Christmas Crack

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You’ll love this salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy saltine cracker candy, sometimes known as Christmas Crack, and you can make it in 15 minutes with just 5 ingredients!

A stack of Christmas Crack on a gray plate.


 

I grew up eating Saltine Cracker Candy every Christmas. We stored the candy, and all of our holiday goodies, on the patio outside (or in the garage if it was going to be REALLY cold that night). Everything went in leftover ice cream pails or plastic tubs.

My favorite thing to do was build the cookie plate for Christmas morning. I’d choose a few of each and pile them on the large glass Christmas plate, building a collection of the best offerings from my mom’s annual baking day.

Christmas Crack always went on top and it was always the first treat to disappear. To this day, the cookie plate remains my favorite holiday tradition.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Christmas Crack.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Chocolate: Sometimes chopped bar chocolate works better than chocolate chips. To melt the chocolate, you can either 1). melt it in the microwave and pour it over the top, or 2). sprinkle the chips on the hardened caramel topping, let them sit for a minute to melt, and then spread the softened chocolate chips with a spatula.
  • Toppings: Try chopped pecans, pretzels, OREOs, M&Ms, toffee bits, peanut butter cups, toasted coconut, coarse sea salt, candy canes, or drizzles of white chocolate. Or, just leave it plain!

Step-by-step instructions

I highly recommend a candy thermometer so you know when the caramel hits the right stage in hardness (300 to 310 degrees Fahrenheit).

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 15” x 10” x 1” pan with parchment paper, foil, or a silicone mat. Line up crackers in a single layer in rows on prepared sheet.
Saltine crackers lining a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  1. Meanwhile, using a candy thermometer, melt butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 to 3 minutes (270 to 290 degrees if using a candy thermometer).
Someone holding a thermometer in a brown, bubbling liquid in a small pan.
  1. Immediately pour over crackers and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake 5 minutes or until the candy hardens (300 to 310 degrees if using a candy thermometer). Remove from oven.
Someone spreading the sugar and butter mixture over the saltine crackers.
  1. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments at 50% power until melted. Spread over hardened caramel. (You can also sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hardened candy, pop it back in the oven until melted, and spread after that).
Chocolate being spread onto the layer of saltine crackers.
  1. Sprinkle nuts or other toppings and press into the chocolate using a greased spatula. Cut into squares while warm. Cool completely for at least 15 minutes and store in the refrigerator.
Four flavors of Christmas crack on a white platter.

Do you need an instant read thermometer?

Because you want to make sure the caramel is at the exact hardness (about 300 degrees Fahrenheit), the best way ensure it doesn’t overheat with a good instant read thermometer. I love my Thermapen One from ThermoWorks and it’s one of my most used cooking tools. I get nearly-instant, extremely accurate results every time. In fact, we named it the top pick in our roundup of the best instant read thermometers. You can also use it for cooking meat precisely!

It’s a bit pricey and you can get it for $99 at ThermoWorks. It does go on sale every so often, but if you want a more budget-friendly option, I also like the ThermoPop, which is only $15.99 at ThermoWorks and it makes a great gift!

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 12 servings of Christmas Crack.
  • Storage: Depending on the season and the humidity, Christmas Crack should keep well in an airtight tin or container for about a week or longer at freezing temps (like on your patio or in your garage, Midwestern friends!).
  • Freezer: Christmas Crack freezes well! Break or cut it into pieces and store it in freezer-safe bags for up to 3 months.
A stack of Christmas Crack on a gray plate.

Recipe FAQs

Why is my Christmas crack chewy?

The caramel topping needs to get to the hard-crack stage or it will be chewy. This means you may have to bake it a little longer or adjust your oven temperature slightly (every oven is different). I insist on a candy thermometer so you know when you are in the 300 to 310-degree range.

What can I substitute for saltine crackers in Christmas crack?

Club crackers, graham crackers, or buttery Ritz crackers are all delicious bases for this candy.

Why did my Christmas crack layers separate?

Make sure the hardened caramel topping is still warm when you add the chocolate to prevent separation.

Why is my Christmas crack sticking to the foil or parchment?

It might still be too hot. Let the candy cool until it’s easy to handle, then remove it from the foil or parchment.

Christmas Crack on a gray plate.

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A stack of Christmas crack on a plate.

Christmas Crack

You'll love this salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy saltine cracker candy, sometimes known as Christmas Crack, and you can make it in 15 minutes with just 5 ingredients!
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 373
5 from 201 votes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 15” x 10” x 1” pan with parchment paper, foil, or a silicone mat. Line up crackers in a single layer in rows on prepared sheet.
  • Meanwhile, using a candy thermometer, melt butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 to 3 minutes (270 to 290 degrees if using a candy thermometer). Immediately pour over crackers and spread evenly with a spatula.
  • Bake 5 minutes or until the candy hardens (300 to 310 degrees if using a candy thermometer). Remove from oven.
  • Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments at 50% power until melted. Spread over hardened caramel. (You can also sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hardened candy, pop it back in the oven until melted, and spread after that).
  • Sprinkle nuts or other toppings and press into the chocolate using a greased spatula. Cut into squares while warm. Cool completely for at least 15 minutes and store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Chocolate: Sometimes chopped bar chocolate works better than chocolate chips. To melt the chocolate, you can either 1). melt it in the microwave and pour it over the top, or 2). sprinkle the chips on the hardened caramel topping, let them sit for a minute to melt, and then spread the softened chocolate chips with a spatula.
  2. Toppings: Try chopped pecans, pretzels, OREOs, M&Ms, toffee bits, peanut butter cups, toasted coconut, coarse sea salt, candy canes, or drizzles of white chocolate. Or, just leave it plain!
  3. Yield: This recipe makes about 12 servings of Christmas Crack.
  4. Storage: Depending on the season and the humidity, Christmas Crack should keep well in an airtight tin or container for about a week or longer at freezing temps (like on your patio or in your garage, Midwestern friends!).
  5. Freezer: Christmas Crack freezes well! Break or cut it into pieces and store it in freezer-safe bags for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 373kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 2gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 275mgPotassium: 174mgFiber: 2gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 688IUCalcium: 37mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. I don’t have a thermometer so I ended up not getting the caramel hot enough but it still turned out great! A little sticky, I just kept it in the fridge and ate it cold 🥰5 stars

    1. Hi Nan, I’m so happy it worked out well! I was worried at the beginning of your comment. Thanks for taking the time to write, take care! – Meggan

  2. Is there anything I can do about my toffee still being sticky even after being in the fridge for an hour? When I try to break it, the bottom is still sticky.

    1. Hi Brittney, I’m sorry it’s sticky! I don’t know of a fix for it. Sorry! It’s likely the toffee didn’t reach the proper temperature on the stove. Did you use a thermometer? Sorry again, I hope you try it again and it’s a success! – Meggan

    1. Hi Pam, it’s the range. Every oven is different. That’s why I recommend several times in the post to use a thermometer. Hope this helps! Take care! – Meggan

    2. I’m glad she did, as my “simple” recipe just based on times is hit-or-miss. Sometimes it works, other times not. I came looking for a recipe that has the temperatures stated, and here it is! Thank you Meggan!!!

    1. Hi Denise, oh no! So some of the caramel seeps through, but the layer shouldn’t have completely separated. Is it possible that a lot of space was left between the crackers and it went through? Sorry about that! – Meggan

  3. Definitely wasn’t what I was looking for when searching “Best Damn Crack Ever Recipe”. But this looks delicious.

  4. Can you clarify if the toffee mixture should be stirred constantly during the 3 minutes as it is getting up to 270?
    Sometimes toffee recipes say to stir UNTIL it comes to a boil, and then to stop stirring during those 3 minutes or so of cooking time.
    What method do you use?
    Thank you!

  5. I don’t understand why you bake the toffee mixture. I see all the recipes online say to bake it, so there must be a reason. Couldn’t you just cook it to hard crack stage (300 degrees) on the stove and pour it over the crackers? My mixture looked perfect (took it off the stove at 280), spread it onto the crackers, and baked for 5 minutes. The texture changed to gritty in the oven. My thermometer and oven are both calibrated. I’m a candy maker and tried this but failed and I’m not sure why. Maybe overcooked?

    1. Hi Judy, for my recipe, the caramel is nearly set and only needs 5 minutes in a 300-degree oven to harden. Anything hotter, at least for mine, and the sugar could burn and the caramel would be ruined. I just know that sugar burns, and it burns easily, so I bring it to a certain point on the stove and then finish it in the oven. In theory, I don’t see why you couldn’t, other than the candy may be harder to spread. Again, just speculation! I hope this is helpful even though I can only say why I’m doing what I’m doing, not in comparison to anyone else. I’m sorry that the candy was gritty for you. I appreciate your thoughts as a candy maker. Sorry again – Meggan

    1. Hi Nellie, yes! If you don’t want to make your own, it should be fine using store bought caramel. Good luck! – Meggan

  6. I’ve made this numerous times at Christmas, but we call it Saltine Toffee! It is easy and quick to make and makes a great gift – very popular!

    “Christmas Crack” is what we refer to as either Crock Pot Candy, or Mr. Goodbar knockoffs, at least that’s what I think of when someone mentions Christmas Crack. It matters not, it’s delicious!

    Thanks!5 stars

    1. Thanks Gini! Love those other names, so glad you love the recipe! – Meggan

  7. I really love your blog.. wonderful recipes. This one worked out great for xmas- I’m going to do it again for NYE.5 stars

  8. Beat Christmas crack recipe ever! Buttery caramel sprinkled with mini chocolate chips atop salted cracker squares. Oh my yum5 stars

  9. This is the best crack recipe ever! Buttery caramel on salted cracker squares with mini chocolate chips sprinkled atop. Oh my word

  10. This is gooood. I’m a big texture girl and this is the perfect amount of crisp and chewy. Obviously I’ll eat way too many.5 stars

  11. This was so yummy! I followed the amounts exactly, but I adjusted my time and temperature a bit. I did 320 for 7 minutes. That is the case with every recipe for me just because of how my oven is. I used milk chocolate and toasted slivered almonds on top. Hubby and son loved it. Thank you so very much!5 stars

  12. Very easy to make! Thanks so much. I also just sprinkled the mini semi sweet choc chips on the hot caramel when I took it out of the oven and it spread fine!5 stars

  13. Firstly I want to say I make this every year for Christmas gifts and my family loves it so much that they call me back a day later they will be asking for me for more. It’s easy to make and I put smashed candy canes on mine. I love this Christmas crack

  14. Holiday family favorite!. Even the teen was able to make it by themselves this year (2020). So super easy. and usually have the ingredients in the pantry. Promise you can’t go wrong with this recipe. (NOTE: we usually make the recipe (and prefer) with Club crackers.) ENJOY!5 stars

  15. “Or if you’re in the Midwest, do you ever do that thing where you store your Christmas treats outside on the patio or in your garage?“
    Lol yeah we call that the walk-in (walk-in freezer). Didn’t realize that was a Midwestern thing! Excellent recipe. Thanks!5 stars

  16. Delicious! I have a friend who has made this for years. I made my first batch this past Christmas. Megan gave lots of helpful information with her extra tips. Here are mine….
    Use extra large, heavy foil and spray it with baking oil spray.
    The candy thermometer tip she added was soooo helpful. After pouring the caramel mixture over the crackers, I cooked mine in the oven at 375 for 5 minutes. It was bubbly. I used MINI semi sweet chocolate chips. I used her sprinkle right on the hot caramel crackers idea, let them melt for a few minutes and then spread it. After adding the pecans, I let it cool a bit and then put the pan of candy in the freezer for 20 minutes.5 stars

  17. Had trouble melting the chocolate chips in the microwave but was successful with the double boiler. Turned out great. Also used Graham crackers instead of the saltine crackers. More flavor!!5 stars

  18. I made this recipe on pretzel crisps w white chocolate chips. Put heath toffee bits on top..it was a hit 😁love this recipe thank you for sharing.5 stars

  19. Is there any way to make it with the “Carmel” part softer? I’ve never tried this but I have people who can’t but into that part of it’s like brittle.

    1. Mine didn’t turn as hard as brittle. I cooked it to the time specifications but it probably didn’t hit the right heat marks. So yes, it can be done. They taste great, just more of a Carmel roll Carmel texture than a brittle.

  20. LOVE these. Made this just the way the recipe reads with a few ‘tweaks’.
    I use foil WITHOUT any non-stick spray. They do not stick. The trick is to remove them from the pan/foil before they cool. Yes, they are still messy to handle at that point, but they ‘set’ as they cool. I don’t use the refrigerator at all. They are always eaten within a few days in my house.
    I cook the butter/sugar mixture 2 to 3 minutes after it begins to boil (cooking on medium burner temp). You need to mix it quite a bit as you melt the mixture or it can burn.
    300*F has always worked for me. At the 5 minute mark, my butter/sugar mixture is always bubbling. The cracker mixture is very hot when coming out of the oven and is hot enough to melt the semi-sweet chocolate morsels, why make more work or dirty dishes than you need to? Just sprinkle them on top of the cracker mixture immediately after you remove them from the oven. Spread them as they melt.
    I sprinkle crushed almonds on top right after you finish spreading the chocolate, they stick to the top better that way. Almost any topping works.
    Again, I remove them from the foil after a few minutes of cooling on the counter and place on a dinner plate to ‘set’.
    No candy thermometer, no non-stick cooking spray and no pre-melting of chocolate needed.
    They taste pretty good when warm too!
    * NOTES: I cook the butter/sugar mixture on a medium burner setting. I cook with an electric stove and place the foil on a cookie sheet (the edges of the pan are short and cook better). The cookie sheet is placed on the middle rack in the oven.5 stars

  21. It’s easier to just sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, and then put tray back in the oven for a few min, they melt into a flat layer. Huge time saver!5 stars

  22. The parchment paper stuck to the crackers. What did I do wrong? From reading other comments, I’m guessing I didn’t get the oven hot enough for the caramel to harden. Please advise, I want to try to make another batch.

    1. Hi Shannon, you could try a hotter oven. Honestly you shouldn’t have to, and you might burn it if you do, but I am totally baffled by all the mixed experiences with this recipe. Some people have great success and love it, and some people have trouble. And I don’t know how to help! You shouldn’t need a hotter oven, and I don’t know how ANYTHING could stick to parchment, but I’m not there in the kitchen with you. So you could try a hotter oven, I just don’t know what will happen. But other people have luck with that. I’m so sorry about that! Good luck and Merry Christmas. -Meggan

    2. Why not try using foil instead of the parchment paper? I’d definitely grease the foil very well with butter. (it taste better than cooking spray)

  23. I just made this and i love how they came out ! The only question i have is after cooling them in the fridge for about an hour it’s hard to get the parchment paper off the bottom. Am i doing something wrong ??

  24. Loved it!
    Made it for my work colleagues as an end of year treat/gift and they loved it! Will be making these more often. Topped mine with dark chocolate, pretzels and roasted almonds :) amaaaaazing!5 stars

  25. You can make this even easier by not melting the chocolate chips first. I sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crackers when they come out of the oven, wait one minute and then spread them with a spatula because they melt from the heat of the crackers!5 stars

  26. Putting the crack cookies in the fridge will it make the crackers soggy?

    1. We store ours in the freezer, keeps things nice a firm and that’s within minutes if you’re not into eating them straight from the freezer. I don’t think keeping them in the fridge will make them soggy.

    2. No, it doesn’t, but keep them in a sealed container. They rarely last long enough to be worried about storage. :-)

  27. Hi, should it be hard already when you remove it from the oven or does it harden as it cools? — just checking, as I’m not using a thermometer.

    Thanks for this recipe, hoping it turns out.

  28. This is always a huge hit. I am going to try the different toppings. Everyone is always so surprised when they learn the simple ingredients. Thanks5 stars

  29. Oh my gosh!!! I have tried perfecting these for YEARS and with your recipe they FINALLY turned out!! All the other recipes I have tried just have never turned out. Usually the toffee part doesn’t harden, and it’s just a soggy mess. I finally got that “crack” texture! I followed the recipe exactly, didn’t use a candy thermometer…turned out perfect!!! I am finally confident in sharing these with friends and family!! Thank you!5 stars

  30. I think the oven temp is wrong on here. I suspect it’s supposed to be 400. I did the 300 for 5 min and it wasn’t bubbly at all, so I checked another recipe and they said 400 which made more sense to me anyway.

    1. Hi Becky, the oven temp isn’t wrong. The idea is to get it to the “crack” candy stage which is between 300 and 310 degrees. But, if 400 degrees worked for you, that’s really all that matters! I’m sorry 300 didn’t work. Thanks. -Meggan

  31. Hi
    Made the recipe today and loved it.
    However there is quite a big difference between 270 and 290. I cooked it to 270 then put it in the oven for 5 minutes and couldn’t get it anywhere near hardened or 300-310 on the candy thermometer. I did leave it in the oven for about 15 minutes and got a good crunch on the caramel layer but would love if you could give me some further pointers
    Thanks5 stars

  32. Made this for the first time. It came out okay, except the Carmel came out a little burnt , I used a candy thermometer but was kinda scared to reach the temperature you said. It was looking super dark already, so I just used it like that!! Any suggestions? Thanks5 stars

  33. Made this twice now and it is great. First time I followed the recipe temperatures exactly and I had this amazing crackle butter toffee like top. The second time I couldn’t find my candy thermometer and guessed at the temp. It was still great, more of a light caramel but yummy. I topped it semi-sweet chocolate and swirled in peanut butter chips. What a great taste. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

  34. I MADE THIS THE OTHER DAY AND IT WAS SO GOOD I MADE IT AGAIN TODAY. .LAST TIME I USED WALNUTS THIS TIME PECANS. CAN`T STOP EATING IT THANK U.5 stars

  35. Made as currently updated and the recipe works perfectly! Use Reynolds NONSTICK FOIL! I used a candy thermometer to 285-290. Melted chocolate and spread with an offset spatula after the caramel/cracker layer cooled just a bit to prevent caramel from shifting. Lightly toasted chopped pecans prior to sprinkling on warm chocolate. Chilled then cut into uniform pieces with a long knife. Thanks!5 stars

  36. Christmas crack is the best. Lots of variations and I’ve never had a Christmas crack I didn’t love. My grandmother use to make this, throwing together odds and ends in the kitchen. Don’t make it complicated. Ive made it camping. Even if you bomb, it’s still delicious. I never use a candy thermometer, the butter/brown sugar appears mixed when ready. Prehaps a good tool for those that like to crank the heat. But if you keep the heat low you’ll be fine.5 stars

  37. Just curious. I’ve been comparing a number of Christmas Crack recipes and most bake at 400 or 425. But yours is 300. Why do you use such a low temperature? Trying to figure out the best method.5 stars

    1. Hi Erika! Thanks for the question. For my recipe, the caramel is nearly set and only needs 5 minutes in a 300 degree oven to harden. Anything hotter, at least for mine, and the sugar could burn and the caramel would be ruined. I don’t know what everyone else is doing out there, but it is possible they are adding the caramel to the crackers at an earlier stage and need to give it more time in the oven to finish. Does that make sense? This is purely speculation! I just know that sugar burns, and it burns easily, so I bring it to a certain point on the stove and then finish it in the oven. In theory other recipes could pull it off the stove at an earlier stage. Again, just speculation! I hope this is helpful even though I can only say why I’m doing what I’m doing, not in comparison to anyone else. Good luck! I hope you find the best recipe for you!

    1. Hi Sara! Yes definitely! Thus freezes really well. It’s smart of you to get ahead! :) thanks for the question. I’ll update the post with this info!

    2. Yes! I some how found a small container of it in my deep freeze 9 months after Christmas and it still looked and tasted amazing!

  38. Oh and I pour melted almond bark in a pretty design over the top of the semi sweets, then add chopped pecans and milk chocolate minis! Yumm!5 stars

  39. I happened on to this recipe while I was making spinach artichoke dip. I Have made these twice in the past weeK, following your recipe exactly. I do not use a thermometer. I honestly cannot believe how absolutely delicious these are. Both my children take them to school and share them with their friends and their friends keep asking for more and more….Im an RN and was delighted to watch people’s face light up, just like mine had, when I took them to work. The flavor and flakiness of that Cracker makes it hard to believe it was ever a Saltine. I am planning on making lots of this and giving it as a Christmas gift that I know everyone will love. Thank you so much for the delicious recipe.5 stars

  40. So I never follow recipes… I simply use them as a guideline… (could be 3 failed marriages of constantly controlling me). 😂 anyway… I didn’t have saltines, so I improvised with club crackers and it was awesome!!  I then went to store and forgot saltines again!!!  So I bombed on some easy sugar cookies(uh, weren’t so easy as they crumbled). But I used the crumbled sugar cookies as a base and WOW!!  I kept some for a bake sale at work and mailed the rest to my nephew and his buddies who are in Afghanistan right now!!!  Thanks for the awesome recipe!!!5 stars

  41. I have begun to believe I am NOT supposed to make this; may be a message from my hips.  This sounds so good and I’ve never had it before, but the two batches I have made thus far ended up in the garbage.  Note:  I am one of those people who have a difficult time throwing out food, but….The first batch had burnt toffee because I turned the heat back on to try and melt those darn chocolate chips!  The second batch, I tried to melt the mini chocolate chips in the microwave and had to re-warm due to timing issues and ended up with that powdery nasty chocolate dust!  GRRR!  I am still deciding whether I will try ONE more time; you know, three strikes, you’re out!😜😃5 stars

    1. Oh no Deanna, what a nightmare! I am so sorry. I do know sometimes people have problems with this recipe. Maybe you have a super powerful microwave? Chocolate dust is THE WORST, it makes me so angry. If the chocolate chips are mini, look at the package for microwaving instructions. Maybe it’s different. So sorry you’re having problems! It looks so simple but not if it keeps failing. :(

    2. I don’t even heat the chocolate chips. If you pour them over the toffee and wait a few minutes, you can easily spread with a spatula. I’m no good when it comes to the microwave and chocolate!

  42. I made this Christmas Crack, followed the instructions exactly, and they came out perfectly. I’m not sure why anyone is having issues if the directions are adhered to precisely. My whole family loves it and they are always giving suggestions for new variations. Love this recipe. Thank You!!5 stars

  43. I tasted Christmas crack at a party and it was delicious, I tried it and it tasted so sweet you couldn’t even eat it! I followed the recipe to a tee?! Help!! Thank you 5 stars

    1. Hi Amy, it’s really hard for me to say what went wrong! The only possibilities are that you used more sugar than you were supposed to, or you just have a lower tolerance for sugar than the rest of us who love this stuff! I’m honestly not sure. Did the caramel seem to work fine? Did you cook it to the appropriate temperatures? If you truly did exactly as the recipe instructed, maybe the version you tried at a party was just less sweet overall! Wish I could help more! :-/

  44. Does it matter if you light or dark brown sugar? And I tried it and I totally failed. My candy was really thin? I had a lot of liquid to where my crackers were floating. Is that common?5 stars

    1. Hi Tesha, it shouldn’t matter if you use light or brown sugar. I’m guessing you didn’t boil it long enough (did it hit 270 degrees?). It needs to hit 270 degrees to hit soft-crack stage and thicken up. Then when you pour it, it should pour like caramel sauce. Sorry it didn’t work for you! I definitely recommend using a candy thermometer.

    1. MAKES MY LIFE. Seriously, Hannah, thank you for sharing. I’m glad it worked for you. :) Merry Christmas!

  45. If you butter or spray coat your pan and then pop into freezer for 5-10 mins. once chocolate has been spread, the entire rectangle of Christmas Crack will just pop right out of the pan! Then you can easily and with minimal waste or cracker crumbs snap into pieces – no cutting required. Hope this is helpful! Love this recipe:)5 stars

  46. I tried another recipe last week and they were good but the toffee part didn’t harden. I tried this one and it is perfect! 270 degree is the trick! And parchement!5 stars

    1. So great to hear, Andrea! People seem to be having problems all over the internet with the Christmas Crack this year. Glad yours turned out! Mine always does too.

  47. I made this stuff tonight, put it out in the cold storage. How long does it take for it to completely cool so I can break it?5 stars

    1. Hey Heidi, you could probably break it cold. Otherwise let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so and you should have no problems! Thanks.

  48. I love this recipe but I use Ritz crackers for extra buttery goodness. The only issue I’m having is that the toffee mix never gets hard. It stays gooey, which still tastes wonderful, but I think I’m doing something wrong. I boil for three minutes, no stirring. Pour it on, coat the crackers and into the oven for 4-5 minutes. I let it cool on the counter for a little bit and the rest of the way in the fridge. Am I just not getting the toffee mixture hot enough?5 stars

    1. Hi Mindy, it is possible you aren’t getting it hot enough. If you have a candy thermometer, I’d try watching the temp on it and making sure it hits at least 270 degrees. It should definitely get hard by the time you take it out of the oven (300 to 310 degrees). I hope it tastes good either way!

  49. My pans are a little smaller and hold 24 crackers instead of 35. I use a toaster oven to cook/bake and yy pans are a little smaller. They hold 24 crackers instead of 35. How do I adjust the recipe down? Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Sarah, I would just cut everything in half. Possibly even the crackers (using 20 instead of 24 even though your pan holds 24). However, you would probably have enough of everything to cover 24 crackers if you just made half the caramel and used half the chips. Sounds like it should be just fine!

  50. I just tried this recipe and my toffee got way too dark before it even got to temp (using a candy thermometer) and I could tell it was on the verge of burning. I had been stirring diligently and heat was med low. I’d definitely try again but any thoughts of what I did wrong?5 stars

    1. Hi Lori, I’m guessing you have a really powerful stove that does a good job heating things. It sounds like the temperature progressed too quickly, so the only thing I can think of would be to cook it at a lower temperature for longer. That is really the only thing I can think of. I’m so sorry to hear that!

    1. Great idea!! I use club crackers in my Homemade Twix bars. They are so versatile. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Liz! I have no idea. Does it melt the same as butter? Have you successfully made other candies with margarine? If so then I think it would probably work, I just don’t have any experience with margarine to know. Thanks for your question!

    2. Margarine does not work the same as butter in this recipe, And you don’t have to melt the chocolate separately… when you pull the crackers with the brown sugar and butter out of the oven you can sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and wait just a couple of minutes then spread them out with a spatula. much easier.5 stars

    3. Hi Brenda, that is how I have always made this myself and that’s how the recipe was up until recently. BUT, so many people have had issues with their chocolate seizing, I changed the recipe to melt the chocolate chips separately. More work, yes, but hopefully fewer failures. :-/

    1. I have no idea! I have never used that, does it melt the same as butter? It’s definitely worth a try but I just don’t know.

  51. hi, i made this today, everything was fine, till i put the chocolate chips on, i put them on and returned to the oven for 2 minutes, and went to spread them, and they wouldn’t spread, they were cores, grainy. took them out of the oven and turned it off and returned them to the oven for another 3 minutes, still wouldn’t spread, so i turned the oven back on and put them in for 6 addition minutes, no spread, just grainy, and broken , i wonder if the chips i used were bad, or what, but i wonder if i melt the chips on the stove next time would that help.5 stars

    1. Hi Elaine, did you have the oven on at 300 degrees for baking the candy and then shut it off? Once the chocolate is coarse and grainy, you usually cannot ever spread it. It is usually the result of an oven that’s too hot, but if you had it at 300 degrees at first (and then turned off completely) you shouldn’t have had issues. However, some others have reported this (even though it hasn’t happened to me) so I may just change the recipe to melt the chips some other way. I am so sorry about that. It should still taste fine but yeah, once the chocolate “seizes” there is no spreading it. So sorry about that!

  52. My granddaughter makes this, and its to DIE for. I will try it this year. Note: years ago, back in the 1960’s, my dear friend Doreen made this and called it ”ALMOST ROCA”5 stars

  53. Amazing receipe. I left out peanuts and walnuts and used the crushed toffee bits. They were great. Also added about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to chocolate chips for the sweet salty taste. 5 stars

    1. Hi Jody, thanks so much for these ideas!! I love the sea salt to bring out the saltiness in the crackers and obviously toffee bits is the best idea, ever. :) Glad the recipe worked for you!

  54. I made this last year and used m&m’s. This time I made it with pecans and added a red and green icing drizzle to it to add Christmas color. I’m going ro make another batch at Christmas and top it with pretzels and crushed candy canes!5 stars

    1. These variations all sound SO GOOD! So many things you can do to make this recipe even better. :) The red & green drizzle is so obvious but I never thought of it!

    2. I made it with the red and green chocolate chips.  It made it look quite festive and still tasted fantastic!5 stars

  55. Just made  two batches of this. One was made on top of graham crackers had peanut butter and chocolate chip combination because that’s what I had on hand and then pretzels sprinkled over-the-top. The other had saltine crackers and for some reason  all the saltines floated to the top above the caramel after I took it out of the oven I hope that’s not gonna be a disaster! Those have heath bar pieces sprinkled on top. Hope that’s not too much ‘toffee’? Is there such a thing??  Anyway what could be bad it’s all going to taste good! I think from now on I’ll only use graham crackers, it  seems to make the whole experience a little bit more manageable .5 stars

    1. Honestly I think they taste “mostly” the same. The strongest flavors come from the hardened candy mixture and the chocolate. I’m pretty sure you could pour that over cardboard and it would taste good (I’m kidding). If you are person who “loves” the salty/sweet combo, I’d go with saltines. If you don’t care, if salty/sweet is “meh” to you, go with graham crackers like my mom. :) But the REAL question is – which cracker do you have in your cupboard? Or which one is cheaper? ;)

  56. 5 minutes for the chocolate chips to soften, is too long. There is a sweet spot and overheating chocolate makes it grainy.

    Candy should always be prepared with a thermometer, otherwise you risk getting the wrong finished texture because it depends on how hot you are cooking it. (anywhere from soft, grainy praline to over-done toffee). It should be cooked until it reaches the soft-crack stage, just under 300°F. The time in the oven should take it over the edge to the hard crack stage, which is what toffee should be finished at.5 stars

    1. I think you are right, Valerie. What works for me clearly isn’t working for the masses, so the only way to account for all the possible variations from ovens and extra seconds here and there is to use a thermometer. As for melting the chocolate, I’ve never had a problem with 5 minutes but other people are. I’ll have to retest and adjust my instructions. The beauty of this recipe was the idea that no thermometer was needed and that it would be fairly “easy” but I guess I was wrong on that! Thanks for your help on this.

  57. I make this all of the time! I love it. The one thing I do, in addition to nuts, is to sprinkle with powdered sugar.5 stars

    1. Hi Janice, I sent you an email to try to make things right. I’ve fixed the recipe including Valerie’s suggestions for using a candy thermometer, so hopefully others will have more success. Thanks for your feedback!

  58. IMac I make this all the time my family loves that they beg me to make it I use different kinds of chips like caramel salted caramel and the chocolate together I use a large cookie sheet and it works great one sleeve of crackers plus a few more and I just break it in pieces instead of cutting5 stars

  59. I am going to make these….. after reading the comments, I wonder about using parchment paper instead of foil to line the pan….. I will let you know how it works out. :) 5 stars

    1. Hey there’s a lot of rambling on the page (mine), no worries if you didn’t see it at first glance. :) I hope it works out for you and that you love it, Alison!! Thanks.

    1. Pretzel sticks!!! That’s perfect. I am going to have to add those next time, more salt is always better. :)

  60. These look so good and want to try them this year but I am the only one in my family that likes nuts in cookies. Can you top these with anything else? m&ms/coconut/crushed oreos?? Wondering if anyone else has left out the nuts?5 stars

    1. Hi Michele, yes, yes, and yes! M&M’s, coconut, OREOS! All great ideas. Use whatever you want. I think the nuts add crunch, but all these flavors sound amazing. Pretty sure I’m going to make the OREO one next. Thank you for your question!

  61. I followed these directions exactly and the chocolate chips will not melt enough to spread.  Next time i will just melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and spread over the top.  Any idea why the chocolate chips wouldn’t melt??   I put the pan back in the oven several times and they just wouldn’t melt enough to spread.

    1. Hi Tam, that seems odd to me. Was the oven hot? I cannot image why chocolate chips would not melt if the oven was hot. I mean, eventually they would have to melt. Right? Did they ever take on that shiny look, appearing as if they have softened? It would definitely be easier to spread the melted chocolate if the chips were already distributed on top. Not sure what’s going on! Sorry about that.

    2. Hi Janice, I sent you an email to try to make things right. I’ve fixed the recipe including Valerie’s suggestions for using a candy thermometer, so hopefully others will have more success. Thanks for your feedback!

    3. Hi Tam, I sent you an email to try to make things right. I’ve fixed the recipe including Valerie’s suggestions for using a candy thermometer and lowering the oven temp so the chocolate doesn’t seize. Thanks for your feedback!

    4. I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times in the past. You need to use high quality, newly purchased chocolate chips. If you use cheaper chocolate or chocolate chips that have been in the pantry for a while, it won’t spread. If that doesn’t work, I’m not sure.5 stars

  62. Thanks for your reply. I do use a lot of foil in pan and when it cools enough to be cut I cut it. Then place in fridge till harden. I lift out by foil and turn upside down on wooden cutting board. Trying to peel foil off is easy on the first inch or so near edges but the middle sticks to foil badly and a lot of the cracker and Carmel stuff won’t peel from foil I wind up tossing foil and a lot of the Christmas crack away.5 stars

    1. Hi Sha, I sent you an email to try to make things right on the Christmas Crack front. Thanks for your feedback so I can improve the recipe!

    2. Thank you or your reply, I’d like to share that after talking to several people they suggested one thing I may be doin wrong is to NOT stir the butter and sugar those 3 min during boil…I was stirring like crazy afraid it might burn or stick.5 stars

    3. Thanks for this, Sha! I will update the recipe and add the info about not stirring. I sent you an email regarding your first attempts with the recipe, please let me know if you didn’t receive it. Thanks!

    1. Yes, absolutely! That’s actually how my mom makes it. I will add that to the recipe notes. :) Thank you for your question!

  63. Every time I make this the middle is gooey and I have a hard time getting out of pan, I line pan with foil and the foil sticks like glue. I’ve tried boiling sugar and butter longer… Please help

    1. Hi Sha, you should be using a baking sheet with a very small rim (not a cake pan, for example). Even if the foil sticks to the candy, you should be able to cut it and just peel the foil off. I would also say make sure you are covering the pan completely with foil, even if that requires more than one piece, so you can slide the candy off the pan to a cutting board before cutting. The middle might be gooey at first but should harden eventually. Does any of this sound like it might help, or am I just barking up the wrong tree here? So sorry you are having issues!

    2. Its very important to remember to use PAM or some other type of non stick spray on your foil before you put the crackers down. Otherwise you will have a sticky mess!5 stars

    3. Hey Lois, that’s a great idea. I have never actually done that, but that would probably help a lot. Come to think of it, I think the last time I made this, I used parchment paper. I wonder if that’s why it worked better. Sha, do you happen to have parchment paper? I would try that if you have it or feel like buying it. I’m so sorry for all the issues.

  64. This recipe does not specify using unsalted butter, although that is what is shown in the photo. Is unsalted butter recommended, or is salted butter okay to use?

    1. Hi Gwyndolyn, sorry for the confusion here. I *rarely* have unsalted butter on hand and don’t normally cook with it. I may have used it that one day when I took the photos, but if I were going to make Christmas Crack today (and I just made it two weeks ago) I would use salted butter. I know the argument about why you shouldn’t – so you can control the salt in a dish, manufacturers all use different amounts of salt, etc. But, I don’t worry about that. I really don’t. So, use whatever you want! If you are watching your salt intake or something, please feel free to use unsalted.

    1. Hi Susan, I would keep these for weeks refrigerated or frozen (or on a cold, wintery patio). At room temperature, maybe 4 to 5 days depending on the temperature inside your house.

  65. Magic! What I love about these is that they seem so fancy but hide a sneaky little fact – they only use 5 ingredients and are super easy to make. 
    Love the Parade post too – was a nice surprise to see one of my recipes there. Thank you Meggan – and wishing a wonderful Christmas to you and the family! xxx5 stars

  66. Hi Kimberly, I’m sorry to hear that. The recipe instructions state that you should melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (in 30-second increments at 50% power) and spread them on top of the candy. Did the dust situation happen in the microwave? If you do 30-second increments at 50% power, which is probably what Toll House has on the bag, you shouldn’t have problems with the chocolate seizing. I’ll add instructions for melting the chocolate in a double-boiler, too.

  67. Hi John, sorry your caramel didn’t harden. It may be that the caramel needed a little bit longer in the oven to get into the temperature range to harden. Sorry about that! – Meggan