“Okay so here’s what you do. You take a sheet pan, spread the crackers. Melt the butter and the sugar and then pour it over. Stick it in the oven and then melt some chocolate, pour it over the top, let it cool and voila! You got dessert faster than a pig says periwinkle.” – My grandma’s next door neighbor, and best friend, Janice who was extremely nosy and once overheard my grandmother on her phone complaining to my mother that my grandfather had invited his boss over to dinner and there was nothing in the house but bologna and saltine crackers. Janice, as my grandmother says, practically climbed into the kitchen window to tell her how to make these. She also invited herself over to dinner.
Let’s talk about the things you probably have in your kitchen. Chocolate chips? Brown sugar? Butter? And then… there’s the “sick day” supplies. An errant can of ginger ale in the fridge. If you’re me, a half-eaten bag of egg noodles. White bread stashed in the freezer (it makes the best toast, okay? I didn’t make the rules.) And a giant box of Saltines.
Saltines, in my life, are meant to be eaten on the couch while watching the Three’s Company and awaiting death (I’m very dramatic when I’m sick). I didn’t really understand a need to eat them otherwise. Until I learned they’re a long-time vehicle for carrying toffee, chocolate and salt. Maybe the feeling is different in Missouri where they’re from- are they used in everything in Missouri, the panko of the midwest?
I tried finding out where this particular confection comes from and no luck. If you’re from Missouri and have a particularly chatty grandparent or great-grandparent who remembers where this comes from, let me know would you?
Saltine Cracker Toffee
40 Salted saltine crackers
1 Cup unsalted butter
1 Cup packed brown sugar
2 Cups bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 Cup chopped pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Line up saltine crackers on cookie sheet in a single layer, they should be touching like best friends.
- In a small pot, mix sugar and butter and bring to a delicious boil. Boil for three minutes or until the mixture is a deep caramel color. Immediately pour over saltines and use a butter knife to spread until all crackers are covered.
- Bake for just 5 to 6 minutes, top should be bubbly.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. In a few minutes, these should melt (or pop back into the warm oven). Spread melted chocolate and sprinkle with pecans.
- Wait until completely cool and then break into pieces.