Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.Jo Brand
As promised, here is my Christmas Crack recipe. This is an easy-to-make and all-too-easy-to-eat chocolate and caramel slice that makes a great gift, or contribution to a festive meal. I got this recipe from an American friend almost thirty years ago. Her family called the recipe Christmas Crunch, and my friend Sandy made it for a Thanksgiving Party she hosted here in Australia. It’s delicious, so of course I asked for the recipe.
There is something very satisfying about this salty-sweet combination of crackers, caramel, chocolate and nuts. I also give you fair warning that it is hard to stop at just one piece. Hence the name ‘crack’. Variations of this recipe have been doing the rounds here in Australia for the past few years and cooking up a batch of crack is now quite a common pastime for those in the know. Ben only allows me to make one batch for home consumption because, well, addictive!
Now you can turn your kitchen into a crackhouse too!
Rufous (our red cattle dog) was willing me to drop the bowl, and I snapped the top pic of him trying to levitate some down to his level. He’s so cute – and no, he didn’t get any but we had to watch him because he’s sneaky when it comes to food treats and his nose told him this one was especially desirable. The nose always knows!
Enjoy, and remember to share OR if that’s going to be hard, buy enough ingredients for two batches.
Love and sweet delights, Nicole xx
PS – When you break up the crack it will produce a lot of crumbs. Save those in an airtight container to put on top of ice-cream (if you don’t eat them all first!).
PSS – If you live somewhere hot, this is best stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Or even the freezer. Preferably hidden under or behind vegetables, because who ever looks there? (And yes, this is the voice of experience!)
PSSS – If you look at the image of the cooled crack on the parchment paper before I broke it up you may notice one corner is missing. I blame Ben!!!
- 250 grams of butter (salted is fine)
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 400 grams of dark (or your choice) of chocolate broken into small pieces (choc chips are fine too)
- about 1/2 a box of Salalda (or Saltine) crackers
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup of toasted chopped nuts of your choice (optional but good – I used toasted pistachios and some honey butter almonds I happened to have on hand)
- a teaspoon of vanilla essence or up to a tablespoon of dark rum or a coffee flavoured liqueur such as Kalua or Tia Maria (optional but good)
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Line a large rimmed baking tray with parchment paper. Mine was 28cm x 37cm ( 11 x 14.5 inches) Don’t stress too much about the size of your tray. It’s okay if it’s a little smaller. If it’s a heap bigger then consider increasing your caramel quantity by half.
- Place a single layer of crackers in the bottom of the tray so that it is completely covered. Cut or break crackers to size if they don’t fit.
- Add the butter and sugar to a saucepan and place it over low heat until the butter is melted. Then bring it to the boil, stirring occasionally. Once mixture is boiling stir for three more minutes at boiling point.
- Add vanilla or the alcohol of your choice (I often use Bundaberg Rum because it’s Ben’s favourite) and stir again and then carefully pour the mixture over the crackers and spread it out with the back of a spoon if it needs help to spread. Make sure to get it right into the corners and edges of the tray.
- Place the tray in the oven for 15 minutes. Watch it after 10 minutes, so that the caramel doesn’t burn. You want it a good rich golden colour but you need to be careful it doesn’t get too dark.
- Remove from oven and while it is still hot sprinkle the broken chocolate over the top and leave it for five minutes and then spread out the melted chocolate with the back of a clean spoon or spatula.
- If you are using toasted nuts, sprinkle them over the hot chocolate and then set the crack aside to cool. (You can put it in the fridge to cool if you’re in a hurry.)
- When the crack is cool break it into pieces with your hands or a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container. It will keep for about two weeks if it lasts that long.
- Use a combination of white, caramel, milk or dark chocolate and swirl them together
- Use dark chocolate on top of the hot caramel, spread to cover base and then melt a small amount of white chocolate in a separate container to drizzle over the top
- Use chocolate sprinkles, coloured chocolate, marshmallows or mini M and M’s on top of the smoothed dark or milk chocolate base