There are certain delicious treats that seem to really be associated with the holidays—and this saltine cracker toffee is one of them! While it’s perfectly delicious and appropriate all year long, this simple toffee is synonymous with the Christmas season.
If you’ve never made saltine cracker toffee before, you have to whip up a batch this holiday season. It’s a breeze to make—no fancy special equipment needed—and its sweet and salty flavor is always a crowd-pleaser. Let’s make some!
Note: Many folks know this holiday toffee recipe as “Christmas crack,” but this name can make light of serious issues like drug addiction. Instead, we are calling this candy “saltine cracker toffee,” but it is the same recipe you know and love.
Why is this toffee recipe so great?
This cracker toffee has the wonderful sweet and salty flavor combo going on with a perfect texture—a little crunchy, but not so hard you’ll need to hit up the dentist after you enjoy. It’s tender, it’s buttery, it’s rich and chocolatey. You’ll find yourself with your hand in the toffee jar all season long!
This is also a supremely easy Christmas candy to make! No need for candy thermometers or other fancy equipment—this recipe is as no-fuss as it gets.
What do I need to make saltine cracker toffee?
For the most basic version of this candy recipe, you just need four basic ingredients: saltine crackers, unsalted butter, brown sugar, and chocolate chips. But for extra tasty toffee, we recommend also adding toffee bits!
How do I make toffee with saltines?
This is a super simple candy recipe—great for even beginners! Here’s how to tackle it:
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and grease the foil. Be sure to choose a tray that has sides, and that the sides are lined with foil too. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spread saltines in a single layer on the cookie sheet. You want the crackers to be so close together that they are touching, but not overlapping.
- Heat butter and sugar together in a medium pan, and bring to a boil. Cook for five minutes.
- Pour the brown sugar mixture over the saltines, and bake for 6-8 minutes. At this point, the caramel should be bubbly.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot caramel. They will start to melt immediately—spread the chocolate into an even layer with a spatula.
- If you are opting to use toffee bits, sprinkle them on top of the chocolate.
- Let the toffee cool to room temperature, and then move the whole pan to the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours. Overnight is even better!
- Place a large cutting board on top of the baking sheet, and flip the whole pan-toffee-board sandwich over. Remove the pan, peel off the foil, and break the toffee into chunks.
Truly, do NOT skip the step of lining the cookie sheet with aluminum foil and greasing the foil. Otherwise, you are going to end up with a sticky mess that is impossible to clean up!
Can I use dark chocolate?
Unfortunately, dark chocolate doesn’t work well in this saltine cracker toffee recipe. Dark chocolate doesn’t have the same moisture content as milk chocolate, so it’s more brittle—this will make for a chocolate flake mess when breaking up the toffee and eating it. Milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips both have milk solids added, making the chocolate more pliable and a little more moist.
Can I use a chocolate bar or does it have to be chocolate chips?
While I’m normally all about chopping up your own chocolate, I’d recommend using chocolate chips for your saltine cracker toffee. The chocolate is sprinkled on top of the hot caramel, which means it has to be in small enough pieces that it will quickly melt on contact. It’s much less work to use chocolate chips than to chop a bar into small enough pieces. Keep it simple!
Do I need low sodium or regular saltine crackers?
Either type of saltine will work, but I recommend using regular saltine crackers for this toffee recipe. This saltine toffee has a delicious contrast of sweet chocolate and caramel and salty crackers. Using reduced-sodium crackers will still work, but it won’t have the same flavor as saltine cracker toffee made with regular saltines.
Can I use graham crackers or Ritz crackers?
You sure can! While the saltine crackers fit perfectly in the pan and have a great salty flavor, go ahead and feel free to experiment with any other kind of cracker. Ritz crackers will add a bit of buttery flavor. Graham crackers make for a sweet-as-can-be toffee that reminds us of s’mores.
Want to try out Ritz crackers in the recipe? You might want to go with Keebler Club Crackers, which have similar flavor and texture to Ritz, but are rectangular, so they’ll fit in the pan better.
Does the whole baking sheet go in the fridge to cool?
It sure does! Clear out space in your fridge to allow for the whole baking sheet to fit—it can easily slide on top of things if you have vertical space. You want your saltine cracker toffee to cool completely in one large sheet before you break it into pieces. Removing them from the baking sheet before they’ve had a chance to fully chill will result in an ooey-gooey mess.
To avoid a mess in your oven, make sure the baking sheet you lay your crackers in has high sides. This will stop any melted caramel from running over as it bakes.
What other things can I add into my saltine cracker toffee?
We love this toffee as simple as can be, but if you are looking to spice it up a bit, here are a few things you can toss on top of the chocolate as holiday flair:
- Toffee bits (AKA: bits o’ brickle or Heath bits)—our favorite and what we recommend!
- Chopped pecans, walnuts, peanuts, or other nuts
- Holiday sprinkles
- Flaky sea salt—only add once the chocolate is mostly cooled
- Replace half of the chocolate chips with peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, or white chocolate chips—then swirl them together!
How do I store my saltine cracker toffee?
After you’ve broken your saltine cracker toffee into chunks, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. You can use a plastic container, a zip-top bag, glass containers, or even metal cookie tins. It makes a great simple gift when wrapped up with a pretty ribbon!
Although saltine cracker toffee is best kept in the fridge, it can be stored for a few days on the counter. Just be careful that the room it’s in doesn’t get too hot, or you’ll end up with melted chocolate everywhere!
To reduce the risk of a mess, separate the layers of saltine cracker toffee using pieces of parchment or wax paper. This way, if your toffee does happen to melt, it won’t cause the pieces to stick together.
Can this saltine cracker toffee recipe be made ahead of time?
Absolutely! Saltine cracker toffee will last in the fridge for up to three weeks and still taste fresh and delicious. So if you find yourself with a few minutes of free time, whip up a batch and store it in the back of your fridge. Now you have a sweet and salty treat to feed your next round of holiday guests!
Can you freeze saltine cracker candy?
We’ve had decent luck freezing the toffee in an airtight container for up to 3 months. We just recommend freezing it flat first, and the transferring the pieces into the container once solid so they don’t freeze together.
If you’re looking for more delicious treats to take with you to your next holiday party, I recommend browsing my collection of the best Christmas cookies. It’s loaded with helpful tips, and you’re bound to find a cookie—or three—that will have your guests asking, “Can I get the recipe for that?”