I’m a week behind posting these days. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m a week behind on every aspect of my life. Note to friends, I did get your messages and will be in touch within the week. To the mortgage company, the check’s in the mail (no, really it is); thank you for offering a two-week grace period to your house-poor homeowners. To my son… Yes, I know we are out of chocolate chip waffles. I will make it to the store this week, and if you promise not to tell your teacher that I feed you chocolate at 7:30 in the morning, I promise I will replenish your supply!
Saltine crackers and I have a bit of a history. Saltine’s and water were about all I lived on for the first ten weeks of my pregnancy. I always seem to have a box of Saltines in my pantry, but rarely eat them (which is why I put them to use last week). This weekend, however, it’s safe to say I reached my annual quota for Saltine crackers ~ (so glad I got them all in before the new year.). Saturday morning, I woke up with the flu, apparently, not the flu that the flu vaccinne is made to combat. It was after a girls night out, but I don’t think the two martinis were to blame. Food poisoning… possible, but regardless I survived on my loyal Saltine’s.
This recipe is a good way to put those Saltine crackers to good use. The only tricky part is making the toffee with the brown sugar and butter. Two things to remember ~ resist the urge to stir. Trust me, you’ll want to stir it. It’s an innate human response. Put down the spoon. Once it turns a dark amber color, it’s done and needs to be taken off the heat right away. There is a short window of time before it burns (and there’s few things worse than burnt toffee in a pan). A candy thermometer would help, but it’s not necessary. You can do this!
This is a perfect “Laura Dessert”. Laura is my good friend who faithfully reads my blog, but is not huge on baking or on dessert. Her dessert usually consists of one small piece of chocolate. She’d rather spend her calories on the wine and martinis (see why she’s my friend). This holiday bark is so rich, that you really only need a piece and you’ve got dessert covered.
Feel free to adapt it. The original recipe called for less peanut butter. I crunched up peanut M&M’s to sprinkle on top, but bits of Reese’s peanut butter cups, or chopped nuts would also be yummy.
The boy loved this! Really, what’s not to love ~ chocolate, peanut-butter, toffee, and an added crunch from those always-there-for-you Saltine’s.
Peanut Butter Toffee With Saltines
1/4 lb (one sleeve) saltines (the salted ones)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chips
1/3 cup peanut butter
Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper (the pan needs to have a lip to it or these things will leak all over your oven.) Place saltines in pan, salted side up. Leave just a bit of space between crackers so the toffee with encase the entire cracker when done.
Bring sugar and butter to a boil in a saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes (time the boiling after the whole thing starts boiling, not just the edges). And, resist the urge to stir it.
Pour boiling mixture over crackers. Place in oven for 5 minutes.
Put dollops of peanut butter on top and return to the oven for 1 minute.
Spread melted peanut butter over mixture with spatula and top with chocolate chips. Then, put back into the oven for 1 minute.
Use spatula to spread the chocolate chips (which have melted). Top with M&M pieces (or whatever you come up with). Place in freezer for at least 1 hour. Once these are set, crack them into individual pieces.