As we start to pack up Christmas at our house, we have lots of leftovers. So this week, I’m focusing on trying to put those leftovers to use. First up: adding candy canes to Christmas Crack.I had not heard of Christmas Crack until my friend Elizabeth called me about the recipe. It turns out to be super easy and a little addictive — hence, the name. This is basically salt + toffee + chocolate, so you really can’t go wrong. I used this version of the recipe from Food.com as my basis, and then modified it.
- 1 sleeve of saltines (40 crackers)
- 1 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 12 oz. bag mini chocolate chips
- Kosher salt
- Candy canes
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Unwrap candy canes, insert in a freezer zip lock bag, and beat with a meat mallet until the bits are the size you want.
Line a cookie sheet (with four sides) with tin foil and liberally spray it with cooking spray. Line the cookie sheet with the saltines, spacing them as close together as you can.
Melt the butter, then add the brown sugar. Stir constantly on medium high for exactly 5 minutes. Pour the sugar mixture evenly over the crackers. Realign the crackers with a fork as needed.
Put in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Return to oven for 1 minute. Remove and spread out chocolate chips with a spatula. Sprinkle with kosher salt and candy cane bits to taste.
Put in freezer for 30 minutes to harden. Remove and break into cracker-size pieces.
Two notes about this recipe:
- Some reviewers mentioned that they had trouble getting the chocolate chips to melt, so I used mini chocolate chips, and had no trouble.
- Much more importantly: the recipe said to use wax paper to line your cookie sheet. I did that but also added cooking spray. That still wasn’t enough to keep the paper from adhering to the bottom of several of the crackers. I’ve since seen other recipes that call for tin foil instead, and I’d definitely try that next time.
Your children can help lay out the saltines and break up the candy canes, but please don’t let them stir the butter/brown sugar over the stove — you don’t want to ring in the New Year with burns.
How to Break Up Candy Canes
We tried breaking up the candy canes two ways. Of course you could use a food processor, but most of the time, I find my food processor is more trouble than it’s worth. First I unwrapped the candy canes and broke them up with a kitchen mallet. Don’t do this. Candy cane bits will fly everywhere, even if you try to barricade the area around your bashing surface.
We wound up keeping the candy canes wrapped and break them with the mallet. The wrapping will eventually open itself, but not until your candy cane is in smithereens. You want your candy cane bits small so they are easy to eat without fear of breaking a tooth.
A better way might be to unwrap the candy canes, put them in a freezer bag and then beat them with the meat mallet. For even more suggestions, read this post from Food52 on how to break up candy canes.