One tell tale sign that it’s the end of school year, and Christmas is round the corner is the burgeoning supply of candy canes in the house. What to do with all those sticky, sweet candy canes? Usually I crush them and store them in an airtight container to use as add ins for my baking or to sprinkle over ice cream. On days when I’m feeling less obliging, I furtively bin them, reasoning that what my children don’t know won’t hurt them.
Recently however, I discovered an American style cracker candy that’s sublimely delicious and very easy to prepare. Using saltine crackers as a key ingredient, this unusual concoction combines the holy flavour grail of salt, dark chocolate and toffee. I can’t believe its taken me a lifetime to stumble upon this highly addictive treat, courtesy of one of my American girlfriends, but it has been worth the wait. So much so I’ve decided I need to share this rather unconventional recipe. The process may sound bizarre, but it works.
On its own, cracker toffee is insanely addictive. Topped with an improvised layer of crushed candy canes, a whole tray of minty, Christmas flavoured deliciousness was demolished in seconds. In silent reverence to its decadence. A most serious rival to another of my family’s sinful indulgences; Nigella Lawson’s Sweet and Salty Crunch Nut Bars. All I can say is that I’m incredibly grateful today happens to be a feast day, it would almost be impossible to squirrel away a secret stash of Candy Cane Cracker Toffee from the well honed treat hunting noses of my greedy family.
Sweet and Salty Candy Cane Cracker Toffee
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed tightly
220g dark chocolate
42 Salada or Saltine crackers, or similar
2 large candy canes, crushed
PREHEAT oven to 225C Line a large oven tray with foil and non stick baking paper.
COVER the base of the tray with a single layer of crackers. My tray held six rows of seven crackers.
MELT the sugar and butter to boiling point. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes, or until mixture has thickened and sugar is completely dissolved. Pour over the crackers, using a silicon spatula to spread the toffee evenly.
BAKE for 8-10 minutes, or until the toffee becomes bubbly. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow to stand for 3-5 minutes.
MEANWHILE melt the chocolate in a heatproof jug on a low setting in the microwave, for two minutes.
POUR over the cracker-toffee base, using a palette knife to spread the chocolate in an even layer.
SPRINKLE with crushed candy canes. Allow to cool and set before breaking into large chunks. Store in an airtight container.