It’s Not So Bad


There’s a running joke around here regarding me and cooking. Namely, that I am prone to Aha! moments, especially in the midst of trying a new recipe. And it’s true. Of course, I like to think it’s a funny quirk, you know, like the fact that I track every single thing I buy in my checkbook, or that I hate talking on the phone, even though I love talking. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cracked an egg into a blend of dry ingredients, only to look down and see the directions say not to use the yolk or, I’ve placed a cake in the oven, only to realize I omitted an ingredient. It’s not so bad. I’ve gotten used to adapting and, also, I try very hard to learn from all these mistakes.

Take this recipe, for example: easy homemade toffee made from ingredients you probably have in your pantry. Next time I make it, when the caramel glaze is sinking into the cracker layer in the oven, I won’t be worrying about the burning smell of caramel hitting the oven liner. Instead, I’ll use a rimmed baking sheet (!) that will keep the crackers from spreading and the glaze from leaking. It’s just one of those funny things you learn by doing it wrong the first time.

cracker layercaramel toffee

Also, next time, I won’t expect this process to take anything more than 25 minutes—because it won’t, not even close. The bulk of time is the 15 minutes of baking and the cooling off afterward, both of which are ideal for working on something else or putting away the dishes. Otherwise? All you’re doing is layering, heating, pouring and breaking. Simple as that.

If you’ve got Matzo lying around from Passover, which I personally can’t eat without mounds of haroset, this is just the ticket—substitute Matzo for the Saltines, and you’re set (like Deb did here). But what seems to make the combination work so well is the blend of salt from the crackers with the sweetness of the chocolate and caramelized toffee. It’s crunchy, like candy, but it’s also a little different than regular toffee, with the hint of salt surprising you.

toffee layers

Anyway, try these. And if you have any aha moments along the way, you’ll get no judgment from me.

Almond Toffee Crunches
Adapted from Savory Sweet Life

About 1 sleeve of Saltine crackers
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar (I used light)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped and/or slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a rimmed (trust me, you’ll want to use a rimmed one) baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with a Silpat mat. Line the crackers on this cookie sheet, close together (I used just under a sleeve’s worth).

Melt butter and brown sugar in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Stir frequently for about 3 to 5 minutes until the mixture turns a soft caramel color and is slightly thick. Pour the sauce over the crackers until they are completely covered. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, and sprinkle the chocolate chips all over the top, while the pan is still hot. As the chips begin to melt, spread the chocolate over the toffee mixture, and then top with the almonds.

Allow to completely cool. Then, break the toffee up into pieces and serve.

16 Comment

  1. alice says: Reply

    Nice. I think this has to be the most under estimated yet simple cookie/chocolate treat out there.

  2. Adam says: Reply

    Aw, man–please save me some for Wednesday!

  3. dawn says: Reply

    next time try it with Cheez It’s. Oh yeah!

  4. E.P. says: Reply

    Yum! I’ve never had something like this, but I want to say one of my good friends and her mom make these around Christmastime.

  5. sue says: Reply

    I can totally relate to the “Aha!” moments! Every time one happens, I promise myself I will read the ENTIRE recipe BEFORE I start… alas, they keep happening. 🙂 Those look really good!

  6. maris says: Reply

    This sounds like a great treat! I LOVE chocolate matzoh but I’ve never tried it with toffee.

  7. Maxine says: Reply

    I have to stop reading your posts first thing in the morning!!!

  8. Kelley says: Reply

    Now I know why our friendship has flourished electronically … I, too, hate talking on the phone! We’re both weird. 🙂

    About the toffee — this is very bad — I DO have all those ingredients in my home, at this moment. But I’ve been eating birthday cake for about four weeks straight now and must try to forget I even read this!

  9. Alicia says: Reply

    I can vouge for these. Shanna brought them into the office and I ate then aaaaall day long. They are SO GOOD. One of the best treats I’ve ever tasted, seriously.

  10. Jennifer says: Reply

    I’ve made those before with graham crackers, but I LOVE the combination of salt and caramel. Mmm! I’ll have to make those soon.

  11. Alice – Yes, and thanks for posting them!

    Adam – I’ll have to make them again because after the last of it I gave to Becky’s mom, it’s all gone. Good thing they’re so easy!

    Dawn – Cheese crackers? Really?

    E.P. – Give them a shot – so easy, I swear.

    Sue – I love that you wrote that because it makes me feel a little better! Even when I do read the whole recipe though, it’s not carefully enough.

    Maris – Try it!

    Maxine – HA! And can you believe you’ve been reading them down the street from me? Cannot get over that.

    Kelley – You too about the phone? So glad I’m not alone! And four weeks of birthday cake sounds like a good thing to me!

    Aw, thanks, Alicia! You are one of my favorite taste testers, hands down.

    Jennifer – My mom was telling me about something like this with graham crackers, and I’ll have to try that!

  12. Alicia says: Reply

    I brought a piece home for my mom to try and she now plans on making it for my grandma, for Mother’s Day. Haha loooooves it.

  13. Alicia – I’ve been thinking about this. Your mom and I need to meet. We would SO be friends!

  14. Amrita says: Reply

    Yowza…gorgeous gorgeous!

    And I so agree with you on adding eggs before reading the whole recipe…most stuff I’ve learnt in cooking are mostly from stupid mistakes though!

  15. Leigh says: Reply

    THIS is the recipe my mother-in-law used to make. OK, ex-step-mother-in-law which is a whole other story, and the ex-part is why I wouldn’t just go and ask her for the damn thing. Whatever the case, thank you! I’ll make it as soon as I get the ingredients together.

  16. Thanks, Amrita, both for the compliment and the empathy!

    Leigh – HA! Glad to help, and hope you enjoy these!

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