If you’ve been hanging around here for any time at all, you know I’m much more inclined to know which shoes are the best selection for a certain ensemble over which ingredients work together to make an edible meal. (1. Always opt for the higher heels 2. When do you use regular vs self-rising flour? I still don’t know.)
With our office holiday lunch fast approaching, I was desperate for a fun and different and EASY recipe. I had to bring a dessert and I was not about to walk in with another straight-from-the-box boring cake.
Through the magic of Facebook, I stumbled upon this super simple recipe over at Eat and Relish
. I say it was social media magic because it really is remarkable how in touch you can feel with people after only a few clicks.
|The most amazing thing – homemade caramel! Who knew?
I knew Cory, the fabulous girl in the kitchen, when we were Rho Gammas (or sorority recruitment guides, in plain English) at Florida State. She was a KD, I was a Gamma Phi and along with about 50 other Panhellenic veterans, we were shuffling the new recruits-to-be from house to house, passing out coffee filters (for blotting, naturally) and tic tacs like they were going out of style.
I can’t tell you how many times we reminded every girl to smile and relax, relax and SMILE. It seems like eons ago.
After FSU, I moved to the beach and Cory to New York. I’ve been able to follow along her culinary adventures as she started posting links to her blog. One day, I clicked and got sucked in. I read every post to the very first one.
I was so impressed and inspired with her culinary skills and creativity. She writes beautifully, takes lovely photographs and could make a PB&J seem like a gourmet feast. Thanks to Facebook, I’ve even followed along as she got married and moved to Colorado. I love reading her posts and getting inspired by her recipes.
Let’s face it, though. I’m pretty hopeless. I need simple, easy-to-make recipes that satisfy both my hubby’s basic taste and my slightly more adventurous and more healthy preferences. (Sometimes healthy, anyway). In this case, we were bringing food for beach maintenance guys to visitor center staff to the marketing and pr teams. Enter the totally easy, totally addictive Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers). These little goodies are amazing and the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Yum YUM!
They were so easy to make, even I could do it AND at the same time watch this little nugget crawl around my parents’ kitchen saying “ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma.”
The recipe was enough for multiple batches (and a little snacking along the way). I left some at my parent’s, took some to work and took some home for later. Everyone at work was very impressed 1. that I didn’t bring something pre-made and 2. that they were so good. There was not even a scrap leftover.
You must must MUST make these. They are easy peasy and yes, pretty much like crack.
Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers)
From Smitten Kitchen by way of David Lebovitz by way of Marcy Goldman by way of Eat and Relish
Approx 1 sleeve of Saltine crackers
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into Tbsp sized pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A pinch of sea salt (
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped bitter- or semisweet chocolate)
Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit in the bottom of the pan. The parchment is key, as it will prevent sticking.
Line the bottom of the baking sheet with the crackers, covering all parts. (If using matzo, you’ll need to break pieces to fit any extra spaces.)
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 the entire time to prevent burning. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove it from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour the mixture over the crackers or matzo. Spread the mixture quickly over the crackers to cover the entire surface area of crackers. Do this quickly, as it will begin to set and harden quickly.
Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn — reduce the heat if you see this happening.
Remove from oven and immediately cover the baked caramel crackers with chocolate chips. Let it stand five minutes, and then spread the chips evenly across the caramel – they will be melted and it will be surprisingly easy to do so. Sprinkle the surface with a bit of sea salt.
Proceed to enjoy and reach for another until you realize you have devoured the entire jar. It’s okay. You’re not alone.