If you’re on board with the trend of putting “crack” in the name of insanely delicious foods, this blog is for you. Get ready for snappy, crunchy, buttery toffee goodness, topped with your favorite holiday-themed candies. Welcome to the world of crack candy!
What is crack candy?
Christmas crack, holiday crack, crack candy, saltine cracker candy, saltine cracker toffee… this treat may go by many names, but it’s always delicious and always addicting. Hence “crack!”
Crack candy is simple: melted butter and brown sugar are poured over saltine crackers, then usually topped with melted chocolate, plus additional crunchy candies, crumbled crackers, and/or nuts. Then the layered concoction is frozen or refrigerated, so the candy hardens, and voila!
The name may also have something to do with that lovely snap you get from the hardened candy-coated crackers. Ahh, just talking about it is mouth-watering!
The basic components of crack candy
The best thing about crack candy is how creative you can get with it. This treat is all about the toppings – the only limit to how many varieties you can make is your imagination. Love peppermint? You can make candy cane crack candy. Love s’mores? Swap the saltines out for graham crackers and add marshmallows!
But all crack candy consists of the following basic ingredients:
- Bottom layer: Crackers (usually saltines, but you can also use graham crackers or Ritz crackers)
- Second layer: Caramel (melted butter and brown sugar), which creates a single sheet out of the individual crackers when baked
- Third layer: Melted milk chocolate or white chocolate chips
- Top layer: Candy, nuts, crumbled crackers, toffee bits, or anything else! This is where you can really lean into the holiday theme with red and green sprinkles or M&Ms, crushed candy canes, colored frosting, or whatever your sweet tooth desires.
How to make holiday crack candy
The best thing about crack candy – wait, we already covered this, didn’t we? Okay, the second best thing about crack candy is how easy it is to make. Seriously, there are basically no baking skills required. That’s right; it’s time to get the kids involved!
First, you’ll get together the ingredients mentioned above. The precise amounts will depend on how much you want to make – you can consult one of the many Christmas crack candy recipes later in this blog to find measurements that suit your needs.
Once you’ve got your ingredients together, follow the steps below:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
- Place crackers on baking sheet in neat, close rows.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then stir in brown sugar. Bring to a boil and let boil for about 3 minutes.
- Pour butter and brown sugar mixture over crackers, then bake in the oven for 3-12 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven and your tastes. Remove and turn off the oven.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips over crackers, then return to the still-warm oven for just long enough to let the chocolate melt. Spread out the chocolate with a metal spatula. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate separately, then spread it over the caramel layer.
- Remove chocolate-covered layer from the oven, then top with remaining candy, nuts, or other desired ingredients. Work quickly, because you’ll want to cut the sheet into squares while the chocolate is still melted. Note: You can also add the candy, nuts, etc. to the melted chocolate before returning it to the warm oven. Just be mindful that some candies might melt along with the chocolate chips, so if you want them to remain solid, wait until after you remove the sheet from the oven for the final time.
- Place sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours. You want the layers to harden.
The best Christmas crack candy recipes
We did warn you there’s an infinite number of ways to make crack candy, didn’t we? Try out one or two of the following Christmas crack candy recipes and see which one you like best!
Christmas Crack from The Spruce Eats
Scroll down to the bottom of this recipe to peep the additional varieties, from peanut butter to mocha (yum!!!).
Christmas Crack from Simply Recipes
This simple, back-to-basics recipe lets you call the shots when it comes to toppings. The super helpful pictures are also great for beginners!
Saltine Cracker Candy from Spicy Southern Kitchen
The toasted pecans in this Christmas crack candy recipe give it a truly Southern twist.
Christmas Crack from Show Me the Yummy
Another solid, simple recipe. The drizzle of white chocolate is a pretty (and tasty!) touch.
Holiday Crack Candy from Delish
Helpful video alert! Making this candy is basically as easy as watching the tutorial.
Saltine Cracker Candy from Culinary Hill
This is another great tutorial for beginners with lots of helpful pictures and tips. Bonus points for the idea of topping with crumbled Oreos!
Christmas Crack from Real Housemoms
With the tagline “Five ingredients and less than 30 minutes,” it really does not get better than this simple Christmas crack candy recipe.
Christmas Crack from Dinner at the Zoo
Gotta love the classic look of red and green sprinkles on these delicious-looking Christmas treats.
Christmas Crack FAQ
Do I need any special equipment?
Nope, not more than your basic baking stuff. You’ll need:
- A large baking sheet
- Cooking spray or parchment paper
- A medium saucepan
- A spatula (as for spreading frosting)
- Measuring cups for chocolate chips or toppings
How do I store my crack candy?
You should store your crack candy in an airtight container. If you’ll consume them quickly (let’s be real – you will), the pantry or countertop is fine, but you can also try the refrigerator for longer storage.
How long will crack candy stay fresh?
Up to 1 week, or possibly up to 2 if refrigerated.
If reading these Christmas crack candy recipes has your cravings through the roof, you’re not alone. Check out Candy Club’s selection of gourmet candies to satisfy your sweet tooth (or someone on your holiday shopping list)!