Christmas Crackers

Crack 7

There’s a reason everyone adores Christmas crackers (also known as Christmas crack) – it hits all the right notes – sweet-salty-crunchy-chewy-buttery-chocolatey – and is easier to make than any batch of cookies. Sold? I’m sorry. And you’re welcome.

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The formula is all over the internet: lay about a sleeve and a half of (salted!) saltines on a parchment-lined sheet. Bring a cup each of butter and brown sugar to a boil – at first it will look like it’s swimming in melted butter, but after a minute of stirring, will look like proper caramel. Let it bubble for 3 minutes, then pour it over the crackers. Slide it into a 350F oven for 10-12 minutes (watch toward the end to make sure it’s not burning), until it’s deep golden, then pull it out and scatter a handful or two of chocolate chips overtop. About a cup and a half.

Crack Collage

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Leave them for a minute or two, then spread the chocolate (which will be perfectly melted and not scorched or seized) over the caramel. That’s it.

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Then all you need to do is let it cool, bash it into pieces and make yourself and anyone around you very happy.

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Funnily enough, I went to a party tonight at which a friend made a batch using Breton crackers, which made them sort of nutty/tweedy, but I still like salty saltines best. Another friend made some for another party a couple weeks ago – it was my official reminder of how much I love the stuff, and that I should bring it back into my yearly repertoire – and she doubled the caramel in hers. I heartily endorse this. Actually, for a large rimmed sheet pan and 6×8 rows of standard saltines, I did 1 1/4 cups of butter to 1 1/4 cups of packed brown sugar, and it was pretty perfect.

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Comfort and joy.

Christmas Crackers


December 11, 2013

  • Makes: Makes lots (but never enough).


1 1/2 sleeves salted saltine crackers

1 1/4 cups butter

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (approximately - I usually just scatter handfuls)


1Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, foil or a silicone mat to prevent clean-up after (and to make it easier to get the crack out); line with saltine crackers, placing them right together. I wind up with six rows of 8 crackers.

2In a medium saucepan, bring the butter and brown sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until it goes from looking like sugar and melted butter to caramel - smooth and uniform. Let it bubble for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and pour it evenly over the crackers. Spread it with a knife to fill any gaps.

3Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until it's deep golden. Keep an eye on it for the last few minutes to make sure it doesn't burn.

4Remove from the oven, let cool for a few minutes and then scatter chocolate chips over top, while the caramel is still very warm. Let sit for a few minutes, then spread evenly with a knife.

5Cool completely on the countertop or in the fridge, then bash into pieces.


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29 comments on “Christmas Crackers

  1. Cory Lievers
    December 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    hahahahahahahahahaha, christmas crack, best title ever!

  2. Angie
    December 11, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    A variation I was introduced to this summer was to sprinkle on sliced almonds before the chocolate chips…soooooo goooooood!!!

  3. kamran siddiqi
    December 11, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Oh, I wouldn’t apologize for this; this is absolutely lovely and the name has me SOLD! I’m curious as to how these would turn out on matzo crackers, but I’ll stick to the salted crackers because I’m sure I’d prefer it much more!

  4. Kathryn
    December 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    NEED TO MAKE THIS NOW!! I love this stuff!

  5. Shauna
    December 12, 2013 at 4:33 am

    My daughter leared how to make htis in an elementary school cooking class. Now it’s our standard go-to dessert to bring anywhere! Can also jazz it up with sprinkles for the younger set.

  6. erin
    December 12, 2013 at 5:14 am

    So funny! I was thinking yesterday that I would ask each member of the family to make a request for Christmas baking, and that’s ALL I will make – this was going to be my choice.

    I’ve made it before with graham crackers.

  7. Elaine
    December 12, 2013 at 7:36 am

    I grew up making this on matzoh, which I think may be slightly more structurally stable and — gasp — even a little easier to spread the caramel on, because of the size. Ugh, I wasn’t going to make any this year either, but clearly NOW I HAVE TO. Dammit, Julie. And thank you.

  8. Lily @ Life, Love, and Cupcakes
    December 12, 2013 at 7:57 am

    How have I never had this before?? I should probably wait to make it til I have somewhere to take it…otherwise I’ll definitely eat it all myself!

  9. Carolyn
    December 12, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I’m really enjoying your Christmas recipes. Thanks!

  10. Julie
    December 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Ha! so glad to have dragged you guys down with me. In case anyone’s keeping track, my batch is 2 pieces from gone. Under 24 hours! And Erin – wow, graham crackers would be delish!

  11. Lisa
    December 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Kamran, it’s terrific on matzoh (we call it matzoh crack). I usually sprinkle coarse sea salt over the chocolate before it hardens. It’s now a Chanukah tradition in our house.

  12. rose
    December 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I just got some for cookie exchange. Now I know how to make it, thank you Julie. Looks delish!

  13. CarlaHR
    December 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Hi julie, I made some crack – delicious – just pne problem, my chocolate stays soft – any idea of what I might have done wrong – what type of chocolate did you use?

  14. Lesley
    December 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Perfect for a holiday package for Rob Ford. (Enjoy, my fellow Canucks!)

  15. Karen
    December 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    We call this “total white trash” treats. i like chocolate crack better-it is addictive. Haven’t made it in a while

  16. Simon Greige
    December 13, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Hurry up and benefit from our 50% Christmas discount on any Microsoft office or adobe creative suite class.

  17. Joleen
    December 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    These are the absolute best! and though I am NOT a white chocolate fan, doing this recipe with white chocolate, chopped pistachios and cranberries has got to be the most loved Christmas treat that I bring ANYWHERE!

  18. Kelly
    December 15, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I make these with a shortbread cookie base. My neighbour introduced me to this version but with triscuits as a base just a couple of weeks ago. The first time I made them my husband called them “small bars of deliciousness” which stuck around here although I like Christmas Crack way better!

  19. Amanda - Small Home Big Start
    December 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I make this every year with white chocolate and crushed candy canes. Always a HUGE hit!

  20. tricia
    December 18, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Julie, do you think those pretzel crackers would work for the Christmas crack? Thank!!

  21. Martha
    December 19, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    OMG……I’ve been meaning to make this for about a month now..I came across your recipe and your description and finally just had to make it……once again, OMG……..sooooo goooood!!! It really is crack! 😉 Thanks for the wonderful new addition to every holiday (sunday thru monday are going to be new holidays here, lol)!!

  22. Anonymous
    May 13, 2014 at 7:56 am

    omg this is delicious this is such good crack

  23. martha5
    May 13, 2014 at 8:02 am

    i love this crack stuff and this stuff is the best on new years

  24. bellini
    December 20, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Addictive is right. I make mine with graham crackers, but many people love the sweet saltiness of the saltines.

  25. Denise
    December 20, 2014 at 3:52 am

    I make this with graham crackers- doesn’t have the salty dimension, but still fabulous. I give this any time I feel the need to provide a treat to someone who has done something nice. Quick, easy, delicious and impressive!

  26. Dawn
    December 22, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Nothing amusing or funny about crack addiction when it hits your own family. Sorry to be Debbie Downer.

  27. nelly62
    December 31, 2014 at 2:24 am

    My niece made this on boxing day, I had to try a piece or 10! Now here I am making it for new years eve! !! bang goes the diet, healthy eating and exercise regime for 2015!!

  28. Shauna Wagner
    December 19, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    These are the first treats my kids learned to make! A friend makes them with glutino crackers instead and those are also delicious (and gluten free)!

    • Julie
      December 19, 2019 at 3:00 pm

      Amazing, so great to hear it!!

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