Here’s a fact about me: I’m a baker, not a candy maker. If you thought baking was scientific, you wouldn’t believe what candy making is like. I tried making those yummy maple candies once, y’know, the ones that are perfectly solid until the moment they touch your tongue and melt into syrup magic that tastes like autumn? Yeah, those. Well, I poured the ONE ingredient (syrup. (Duh)) into a pot and began boiling it. It all seemed fine, I had a candy thermometer to tell me when the syrup reached exactly 235 degrees F. As you can probably imagine, one second the thermometer read 200 and then I blinked (rookie mistake) and it read 250. I thought “hey maybe it’ll be fine I know my way around a kitchen it’s chill” as I cooled the mixture. It wasn’t fine. The candy didn’t harden properly and tasted just..weird. Maybe I’ll try it again someday, but for the present I’ve decided to try my luck at something a little less candyish. I learned about toffee (in case you were wondering what the actual difference between toffee and caramel is: toffee is essentially just sugar and butter, while caramel is sugar and cream or milk, with butter occasionally. Toffee is cooked to 300 degrees F, while caramel is cooked to about 248 degrees F. Got it? Good). Then I discovered Saltine toffee. My dreams of learning to make other candy floated away the moment I took my first bite of Saltine toffee. Sweet and crunchy and buttery and salty and chocolatey, it’s honestly everything I’ve ever wanted in my mouth all together in one neat package. And it smells INCREDIBLE. If there was a way to make Saltine toffee perfume, I’d probably have more suitors than I’d know what to do with. And I can’t stress enough how unbelievably easy it is to make! Like, SO easy. It takes all of 15 minutes to assemble and then it goes into the fridge. And it makes such a cute homemade gift as well! It does not disappoint.
Toffee (adapted from allrecipes.com)
– about 1 1/2 sleeves Saltine crackers
– 1 stick unsalted butter
– 1 cup dark brown sugar
– 1 bag dark chocolate chips (these work best in my humble opinion)
– Crushed pretzels, nuts, chopped dried fruit, etc
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking tray with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and sugar, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches a rolling boil. Pour toffee over the crackers, spreading it a bit if it looks too thick in some areas (don’t worry if it doesn’t cover them completely). Bake for five minutes so that the toffee is bubbling all over. Pour the chocolate chips over the toffee crackers, and place tray back in the oven, making sure the oven is OFF. Let the heat of the oven melt the chocolate for a minute or two, then remove from the oven and spread the chocolate evenly over the crackers. While the chocolate is still melty, pour crushed pretzels, nuts, and/or chopped fruit over the top (I used pretzels for my first batch, and peanuts and walnuts for my second). Place in the fridge for about an hour so the chocolate has time to firm up a bit. Break up the candy into whatever size pieces float your boat and return to the fridge for a few hours to really firm it up or simply consume immediately! Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for months!