“Christmas Crack” {Saltine Toffee Candy}


It's day two of our 12 Days of Christmas Baking series (yum!) My sister made this plain ole' amazing “Christmas Crack” recipe for my dad's birthday, and oh-my-heavens it was fantastic. It's so simple to make, but  turns a plain old saltine into utter bliss.  {You might just need to ask someone hide the batch so that you don't eat the entire pan yourself. . . that's what I'll be doing when I make it here!}


If you're baking much this Christmas, you'll definitely want to add this one to your to-bake list, as it only requires a few simple ingredients so you'll have a delicious treat at a rock bottom price.  I'm betting you have everything you need right in your kitchen already! I'd love to hear if you try this one or have a variation on it, because I'm planning to make it at our house over the weekend. 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 10.32.08 PM

Notes: I just made it using regular salted butter and it was fine. Also, be sure to put a larger pan underneath your pan in case any of the butter/margarine mixture seeps over – you'll want to watch it closely while in the oven so that it doesn't melt over the edges of your pan.

Okay, let me just preface this post by saying that's the most horrible name for a recipe, but it's the only way to describe just how good and addictive this stuff is. . . I promise, you will LOVE every bite!


“Christmas Crack” {AKA Saltine Toffee Candy}

“Christmas Crack” {AKA Saltine Toffee Candy}


  • 1 cup butter (NOT margarine - original recipe calls for unsalted butter but I've used both)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 40 saltine crackers


  1. Heat oven to 400.
  2. Line 12x17 cookie sheet with foil and spray well with cooking spray.
  3. Layer the saltine crackers on top of the foil.
  4. Heat butter and sugar on stovetop and heat until gently boiling, stirring constantly.
  5. Reduce heat to low boiling and cook, uncovered, between 3 and 5 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and sugar is dissolved. (Be careful to avoid burning the butter and sugar- that will ruin the recipe, but do make sure the sugar is dissolved and mixture is thickening. This is by far the trickiest part of the recipe ~ just make sure it thickens and dissolves but does not burn.)
  6. Pour butter and sugar mixture over crackers and spread evenly.
  7. Bake 5-6 minutes in oven.
  8. Remove pan from oven and let cool 3 minutes, then sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over brown sugar mixture.
  9. As chocolate chips melt, carefully spread into an even layer over the toffee layer using a knife. (Note - I pop the pan back in the oven for about 20 seconds after sprinkling on chocolate chips so that they melt faster.)
  10. Refrigerate for one hour.
  11. Break into bite-sized pieces and serve. . . yum, store covered in refrigerator.






Do you have a favorite Christmas treat that you love to make? Leave a comment sharing the recipe, and feel free to link to it on your blog or another page and we might sample it here!

christmas crack - PINTEREST

The Ultimate BLACK Friday Cheat Sheet 2016
Love shopping Black Friday? Download your free Ultimate Black Friday Cheat Sheet 2016 and don't miss a deal. 
First Name
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Print Friendly and PDF


  1. I think I’m going to have to try this! Looks delicious!

  2. I have also made these using Ritz crackers… I know we have had lots of sales on those and they work great too!

  3. I have made a similar recipe before. You can make it with graham crackers also, but we have taste tested and can’t really tell much of a difference (I know that’s hard to believe). My recipe also adds some pecans to the top after you get the chocolate to melt. They are really great. It was the only thing people wanted me to bring to parties for quite a while. Think I will make some too.

    • Ritz crackers now come with a chocolate covering (top and bottom). You’re right–they taste like choc-covered graham crackers.

  4. Ubiquitous says

    Where’s the toffee?

    • The brown sugar and butter make the toffee ~ hope that helps! 🙂

      • how does the chocolate chips melt

        • The heat from the toffee mixture will melt them within a few minutes after you spread them – hope that helps Cathy!

          • Is there any reason you can’t mix the chocolate chips in with the toffee mixture and stir to melt. Then pour all of it over the crackers?

          • Because if you add chocolate to the toffee and mix it, it will not harden.

        • Sheila Glick says

          When I just made them, be sure to place a piece of foil over it, after you sprinkle the chips on and wait 3 min. That is the perfect amount of time for the chips to melt. I had to keep putting the pan in the freezer, at 20 min. intervals for about 3 times (1 hour total), before the chocolate was hardened enough.

          I don’t believe I let the butter and sugar boil long enough though, stayed sort of soft.

          Still very Delish!!!!

  5. How far in advance can this be made? Does it get soggy if made too far in advance?

  6. I’ve had this. It really is YUM! I’m making it this weekend!

  7. This is my go-to Christmas recipe! It tastes really good frozen and right out of the freezer too. It is cheap to make and super quick for a large batch. WIN WIN!

    Don’t leave the pan in more than 90 seconds when you put it back on with chocolate chips..they won’t “melt” down, they soften and need to be spread. I learned this the hard way and burnt the whole pan the 1rst time.

    I also top with almond slivers for decoration and crunch, so good! Just about a 1/4 cup after the chocolate, if there are no allergies.

    NOTE: I have also made a few pans and froze it and it’s good for weeks, in a pinch. Doesn’t go soggy or stale.

  8. I can’t wait to try this for our Christmas party this weekend. Will dark brown sugar work? It’s what I have on hand.

  9. Do you have any tricks when spreading the chocolate to keep the crackers from moving?

    I have a cookie sheet with edges, but it wasn’t big enough.
    Thank you for the recipe and your time.

    Merry Christmas

    • I used one with a rim so I’m not sure what else would work. The brown sugar mixture should have soidified some to help too though!

  10. I’ve used a different recipe without success in the past. This recipe works out much better. I have also used some graham crackers, cinnamon graham crackers and some crushed candy canes on top. All turned out well. Next time, I will try it with Ritz.

  11. Deloris Savage Livingston says

    My daughter in law made this with pretzels on the bottom…. DELISH! I’m getting ready to make it and can’t decide what to use as a base.. :-/

  12. I tried this recipe today and while the Christmas Crack does taste delicious, I would advise to NOT use a cookie tray. This ended up being a disaster! Toffee all over the oven.

    • Jennifer B. says

      Definitely use a rimmed cookie sheet. We normally line it with parchment paper (instead of foil sprayed with cooking spray).

  13. Donna George says

    Pinned. I made this about 20 years ago, and it was such a huge hit. I got out of the habit of making it, but I’m glad I re-found the recipe.

  14. Look Bethany Chicoine! I found it! ♥♥

  15. Bethany Chicoine says

    Yaaayyyy 🙂

  16. After spreading the chocolate, while it was still warm, I sprinkled Heath English Toffee Bits over the top.

  17. I know it's not Christmas, but I make this Saltine Crack for Wednesday night Church sometimes cause it's so easy. Now when people ask for the recipe, I'll just tell them to look at my FB page.

  18. Have you ever used milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet or does the brown sugar “tame” the semi-sweet flavor? My family prefers milk chocolate in most cases so just wondering about the pros and cons for each in this recipe. Eager to try it! Thank you for sharing it1

  19. Can the butter be salted? It’s all I have…

  20. is there any other option for the crackers?

    • The only option I can think of is to use Graham Crackers – I’ve heard they work too! Hope that helps.

    • Try the Keebler Club crackers – those rock!

    • I haven’t done it yet but I’m going to try making them with waffle pretzel squares.

      I’ve made these using various kinds of crushed nuts as a top layer (pecans, walnuts, almonds…) but my absolute favorite is crushed red and green peppermint candies. I love chocolate and mint together and the red, white, and green gives it a festive holiday presentation!

    • Joann Lnders says

      Pretzels work really well ! It allows the toffee to predict in all the spaces. I also sprinkle some sea salt I the top of the chocolate

  21. Christie Marie says

    I love this recipe! So easy and people just love it. I used to make a baklava for the holidays but this is way easier and just as good. Couple of comments…
    I don't use a cookie sheet. I use a glass baking dish. Keeps the liquid in. Also I tried this with milk chocolate chips and found it to be a bit too sweet (who knew there was such a thing).
    Question for you – this gets so melty at room temperature. Not that it lasts too long but any tips for serving this?
    Thank you for posting this recipe!

  22. A girlfriend of mine made this for us at work and topped it with SKOR bits! Amazing!

  23. I’ve heard of – but ever had or made – this candy, but I’m so making it this year! I love toffee and this recipe sounds simple and delicious. I’m sure it will be a crowd pleaser.

  24. Pretzels would work also

  25. I usually make this with Graham crackers instead. 🙂

  26. Should I use dark or lite brown sugar? Does it matter?

  27. Mine was a disaster it never harden on the bottom the syrup is so gooey any suggestions?
    I am so disappointed I tried putting it in the refrigerator try putting it in the freezer? What could I have done wrong?

    • I’m not sure Diana ~ so wish I could help more! If anyone has any suggestions please let us know.

    • Jennifer B. says

      The recipe I have for this has you melt the butter (make sure it is real butter, not reduced fat, fake something else) first in the saucepan before adding the brown sugar. Then, bring it to a boil and THEN boil for 3 whole minutes.

      My guess is perhaps you didn’t use butter or it didn’t boil quite long enough. I actually like this recipe because you don’t have know about “soft crack stage” or measure temperature or anything to get it right (in my experience).

      Also, we have to keep this is in the refrigerator here in the South or the chocolate layer melts all over your fingers while eating it.

    • You probably didn’t cook the butter-sugar mixture long enough.

  28. Skipper Boyett says

    I made some and topped 1/2 with crushed pretzels and 1/2 with crushed pecans. My wife took it to work to share with her fellow nurses, she said it was gone in no time

  29. Denise Clarke Silveira says

    I just finished my second batch and have to do everything not to keep sampling! Added pecans to one batch and almonds to the other. So easy and super yummy. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Can you use salted butter

  31. Gina Peterson King says

    Well, I made this for the first time yesterday and my chocolate seized and wouldn't spread. 🙁 It was a mess. Maybe too humid?? Also, this may be a dumb question, but does it matter if you put the salted side of the cracker up or down?? How I could mess up something that should be so simple is beyond me. :/

    • I did make it salty side saltine down 🙂

      Also, tonight I let it sit for a few minutes before spreading the chocolate (so they were good and warm), then I popped them in the oven that was cooling off for about 45 seconds to help speed the warming process. That might help Gina!

  32. I spread crackers and then melt almond bark in the microwave pour it all over the crackers and sprinkle with what ever you like I used crushed candy canes, it’s quick and easy no melting butter and sugar.

  33. Mary Jane moss says

    I mix brown sugar and butter in the microwave until it bubbles. I pour that mixture over the crackers and bake at 325 for 12 min. Take out and pour bag of mini semi sweet chips on crackers. Then a bag of health bits o brickle. Turn off oven and let set for 20 min. Take out and use spatula to smear chocolate around. Put in freezer for about 25 min and take out and turn upside down into another cookie sheet. Take a mallet and bear it up in size you want. I use heavy duty no stick foil.

  34. Cicely Hooper-Brown says

    Sounds like your spreader could have been wet. All it takes is a drop of water to ruin melted chocolate.

  35. Dixie Belle says

    Mine is looking like a Martha Stewart mishap

  36. Just curious… Why semi sweet choc chips? Have u used milk choc? I always use milk in place of semi sweet because I don’t care for semi sweet. Would it be too sweet?

    • I’ve always used semisweet, but some folks have told me they use milk chocolate and it’s turned out well, so if you like those better I think it would work out perfectly. Hope that helps!

  37. I top with crushed chips, corn chips, tortilla chips …

  38. To make them more festive for Christmas you can also sprinkle with crushed peperment candy after choc. Melts…..

  39. I just saw this today and HAD to try it. Thx to your readers for all their comments too as I didn’t have saltines but had ritz crackers and so I made a 1/2 batch to try it first & it came out SO great too! Love you can freeze this also

  40. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I have eaten it before but never tried making it. Also, you asked for other Christmas tradition recipes and I always make WHITE TRASH. It is super easy and quick. I always have trouble waiting for it to cool before eating it. I am adding the recipe below.




  41. Cynthia Salzhauer says

    This is similar to a Passover recipe we have made, using Matzohs instead of crackers. They would make it easier, as each matzoh is about 8 x 10 inches and won’t move around in the pan. As far as storing them is concerned, they won’t last long enough to store, but you could break up the matzohs into smaller pieces and store it in an airtight container (that’s why you kept all those cookie tins last Christmas).

  42. Joanne Long says

    My mom has made this for us for 30 years. It’s always good and great for a chocolate craving in a short period of time. She use to sprinkle chopped nuts on top of the melted chocolate. It is incredible with almonds.

  43. Used unsalted crackers to cut down on the salt intake since I use salted butter. crushed walnuts sprinkled over the melted chocolate works too.

  44. Think you forgot the Toffee in the list of ingredients 🙂

  45. Just made this tonight and it is yummy but its a bit chewy . Did I not cook the butter and sugar long enough you think ? First time to make toffee .. My husband said it was good other than sticking to his teeth .
    Happy Thanksgiving

  46. Just tried,not sure what happened butter and sugar never got thickened! Crackers aren’t soggy so I just used melted chocolate and put in fridge. Guess I will see if it works!

  47. I make this and use butterscotch Moses instead of chocolate and add toffee bits. It’s a winner no matter how you make it!

  48. I can’t get the chocolate chips to melt!!!

    • i just made and couldn’t get the chocolate chips to melt either! i’m letting them cool anyway and seeing what they do

  49. I plan to try this with pretzels instead of the crackers.

  50. I have made this recipe for over 30 years. It was called FOOL’s TOFFEE. The only difference is that I made mine using no FOIL, butter the jelly roll pan and place crackers directly on the pan. After you spread the softened chocolate, you sprinkle 1 cup of pecan CHIPS over everything and chill before breaking into pieces. It freezes well, if it lasts that long. Store in a Vacuum sealed container and refrigerate, and they will keep indefinitely. My mother would laugh at me when I told her I had to put the container in the basement refrigerator to keep them out of my sight. Oh so good.

  51. fools.
    the differences in stoves, humidity and your elevation from where Laurie made hers will make it different in each kitchen. You can’t just estimate toffee. You have to use a thermometer. Or, you can keep asking why it is “chewy” or didn’t seem to set right…

  52. Can you use Blue Bonnet? The regular kind?

  53. Christmas crack
    I use white sugar, a throw away aluminum cookie sheet, spay the spatula with Pam before spreading chocolate chips, I freeze for about 10 minutes then I cut them with a pizza cutter or large chef knife. I’ve topped with peanuts, pretzels and whatever I have around.

  54. I’ve made this recipe for years and we all love it. This year I need to find a good gluten free substitute for the crackers. 🙂

  55. My neighbor made these one year. Instead of semi sweet chocolate, she used white choc chips & cut up craisins. Best thing ever! Thanks for sharing the recipe! So many variations of yumminess! Can’t wait to try making them!

  56. Sharon Urlacher says

    I have this recipe with finely chopped almonds on top. It called Mock Almond Roca. A favorite here.

  57. My mother used to make that recipe and I am 75 so it has been around for a long time. It was one of my favorites!

  58. this is best if yoiu crush candy cane and sprinkle on top.. oh man!!!

  59. Nanas Deals says

    I have made this and actually melted the choc chips in glass bowl in microwave and poured on and evened out. Worked Great – Just my trick I ave also done this by doing a DOUBLE Layer .

  60. I made this today and used peanut butter chips, OMG YUMMY!!! That is my favorite. Chocolate is great too but oh my the peanut butter is super delicious. 🙂 Enjoy!

  61. Just made this using brown sugar substitute and sugar free chocolate wafers melted on the top. Way less sugar and still all the taste. Yum!

  62. I tried making this tonight and it didn’t work out so well. :/ I couldn’t get my brown sugar to dissolve and it never mixed with the butter…as I could have strained off the butter and been left with a bunch of brown sugar…..???? I did melt the butter first and let it get hot in the saucepan first then added the brown sugar. Could that have been it? I cooked it long enough, long enough for me to smell the transformation to toffee smell but it never mixed and then it finally burned because I cooked it so long. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  63. I tried this recipe. Sorry but we didnt like it. Not at all!!
    I was glad I cut the recipe in half so I didn’t waste all these delicious ingredients.
    Like real “crack”, I will not have one bit of trouble staying far away from this recipe again!
    I like making things shared on FB- this goes into the “worst ever” folder.
    No offense meant to the creator- I imagine they have made other things better.than this. I um HOPE they have gotten to experience recipes better than this one anyway!

  64. Thanks for another tasty recipe 🙂
    My saltines was too old to use……lol, so I use graham crackers. Topped with toffee bites for a added crunch. Thanks again 😀

  65. Going to make this for an office party this week. …curious can I melt the chocolate separately and then spread over the cooled toffee?

  66. Have this recipe from many years ago. It is written out on a paper hand towel by one of my elderly cancer patients. I’m a retired Nurse & this lovely little lady spent many hours on the Cancer unit. She would always bring in this candy for the staff. Her instructions are, after boiling for 3 minutes, test the syrup by dropping a small amount into a cup with a small amount of cool water, if a small soft ball forms, the syrup is ready to spread on top of the saline crackers. If no soft ball forms after 3 minutes of boiling, continue to boil & test again after each minute until soft ball forms. Always worked.. She called it Brittle & it has chopped walnuts sprinkled on the top right after spreading the melted chocolate chips.. Delicious.

  67. Would toasted coconut make a good sprinkle?

  68. That looks Devine!! Thanks for the recipe!

  69. I tried this yesterday and although it turned out great… DO NOT use cheap Dollar Store tin foil. It stuck to the caramel and had to be peeled off nearly every single piece. Another site suggested parchment paper, but I did not have any. I also added sea salt and almonds to the topping. And Laurie… you need a much better candle than that Yankee all sooted up 🙂

  70. yolanda metott says

    This was delicious!! Just made today…not sharing. Lol thanks for a different recipe. Love it.

  71. Has anyone made this with vegan butter? I’m testing it now using earth balance.

  72. Charlene xxxxx says

    I have been making this for years thanks to Trisha Yearwood’s recipe. Glad to see a simple recipe that tastes good is making the rounds again. One quick note… I spray a spatula lightly with Pam (or whatever you use) before I spread the chocolate and it works much better than the bare spatula. Just a thought.

  73. I have made this several times since I first made I t for Christmas. Recently my daughter and I decided to use white chocolate chips and it was delicious. In fact we both like i better than the milk chocolate.

  74. Colleen Blair says

    I made it and it is great. I also made a batch using peanut butter chips instead of the chocolate and it is every bit as good. It kind of tastes like the inside of a Payday!

  75. I made this several times. Always perfect . I use Club crackers because it’s what I use. OMG it’s heaven. My friends can’t stop eating

  76. Debra Tanner says

    I hav used this recipe several times. I topped with chopped almonds & never ever a problem!! Love it

  77. Salted parted up or down?

  78. connie eller says

    Yikes….I put in the oven at 400 degrees, set the timer for 5 minutes and within 3 minutes smoke was pouring out of my oven!!!! It was burning….help…what went wrong.

    • Oh nooooo Connie – I have no idea! Is it possible that your oven bakes hot? I would try it at 350 next time (that’s never happened to me and we’ve made it so often)! 🙁

  79. I use graham crackers instead of saltines and milk chocolate chips! Delicious!!

  80. Use a single layer of mini pretzels instead. YUMMY!

  81. Cruzita Lenhart says

    Easy recipe, but not for me. Came out runny for me. 🙁

  82. Would it work to use parchment paper instead of foil? This looks wonderful.

  83. I’m confused by the picture. It looks like you used 1/2 cup of butter, but the recipe calls for 1 cup.

  84. I’m chuckling at the negative reviews. Dont blame the recipe, try it again and figure out what eent wrong! My Mom made this when I was a child, it’s inexpensive and delicious. Funny how I didn’t know how poor we were till I got older. I had a wonderful Mom who had a bag of tricks to keep us happy and healthy. One of those tricks applies to this recipe. Brown sugar! I have a love/hate relationship with brown sugar. Love the taste and cooking with it, hate trying to store it and keep it soft or soften it when that fails and it goes hard as a rock. Enter Mom’s secret: don’t store it! Make it as you need it! Brown sugar is simply 1 tablespoon molasses mixed with 1 cup of granulated sugar. Molasses stores practically forever, so keep it on hand and you can quickly make all the fresh, soft brown sugar you need for whatever recipe calls for it.

  85. Cheryl Smith says

    Love it! Thanks for the recipe. Followed it and it is flawless and yummy. My presentation may not be perfect but the taste is.

  86. I made this I thought it was the easiest thing ever. You just do exactly what it says mix your butter and brown sugar stirring it constantly, once it’s boiling keep it at a medium boil for exactly e -4 minutes, I put my crackers on a cookie sheet covered with the heavy foil, buttered lightly. I poured the toffee on the crackers put in 350 degree oven for 5 min. Took it out, sprinkled my choc. Chips all over put in oven that was shut off for 2 min. Took it out with a Rachel Ray spatula (I can’t think of material at the moment) I spread the chocolate chips , they went smoothly, and I sprinkled a crushed up Heath bar around, I put pan in freezer for a bit, and I melted a nestle white cookies & cream chocolate bar in microwave and when I took it out of freezer I drizzled it around.let it set a few seconds and mine lifted up off pan in one big bar, I just snapped it up in pieces I thought it looked better all different ways. I put it in little metal containers with tissue paper for my partner to take to his family’s Xmas party, I wasn’t feeling well,it was a hit. But I just had crumbs, so tonight my granddaughters and I are making it while I babysit for New Years eve! It’ll be all ours! Of course I didn’t tell them it’s xmas crack, but they want popcorn too, I’m thinking they will go good together! Happy New Years all!

  87. I made this for the 1sr time today. Super easy. Great it truly only takes 10-15 min start to finish. I used salted saltine crackers and salted butter. I put in in the oven for 5 mins and took it out and poured my chocolate chips on and it was super easy to spread. I know they will not last long. Here’s my Togo to recipe when craving a salty sweet snack excellent recipe.

  88. Made it last Christmas for my Grandma and she ate the whole tin herself, didn’t share any with my Uncle LOL Yes it was THAT good that an 86 year old woman ate the whole tin herself! 🙂

  89. My all time favorite Christmas cookie is pecan balls. Now days they are called Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cookies. Yum

  90. These instructions were so easy to follow thanks to the attached video. Made a batch for the big game viewing party tonight to do in my SnackStadium. I used nonstick aluminum foil and had no release problems at all. Thanks for all of the tips that you and the other commenters included.

  91. If you use ritz crackers, being round and not square, does this work just as well or wld. the square crackers work better?

  92. I think they wouldn’t cover the bottom of the cookie sheet easily so it may not cook as evenly Bonnie? Would love to hear other folks suggestions!

  93. Mine turned out terrible. Never got hard and crunchy. Threw all of it in garbage. Waste!!


  1. […] Visit Passionate Penny Pincher’s website to find the recipe for Christmas Crack, um I mean Saltine Toffee Candy. […]

  2. […] My favs are framed pictures or baked goods wrapped up. Try Sam’s Christmas Crack recipe here: https://passionatepennypincher.com/2012/12/christmas-crack-aka-saltine-toffee-candy/. It is sure to […]

  3. Candy Canes And Christmas Go Hand

    […] s. Then a bag of health bits o brickle. Turn off oven and let set for 20 min. Ta […]

  4. Baking Bliss Baked Desserts To Make And Devour Custom Confections

    […] t 325 for 12 min. Take out and pour bag of mini semi sweet chips on crackers. Th […]

  5. […] favorite recipe is called “Christmas Candy Crack”. It is saltine crackers, butter or margarine, and brown sugar. You can get fancy and add […]

  6. […] favorite recipe is called “Christmas Candy Crack”. It is saltine crackers, butter or margarine, and brown sugar. You can get fancy and add […]

Speak Your Mind