Caramel-Chocolate Crispy Crackers, With (or Without) Toasted Almonds

This is a real favorite around my house… I just love the savory quality of using salted crackers in this sweet dessert. I often leave out the nuts and just top the melted chocolate with twice as many crushed cookies. (I mix Lorna Doones with Chips Ahoy). Be sure to use the right size baking sheet, for assured success. I’ve never met anyone that didn’t absolutely adore these… I trust you and yours will too.

They taste five times as great as they look!

For the candy

  • ½ cup, sliced almonds, lightly toasted on a shallow baking sheet in a 350F oven for 10 minutes (optional)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 scant teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 40 Saltine crackers (preferably salted)
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup each: whole blanched almonds, deeply toasted and chopped and crushed vanilla shortbread cookies, like Lorna Doones

Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Learn to Cook for more information.

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Shopping List

Bakery
1/2 cup each: whole blanched almonds, deeply toasted and chopped and crushed vanilla shortbread cookies, like Lorna Doones

Dairy & Eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

Dry Goods
1 cup (firmly packed) dark brown sugar
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
40 Saltine crackers (preferably salted)

Produce
½ cup, sliced almonds, lightly toasted on a shallow baking sheet in a 350F oven for 10 minutes (optional)

Spices & Baking
1 scant teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To make the candy

First preheat the oven to 350F. Melt the butter in a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, over medium heat. Line a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan (with 1/2-inch sides) with parchment paper, with a bit of overhang, and grease the paper, lightly and evenly, using some of the melted butter. Line the pan with rows of the crackers, in a single snug layer. In the correct pan, you should have eight rows of five crackers.

Get the melted butter hot, over medium heat, until it’s bubbling, then carefully whisk in the brown sugar, until homogeneous (the butter can splash until homogeneous with the sugar). Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla (make sure all the butter is completely incorporated into the sugar). Stir in the toasted sliced almonds, if using. Drizzle the caramel mixture over the crackers and use a small metal spreading spatula to disperse the caramel evenly, on top of the crackers. Bake the candy for 12 minutes, then let pan sit on a wire cooling rack, for 3 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate either in the top of a double boiler, over barely simmering water or in the microwave, on medium, for 2 minutes, stirring after each minute, until perfectly smooth. Pour the melted chocolate on top of the crackers and spread it out, so it covers them completely. Mix the chopped nuts and crushed cookies and sprinkle this over the chocolate. Stick the pan into the refrigerator, uncovered, for 1 hour. Lay a sheet of wax paper lightly on top and chill for another 1 to 2 hours.

To unmold and cut the candy

Lift one end of the parchment paper and release the slab of candied crackers from the sheet. Peel off the parchment paper and then break up the candy, into irregular pieces. Alternatively, for a more finished look, after removing the parchment, position the slab horizontally in front of you (on a cutting board) and use the blade of your pastry scraper to divide it into four 3-inch strips. Cut the strips into angular shards. Either way, put the candy onto a platter or into an airtight tin.

To store

Store the candy in an airtight tin, at room temperature.

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