Well, it was bound to happen eventually. So … welcome to my first post where I advise a significant percentage of you not to make the delicious-looking dessert in the photograph above.
I mean, if you’re like me, then you won’t like these. This recipe has been hanging out in the back of my mind since seeing them on smitten kitchen. It’s chocolate. And caramel. On crackers. What’s not to like?
The caramel was the problem. I get that caramel is supposed to be buttery; it is, after all, made with butter. And I do like good caramel, especially with a little sea salt. But there was waaaaaaaaaaaay too much butter for me in this recipe. The finished product tasted like brown butter. Just brown butter. That’s it. Sure, there was lots of chocolate on it, but I could not taste any chocolate. Just butter.
I decided a long time ago that there are two types of people in this world: those who prefer chocolatey desserts, and those who like buttery desserts. (There’s a third type of person who does not like desserts at all, but these people are clearly possessed by the devil, and you should never trust them.) Now, if you are the kind of person who likes a buttery dessert, you will love these. I brought them to work and got a few good reviews from people who tried them. Some said things like, “These are amazing. Can I please have the recipe?” In my head, I was thinking, “Huh. Really? Because these are really disgusting.” Yes, I am a lover of chocolatey desserts. And cheesecake. And fruity desserts. Okay, well almost all desserts but buttery desserts.
The conclusion? If you are a member of Team Butter, make these and love them. If you are a member of Team Chocolate, make something like the Starry Starry Nights I put up earlier. Or wait until I put up one of the zillions of chocolate desserts that will inevitably come in the future, because it’s my blog, and I’ll do what I want. And what I want is chocolate.
Chocolate Caramel Crackers
Serves many people
Total time: 30 minutes
Approximately 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice, or 4 to 6 sheets matzo
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces (I would try 1 1/2 sticks of butter instead)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)
1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice (optional)
Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit. Line the bottom of the baking sheet with crackers, covering all parts.
2. In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. (Okay, this was a total lie – it didn’t thicken up much, and you could see that there was too much melted butter for the sauce to get thick. It just looked like bubbling caramel sitting in a pool of melted butter. Bleh.) Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.
3. Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening. (I did not have this problem, 15 minutes was fine.)
4. Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you’re using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts and/or sea salt. (On Saltines, the salt is really not necessary – unless you bought unsalted saltines because the store was out of the normal ones …)
5. Completely cool by placing pan in fridge; this should take about 30 minutes. Break it into pieces and store it in a container. It should keep for a week.