the fact that it cracks in your mouth when you bite into it. Others postulate that its humorous name is derived from the reality that this delicious dessert can quickly become amazingly addictive.
Why did my Christmas crack become gritty?
If the temperature gets too warm, the sugar crystals in the toffee will crystalize. This is why it’s crucial to use a candy thermometer.
Why is my Christmas crack gooey?
Gooey toffee is the result of undercooking the toffee. Make sure to cook it for the right amount of time and to the right temperature so that it has just the right texture.
Making Christmas Crack Ahead of Time
This dessert is best made all at once rather than preparing any of the components ahead of time.
Try these easy no-bake treats
- Christmas Coal
- Peppermint Oreo Balls
- Easy No-Cook Fudge
- Peppermint Bark Cookies
- Christmas Puppy Chow
- Sweet & Salty Snack Mix
- Divinity Candy
You likely won’t need to worry about storing this after serving since it will likely be scarfed up! But if you do, keep it chilled, then serve at room temperature.
Refrigerator: Store Christmas crack in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Freezing: While you can freeze Christmas crack for up to 3 months, the crispy texture of the bottom layer may be compromised when thawing.
Tips For The Best Christmas Crack
- Make sure to work quickly so that the warm ingredients are easily spreadable.
- Cover the entire baking sheet with the crackers, even if you need to break them into pieces, to maximize all of the ingredients.
- Keep a candy thermometer handy so that you can easily ensure the temperature of the toffee.
- Saltine crackers
- Brown sugar (packed)
- Salted butter (you can use unsalted butter but you may want to add your own favorite salt)
- Vanilla extract
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Christmas-themed sprinkles (a mixture of green, red, white, and chocolate sprinkles in various sizes)
Kitchen Supplies You’ll Need
Only a few simple supplies are necessary to craft this Christmas crack recipe.
- Sheet pan or jelly roll pan
- Parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet
- Medium saucepan
- Candy thermometer
- Silicone or offset spatula
How to Make Christmas Crack
In only a few steps you can have the most delicious treat to serve or to take to parties.
- Fill a prepared sheet pan or jelly roll pan (with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet) with the crackers in a single layer. Completely line the pan — break up the crackers into pieces if necessary to fill empty space and make an even layer.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, add the brown sugar, butter, and vanilla.
- Heat the brown sugar and butter mixture over medium heat, stirring consistently until the butter is melted and the brown sugar has entirely dissolved.
- Next, bring the butter and brown sugar mixture to the desired temperature at a rolling boil. Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature.
- As soon as the toffee mixture reaches the desired temperature, remove the pan from the stove and carefully pour the mixture over the entire surface of the top of the crackers on the baking sheet.
- Use a spoon or rubber spatula to ensure the mixture is evenly spread over the crackers.
- While the mixture remains hot, sprinkle the chocolate chips over it and allow them to settle and gently melt.
- When the chocolate chips have melted, use a silicone or offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate over the top, entirely covering all of the toffee topping and the crackers.
- Next, top with holiday sprinkles before the chocolate layer cools.
- Refrigerate the dessert until the chocolate is completely set and hardened.
- Once all of the layers have cooled and set, remove the sheet pan from the refrigerator and break the candy into pieces. You can also use a sharp knife to cut it, as well.
What to Serve With Christmas Crack
A crunchy chocolate and toffee snack is the perfect combination with pretty much anything you’d serve with dessert. Here are a few ideas of how to perfectly pair this easy dessert.
- Ice cream – Break this into just the right size pieces and you have a gorgeous garnish for a simple bowl of vanilla ice cream or a seasonally flavored one.
- Whipped cream – Serve this alongside a bowl of homemade whipped cream for dipping.
- Cocktails – Use this as a garnish or just serve it alongside the likes of an espresso martini or an eggnog mixed with your favorite spirit.
- Coffee – Pour a strong brew for you or your guests to enjoy with this sweet treat. Offer Bailey’s or Frangelico for a slightly boozy pairing.
- Hot chocolate – For a cozy evening snack, cuddle up under a blanket and sip a steamy cup of hot chocolate while crunching down on Christmas crack.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
There are a few reasons not to make this incredible dessert! Here are just a handful of reasons you should.
- Cost-effective – Whether you’re making this for a party or to give as a gift, this recipe has affordable and simple ingredients.
- Portable – You can take this to any event or party or pack it in bags for gifts.
- Versatile – You can serve this all on its own, alongside other treats, or as a garnish.
- Quick – This easy recipe is a quick way to get a dessert ready whether you’re suddenly expecting guests or need to be ready for a bake sale or cookie swap on the fly.
Variations and Add-ins
This dessert is addictive already, but add some other ingredients, or change them up, to make it your own.
- Nuts – As the chocolate is cooling, sprinkle your favorite crushed nuts over top.
- Dried fruit – Craisins or raisins add fruity flavor to this Christmas crack.
- Chocolate – Instead of semi-sweet, use dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or milk chocolate chips.
- Sprinkles – If you’re making this for another occasion add different colored sprinkles to celebrate.
- Sugar substitutes – You can experiment with your favorite sugar substitutes.
- Graham Crackers – Instead of Saltines you can use graham crackers instead though they won’t add to the salty flavor to the dessert.
- Ritz crackers – For a buttery base, use Ritz crackers instead of Saltines.
- Candy canes – Instead of sprinkles, try adding crushed candy canes or peppermint candies to really exude that holiday season feel.
- Coconut – Add a fun flair by sprinkling coconut flakes over the warm chocolate topping.
- Nut butter – Drizzle peanut butter or your favorite nut butter over top for an extra layer of flavor.
If you love this easy Christmas Crack recipe, you’re going to love these other holiday treats too. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Other Holiday Desserts
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- 30 saltine crackers
- 1¼ cups brown sugar packed
- 1 cup butter salted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup Christmas-themed sprinkles a mixture of green, red, white, and chocolate sprinkles in various sizes
- On a large sheet or jelly roll pan, lay out a piece parchment or silicone baking sheet.
- Fill the pan with crackers, if you need to break some to fill in the spaces, that’s fine. Set aside.
- Over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, and vanilla in a medium saucepan and gently heat until the butter is melted and the brown sugar is dissolved.
- Then bring mixture to 270°f, measuring the temperature with a candy thermometer.
- Once the mixture reaches, remove it from the heat and pour it over the cracker on the sheet pan. Spread the toffee mixture over every cracker.
- While the toffee is still hot, top it with the chocolate chips and let them sit and get melty for a few minutes.
- Once the chocolate chips appear melted, spread the chocolate over the toffee, covering the toffee and crackers. A silicone or offset spatula works perfectly.
- Before the chocolate hardens, top it with the sprinkles.
- Place the pan in the fridge for about 1 hour to fully harden the chocolate and toffee.
- Remove and break the candy into pieces or use a knife to cut the pieces.
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate. Please double-check with your own dietary calculator for the best accuracy. We at Taste of the Frontier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.