There is nothing I love more than homemade candy. Brittles, caramels, fudge. Oh my. But I don't make it. Why? Because anything involving precision or candy thermometers gives me serious cooking anxiety.
This candy recipe was given to me by a friend of mine when we were in 8th grade. She wrote it on an index card and I have kept it ALL THESE YEARS! It is THAT amazing. And if an 8th grader can make it, you can make it. This I promise you.
Her family called them Saltine Surprises, so that's what my family now calls them. But I understand that the word "surprise" in a recipe has a weird connotation... like maybe we're cleaning out your pantry... or dumping a can of peas in the pot. No. Really it is just like, "Hey, these were saltines and now SURPRISE! they are little pieces of deliciousness!"
But in an effort to not scare you off, we will call them Christmas Cracker Crunch. But PLEASE don't limit this recipe to only Christmas. That's not fair to anyone in your life.
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
bag of chocolate chips
Line a jelly roll pan with foil. Lay your Saltines out in one layer around the pan, salt side up. (Isn't the combination of salt and chocolate the most magical thing ever??)
In a pot, combine the butter and sugar. On medium high heat, stir constantly. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil for 3 minutes. Do not walk away or stop stirring. Seriously. This recipe only needs 3 minutes of concentration... you can do it! Promise!
The sugar and butter mixture is done when its foamy and starts pulling away from the edges of the pot. (See pictures below for reference.) Slowly pour the mixture over the crackers. Gently spread it out with a spatula so that all of the crackers are evenly coated.
Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes. The topping may be slightly soft but the edges should be getting a tad brown.
When your timer buzzes, put the cookie sheet aside for about one minute. It needs a second to set a bit. Then pour the entire bag of chocolate chips over the top. Let them warm for about a minute and then gently start spreading. The chocolate chips will melt and act like frosting.
If you want to add a topping, now is the time. I normally leave them plain. This time I added crushed candy canes. (Word to the wise: Be sure your candy canes are peppermint flavored. I accidentally bought strawberry flavored ones and it was NOT a good mistake.) You could also add pecans, a bit of sea salt, sprinkles, whatever!
Put the pan in the fridge and let it sit until it cools and hardens. Once it is set, break it into pieces.
Nobody will believe that this is made with saltines. They'll think you slaved over the stove with your candy thermometer to make the most perfect candy ever. You can let them think that if you want to. I won't tell!