I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise if I tell you that my creative gears start racing come holiday time. One year everyone on my gift list got a hand knit scarf, another year was homemade fudge in a half dozen different flavors. And then there was the year everyone got baskets of homemade goodies. I made and jarred my own applesauce, bottled my own flavored vinegars and baked like the ship was going down. I even designed and printed my own labels and gift tags, that year almost killed me!
This year I’ve managed to rein myself in a bit, but everyone will be getting one homemade delicious treat from me…crack. Yup you read right, Dark Chocolate Toasted Almond Crack. If you’re not familiar with these little delights then get ready; this is one of the easiest, most delicious and highly addictive treats you may ever eat. And while the name “crack” refers to the crackers you use, I dare you to take one bite and not come back for more! I hope your family (and Santa) will enjoy these goodies as much as mine does…
Dark Chocolate Toasted Almond Crack
I’ve seen this recipe topped with a variety of things; crushed candy canes, crunched up toffee bits and (my personal favorite) toasted almonds. Use whatever appeals to you the most.
1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 4 oz dark chocolate bars
1 cup slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan with foil and then a sheet of parchment paper. Cover the bottom of the pan with saltine crackers (salt side up) in as even of a layer as possible and set aside. Now for the chocolate… [It seems like buying a bag of chips would save you a step here, but the chips have added stabilizers and won’t taste quite as divine as chocolate in bar form will. Also if you prefer milk chocolate over dark then feel free to switch things up. I used three bars of Ghirardelli, two 70% cacao and one 60%]. Chop the chocolate so the pieces are all roughly the same size and set aside.
- Toast the almonds and set aside. In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted add the brown sugar and vanilla. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until mixture is an even color and the butter in no longer floating on top. When the mixture begins to bubble remove it from heat and pour it over the saltines. Use a spatula to spread it out and cover the crackers as fully as possible.
- Put the crackers in the oven and bake until the butter mixture begins to bubble, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle evenly with the chocolate pieces and quickly pop it back in for another minute or two, just enough to soften the chocolate. Spread the chocolate with a spatula so all of the crackers are evenly covered.
- Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top of the chocolate and refrigerate until all the layers set and harden. Using a sharp knife, cut your crack into tasty little squares and enjoy!
*adapted from serious eats