Chocolate Saltine Toffee

I’ve heard this toffee called Christmas Crack.

I think that name is most fitting but others have more P.C. names for it and some variations on the recipe.

Debbie made Matzoh Caramel Buttercrunch, which inspired Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch, which inspired Chocolate Caramel Crackers.

They all used matzoh whereas I used saltines.


Paula Deen also uses saltines and she calls it Pine Bark

Really Paula, with all that butter, sugar, and chocolate, and the best name you could come up with is Pine Bark?

I call it easy and amazing.

Recipe looks a little long but I am just being extra thorough explaining the steps.  It’s very easy: Boil sugar and butter, pour over saltines, bake, add chocolate chips. Done.  But I want to make sure no one messes up their crack so am being very detailed.

I recommend making this for a holiday party or as a Homemade Holiday Food Gift for folks on your to-buy-for (or to-make-for) list.

You may not necessarily want it all around your house.  Because it’s really, really addictive.  As the name would imply.

There is also no saltine cracker taste.  The crackers make for the perfect toffee base that holds all the gooey, caramely, wonderfulness together.

But you definitely don’t bite into the toffee and say oh, this tastes like saltines.

When I gave it to Scott and asked him what he thought was in it he said, “chocolate?”   Yes, good call, Einstein.  But he had no clue there was toffee in it.

This is an iPhone picture taken in a very hot Aruba kitchen at about 11:17pm the other night as the chocolate chips were poured over the almost finished crack saltine toffee.

Between the 86F degree evening, no A/C in the kitchen, the stovetop that I had on to boil the butter and sugar, and then the 350F oven that was on, I’m pretty sure you could have fried an egg on my forehead I was so hot.

Same thing when I was trying to take the pictures the next day.  It was literally melting before my eyes.

The brown sugar + butter base and the chocolate top?  Not exactly Caribbean heatproof.  Best to keep this stuff chilled or at normal (wintertime in the U.S.) room temperatures

But this stuff was well worth every hot, melty moment.

Chocolate Saltine Toffee (aka Christmas Crack) - This stuff lives up to it's name and is extremely addictive! Salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy and a holiday favorite everyone loves! Easy recipe at

Chocolate Saltine Toffee (aka Christmas Crack)

They don’t call this stuff ‘Christmas Crack’ for nothing. It’s easy to make, extremely addictive, and combines a salty, sweet, crunchy, and chewy into a holiday favorite.


30 to 40 saltine crackers (I used about 32 crackers)
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar, packed (I used half light and half dark because that’s what I had)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used one 12-ounce bag of TJ’s semi sweet morsels, also see optional note below)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 9 x 13 pan or similar with aluminum foil and spray it very well with cooking spray. Do not try to make this without using foil; you will hate yourself.
  2. Place saltine crackers in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Some recipes suggest using a jelly roll pan which may allow for a slightly bigger batch, i.e. 40 crackers, but it’s a bit too shallow for my comfort zone and didn’t want any bubble-overs.
  3. In a saucepan on the stovetop, combine butter and sugar and bring to a boil while stirring constantly.  Once a boil is reached, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened some.  Take care not that your simmer is not too fast/too high because it will be prone to bubbling over or scorching.  Stir mixture frequently while it simmers to avoid bubbling over or scorching. The taste of burnt butter and sugar is awful so don’t burn it.
  4. After mixture has thickened a bit, remove it from the heat, wait 30 seconds, add the vanilla extract and stir.
  5. Pour mixture over the prepared pan with the saltine crackers.
  6. Bake in for 5- 7 minutes, or until toffee/liquid becomes bubbly.
  7. After removing the pan from the oven, let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle on the chocolate chips and wait for 3 to 5 minutes, letting them soften and melt a bit, and then spread and smooth them into an even layer with a spatula. Optional:  After smoothing the chocolate, add nuts, seeds, graham cracker crumbs, toffee bits, dried fruit, candy bits, or swirl in some peanut butter or other nut butter. Or use other types of chips, such as butterscotch, white, peanut butter, etc. either in addition to or in a half-and-half  combination with the dark chocolate chips for your top layer.
  9. Let cool very well and if desired for expediting purposes, refrigerate or freeze until hardened.  Break into pieces the size of your choice. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 4 months. To keep gluten free, use GF crackers or make your own GF saltine crackers. To keep vegan, use margarine/Earth Balance and use a vegan cracker


Only Eats

Have you ever tried Christmas Crack, Chocolate Saltine Toffee, or something similar?

What’s the most addictive holiday treat you make or like to eat at someone else’s house?

I am going to say the White Chocolate Peanut Butter Vanilla Puppy Chow ranks right up there for me.

Or else the original dark chocolate puppy chow, too.

Edited to add: The Chocolate Saltine Toffee was featured on FoodGawker where the editors of Martha Stewart and Martha’s Circle noticed it and featured it on Martha Stewart’s site.

See this post for more info.

The news and feature made for one of my happiest and proudest blogging moments.  To say I was shocked, but incredibly honored, is an understatement.

299 comments on “Chocolate Saltine Toffee”

  1. This line made me smile: “But because I didn’t want a bunch of crack addicts Stumbling my site, I kept certain words out of the recipe title.” Too funny!

    Your recipe sounds awesome!

  2. Thanks for your Christmas card – I have Skylar hanging on my fridge!

    And you know I love Christmas Crack — I made some this year with chopped pecans on top and it was so good!

    Happy Holidays :)

  3. I made a toffee chex mix last Christmas that was totally crack. I ate an entire bag of it with all of it’s toffee, chex, and nuts – awesome yummy goodness.

  4. Do they make gluten-free saltines?! I wish! I may have to try with some other gluten-free cracker! :)

  5. Love the salty sweet combo! Looks super good and easy :)

  6. I’m not gonna lie, I noticed your sweaty chocolate and figured you must still be in Aruba. You betch. :)

    Next year, I want to be just like you! Although, next year our long trip will be Europe, so perhaps the islands winter 2013 and every. year. after.

    Oh – and thanks for the comment on my hair – I actually just cut off about 12 inches [gasp] a few weeks ago!


  7. The most addictive holiday treat that I make is Old Dutch caramel corn … my friends devour it.

  8. I bet Christmas Crack is accurate—this stuff looks crazy addicting!

  9. My sister makes this, it is like HEAVEN!! so dangerous and addicting…

  10. I have been making these for years. They are totally addictive :)

  11. These were a huge hit in the holiday bake=athon last year. I loved them, everyone else loved them, and they were EASY to make. Although, I think the 7 layer bars were even easier, if only because you only need one pan – the one you cook it in.

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  13. Oh wow! These toffee bars look amazing! Pretty cool that you can use saltines, I never seen that! Your pics of Aruba are beautiful!

  14. I have made these chocolate toffee saltine crackers before and they are amazing! I think I ate the entire batch myself, but who remembers these things………….. Coincidentally, I have also made the kind using Matzo. The only real difference is that the matzo doesn’t have a nice layer of salt like the saltine crackers, so you have to add a nice sprinkle of kosher or sea salt on top. Definitely only make these if having others over or as gifts to prevent you from eating them all yourself :) I wonder if they taste even better while looking at beautiful scenery in warm luxurious settings such as Aruba?

    • thanks for the comparison of the matzah vs. saltine crack.

      and “I wonder if they taste even better while looking at beautiful scenery in warm luxurious settings such as Aruba?” — as long as they dont melt before you get the pics taken. lol

  15. So glad this is easily veganized. Saltines remind me of mom, they themselves are addictive!

  16. Yeah, this looks like holiday crack for sure, yum! Great job! And I like that it’s easily vegan used too, great recipe option.

  17. We call this “ghetto roca” or “white trash cookies” but Christmas Crack is much better!

  18. DUDE! I love salt and chocolate together! I must make these!!!

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  21. I love this stuff! Just made some last Sunday and, yes, Christmas Crack is an appropriate name for it!!! I had to take it to my mom’s or I would have eaten it all!!! Wanted to have some for Christmas for the rest of the family.

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  23. I make reindeer poop! Seriously, it’s crack!

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  25. Holy cow! (Can you hear my Canadian accent?) Seriously. YUM. Ohhhhh yum. Eloquence escapes me. Yummm…!

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