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: using candy canes to make Peppermint 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 to add candy canes. Yum!
Two notes about the original version of 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 sticking to the bottom of several of the crackers. Tin foil works MUCH BETTER — and be generous with the cooking spray.
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
Here’s what not to do:
- Don’t unwrap the candy canes and then break them up with a meat mallet. Candy cane bits will fly everywhere. (Ask me how I know…)
- Don’t keep the candy canes wrapped while you break them with the mallet. Then you have to pick the plastic wrap out of your candy cane bits.
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.
The BETTER WAY to break up candy canes is to:
- Choose mini candy canes.
- Unwrap the candy canes, put them in a zip top freezer bag (because it’s sturdier than a regular zip top bag) and then roll them with a rolling pin. You can beat any stubborn bits with a meat mallet. You want your candy cane bits small so they are easy to eat without fear of breaking a tooth. For even more suggestions, read this post from Food52 on how to break up candy canes.
Peppermint Christmas Crack
- 1 Cookie sheet with lip
- 1 Tin foil
- 1 Non-stick sauce pan
- 1 Silicone spatula
- 1 sleeve of saltines 40 crackers
- 1 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 12 oz. bag mini chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- 15 mini candy canes
- non-stick cooking or baking 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 in sauce pan, 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 mini 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.