Sunday, December 21, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Brown Butter "Crack" Toffee

In the words of my cousin Gillian, this is the official start of holiday baking! 'Tis is the time to crank up the oven, dust off the mixer, and pull out those bags of flour. We have things to bake!

Instead of cramming all my baking into a day's effort, I am trying to bake just a couple of things a day. So today, I made some brown butter "crack" toffee ("crack" because this thing is addictive!). It's an easy recipe to kick off a week of baking. There are just some hard and fast rules to observe in order for the toffee to solidify. I'll share those in the directions below.

6 oz saltine crackers (1.5 sleeves)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
nuts (I used hazelnuts)

Preheat oven to 400F.
Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, then fill with saltine crackers in a single layer.

In a saucepan, melt butter and sugar over medium heat. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil.
Once the mixture starts boiling, STOP stirring. Start your timer for 3 minutes, and watch to see that nothing overflows.
Pour butter and sugar mixture over the saltine crackers as evenly as you can. Don't worry if you don't get all the crackers covered. The mixture will boil again in the oven and all the crackers will eventually be covered!
Bake for 5-6 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate, then top with nuts. Be sure to press those nuts into the chocolate.

Cool completely, then break into pieces.

You can be totally creative with this basic recipe. Go ahead and mix things up. You can try graham crackers or pretzels instead of saltine crackers. Top with pistachios, almonds, pecans, or a mix of every nut you like! Maybe you love dried fruits? You can use them too! Bacon? Why not! Crushed candy canes will look lovely as well.

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