The most popular recipe I have posted on Mad in Crafts is my Christmas Crack recipe. It’s no wonder. Once you have tried the Crack, you will understand. Over the years since I first posted the recipe, I have received numerous questions about it. I wanted to address those questions all in one place. Plus, my photography skills are markedly better now, and Christmas Crack deserves better than the “point & shoot with a flash” treatment I gave it back then!
Can I use margarine/coconut oil/something healthy instead of butter?
No. No. Just no. Even ignoring the fact that butter tastes better than the rest of those things, the recipe really will not work with any other fat. Just go with it. Be one with the butter.
My Crack isn’t crispy. It’s kind of sticky and chewy. What did I do wrong?
Either you didn’t use real butter (see above) or you didn’t fully boil the butter and brown sugar mixture. This is the only tricky part of making Crack. You have to bring the butter and brown sugar to a good boil and keep it there for THREE MINUTES. That is the magical amount of time to brown the butter and mix it with the sugar so beautiful Science things can happen that give it the toffee taste and crispy crunch. At the end of the three minutes, your butter/sugar concoction should look like this:
I have seen similar recipes that use saltines or graham crackers, can I replace the club crackers with those?
Yes, those are allowable substitutions. I made a s’mores version of Christmas Crack with graham crackers and marshmallows that was quite delicious.
Do I need to grease the aluminum foil so the Crack won’t stick?
I feel like you didn’t read the recipe. Go back and review the amount of butter used.
What’s the best way to crack the Crack?
There is no wrong way to crack the Crack, but there are a few tricks that can spare your finger muscles some strain. First, be sure to spread the chocolate chips evenly over the crackers. Any sections with an extra thick chocolaty layer will be especially hard to break. Second, try breaking the pieces along the “fault lines” in between crackers.
What is the nutritional information for Christmas Crack?
Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to.
What is the suggested serving size for Christmas Crack?
My husband eats it by the bowlful, but I don’t recommend that until you have a gall bladder of steel. A couple of pieces at a time is plenty.
I made Crack for one holiday party last year, and now people ask me to bring it to EVERYTHING. What do I do?
Buy stock in crackers?
My chocolate chips didn’t melt! What did I do? I used milk chocolate chips. Could that have caused it?
Did you put the chips on while the crackers were still hot from the oven? Once the heat from the crackers makes the chocolate a little melty, you use a spatula to spread them over the crackers. Hope this helps!
Same here. I used Nestle semi sweet chips and they did not melt even after putting the whole thing in the oven for a several minutes. They just got a little mushy but held their shape and didn’t spread well. Maybe it’s the Nestle brand (?), I thought perhaps it was because they were dark rather than milk chocolate, but I see Beth used milk chocolate chips and had the same problem. I wonder whether she used Nestle. Anyway, next time I will pre-melt the chocolate. No biggie. Just curious, though.
I’ve never had a problem with my chips not melting before! I do typically use Tollhouse chocolate chips, but I have also used candy melts and almond bark and they all melted for me. I’m sorry you had issues with it!
It’s the nestle brand! I’ve had major problems with nestle semi sweet chips not melting! I’m not sure what they put in their chocolate, because good chocolate should melt immediately when you hold it. That stuff won’t even melt in a super hot oven on top of the Christmas crack molten lava!! Lol so I changed to another brand (trader joes) and voila! Melts beautifully everytime! 🙂
Thanks for the tip!
Dyja Eelbode says
My chocolate did not adhere. It separates when breaking into pieces. I followed the recipe why would that happen?
I am sorry to hear that! My only guess is that your butter sugar mixture didn’t boil long enough, or hot enough, to combine the two ingredients. This may have left the top of the crackers too buttery for the chocolate to stick to.
Can I make ahead and store this in the freezer for cookie swap day?
do you stir the brown sugar and butter or just leave it alone while it’s boiling? I stirred it and ended up with the brown sugar/butter layer sitting on top of the crackers and being grainy. not sure if I this is because of the stirring or if I didn’t time my boiling correctly.
It’s more likely a boiling time issue. The sugar has to have the right amount of time to melt down. Hope that helps!
Sarah Graham says
We made two batches and found that a lot of excess butter separated and rose up to the top. We were vigilant with the timing and boiling process…verifying against several recipes which all said the exact same thing “Boil for 3 minutes”…. we threw away the first batch before we even finished. Perhaps it all works out in the cooling process (batch two is cooling now)…. but adding festive holiday sprinkles to the top are looking a bit UNappealing with the top layer of butter …. no one seems to be talking about a butter issue though so I’m concerned we did something very wrong.
Sometimes the butter will separate a bit from the sugar, but the baking process should take care of that. You did bake for 10 minutes after pouring the butter over the crackers?
I did a rolling boil of the butter and sugar for full 5 minutes, Then poured over pretzels then put in oven for 5 minutes until top was completely bubbly. After removing topped with chocolate chips and put back in oven for short time to melt chips. Chocolate spread nicely. Stored in fridge 4 hours but chocolate did not get hard and separated from candied pretzel base. It did coat the pretzels and pretzels were crisp, but candy was sugary not clear and did not snap apart. Was soft and would just bend and separate from the chocolate. I too, wondered if once mixtures came to a boil that it should not be stirred. Would this eliminate the sugary grainy texture?
I do try to avoid stirring the mixture once it comes to a boil. It shouldn’t have been chewy after 3 minutes of boiling though. I am sorry that happened!
I also had trouble melting the chocolate. I used Toll House morsels. I’m so frustrated with this. Wasted 2 stick of butter!!
Did you put the chips on the candy when it was hot out of the oven? There should be plenty of residual heat to melt the chips.
I just did 2 batches of the Christmas crack and neither of the chips melted. I put them on right out of the oven and even put them back in the oven to see if that helped. Nope. I made this last year with no problems at all. The milk chocolate chips were Aldi brand, which I thought may have been the problem. The 2nd batch I used nestle chocolate chips. Same issue. So frustrated ugh….
Make sure you put the chips on RIGHT after you take the crackers out of the oven. You can also loosely tent some foil over the top of the pan to keep the heat in.
I made this tonight for the first time, and it completely adhered to the foil. It was a sticky chewy mess. How do we get it off the foil? I’m guessing I didn’t boil it long enough, and I stirred it while it boiled. Advice please!
Yes, you likely didn’t boil it long enough for the sugar to crystallize. Sorry that happened!
I have read that Nestle chips do not work well with this recipe. I used Ghirardelli and it worked great!
My bigger batch was softer on the bottom and didn’t harden has nicely as the smaller batch though…. I had the bigger pan on the top rack and I think it missed that good heat on the bottom… throwing that out there for anyone making multiple batches!
Thanks for the tips!
My toffee is coming off the crackers after it is completed and I break it up. It’s like the toffee seeped below the crackers in the oven?
Good! That is supposed to happen! You want the sugar mixture to go all through the crackers.
Laura S says
This is just a tip from an old lady baker & applies to any baked good, not just this wonderfully delicious crack. If you want to double a recipe do not put two cookie sheets (aka: jelly roll pans) in the oven at the same time unless they fit side by side with an inch or more between them. Never put one pan over the other on different racks, this can mess up whatever your baking every time. The other thing that will mess up your baking results is the humidity. If it’s raining or if it’s been raining your baked goods are probably not going to be as good as they usually are.
I’m hoping to have all my holiday cookies and candies made by Dec 12th. How long until the cracker candy goes stale? What storage do you recommend for keeping it fresh? Thank you!!
If I keep the cracker candy out, it’s gone before it gets stale. 😛 Otherwise I place it in a freezer bag or freezer-safe storage container and keep it in the freezer. It will last a few months that way, and it thaws out pretty quickly when you are ready to eat some. Hope that helps!
Your answers/word usage/advice make me happy. So does butter, chocolate, salt, toffee, & crackers. I have made this candy so many different ways over the years, & this year will be the first time I experiment with sugar-free/low carb. As ridiculous as that may sound~ considering I agree with every word of your advice above. I am completely off of sugar, & have never felt so amazing ~ yet there are many foods/treats/things that I refuse to give up. So far, I’ve perfected caramel- in it’s many forms- cheesecake, cookies, chocolate everything, & the list goes on. Oddly enough, I have discovered that many of these delights are actually superior when made with “sugars” such as monkfruit, yacon, stevia, allulose, etc. It’s been a huge, welcome surprise & I cannot wait to come up with a cracker candy recipe that will satisfy my standards & my sweet tooth. Prayers are welcomed =)
Jessica Rouse says
For those of us that have had issues with Chocolate chips try using a chocolate candy bar instead and chopping it up. Chocolate chips have a special type of waxy type coating on them so they retain their shapes. This wax coating can cause melting and spreading issues. I usually go with semi sweet chocolate chunks vs. chips and I get a better melting/spreading result. I melt them first and then spread over the crack after it comes out of the oven. Wait until it all cools before putting in the fridge to completely set.
Try using mini chips if you have problems with them melting
Bonnie Kornaus says
If I double the recipe, do I double the boil time?
No, five minutes only!
I forgot to put the Christmas crack back into the oven after topping and breaking, can I place it back in the oven because the toffee didn’t melt to the bottom of the crackers
I am afraid that the chocolate will melt all over and make a big mess.
Made the Crack. In fridge for only an hour but have to leave for an activity and won’t be home for 5 hours. Okay to break apart then?
Lisa Fogle says
Mine didn’t melt either and I used Hersheys. I followed every step and timed everything but I couldn’t spread the chocolate because it wouldn’t melt enough no matter how many times I put it back in the oven. It doesn’t even look right now that it’s finished.
Just checking to see where things might have gone wrong:
-Did you bake the crackers and sugar mixture for 10 minutes?
-Did you tent the pan after you added the chips?
Patti McGovern says
I have been making this for 30 years.. not kidding – this is the first time the nestles semi sweet chips didn’t spread easily! They must have changed something in their chips!! Never ever had an issue with spreading them as they melt! They were clumpy and the toffee mixes in when spreading so I believe that is why the toffee separates or isn’t completely covering crackers on bottom! It’s not the same!
I have heard other people complain about the Nestle chips. I frequently use Aldi or store brand chips and I haven’t had issues.
Just made this in time for a Christmas party, always a fan fav! One thing I did notice that the sugar mixture was very dark and runny, it did not look creamy or thick. Did I do a step wrong?
Nope, that shouldn’t make a difference at all!
Christina Amico says
I don’t think I boiled the butter and sugar long enough. I left them to freeze for two hours and the bottom is still sticky/chewy. Any way to salvage this? Can I re-bake the whole thing in the oven?
Unfortunately no. It would just turn into a mess.
El Sheldon says
How do I fix my Christmas crack that’s too chewy?
There isn’t a way to fix it after the candy is assembled. You have to follow the directions for boiling the sugar mixture carefully or it won’t set properly.
Cathy Elias says
My toffee is separating from the cracker. What’s wrong?
It seems like the butter & sugar mixture might not have soaked into the crackers. Did you bake them in the oven for the full 10 minutes?
Kathe Strand says
I forgot to bake my crack before putting the chips on. Will it still turn out?
The baking is a necessary step to turn the crackers into the toffee consistency.
Why did my caramel mixture not go to the bottom of the pan under the cracker. I poured the hot mixture over the crackers and baked for 5 minutes as per the recipe I used. Any advise for next time?
You need to bake the crackers for 10 minutes, per the recipe.
Have you ever heard of Christmas Crack pudding? If so, do you a recipe? I can’t find one.
I haven’t, but now I want to figure one out!
How do I prevent the brown sugar and butter mix sinking bellow my crackers?
You want it to sink below the crackers! That makes sure the crackers are as thoroughly saturated with the butter mixture as possible.
Mary Jo Henshaw says
I made this today using cannabis butter and I melted my chips on the stove with a bit of oil to melt them down. Chocolate chips are made NOT to break down in baking. They are made to hold their shape so that is why it is often recommended in recipes to using chocolate pieces for melting. Whenit was melted I just drizzled it over the cooled candy.
Thank you for the recipe …it is delicious and for me, a nicer way to ingest my medicine.
Bridgit McBride says
Why is the brown sugar mixture not making it to the bottom of the saltine crackers.
The only guess I could give you is that you are using a very large jelly roll pan so the butter mixture is trying to cover a larger area of crackers.
Bev Billingsley says
I’m sorry if I missed somewhere if these can be frozen so I can make ahead or if that would cause them to be mushy when thawed? IN your opinion are club crackers or graham crackers tastier?
You can definitely freeze Christmas Crack, and it thaws perfectly. I do it all the time! I prefer club crackers because they make the butterscotch/toffee layer very crisp.
Susan schoonmaker says
When I took mixture out of oven It was very oily why
It shouldn’t be oily, but it may still be quite buttery.
My crackers are too greasy…did I not boil the sugar mixture enough? Can’t give these to anyone…wasted alot of $$…oh well…..
Oh no! Did you use margarine instead of real butter?
I used chipit brand chocolate chips and they wouldn’t melt either even when I returned the pan to the oven. I had no issues lasy year but am wondering if i used the mini chips.
Tried to make crack three times this year. And every time I boil the sugar and butter I do it for the three minutes I watch it and it gets very very thick and it won’t pour on the crackers. I have to spread it in that messes up the crackers and it gets really grainy. I watch the clock. I know I boil it for three minutes. What am I doing wrong?
I am so sorry you’ve had this issue. I’ve never had that happen, so I can’t troubleshoot the problem for you. Maybe turn the heat down to keep it at more of a rolling boil rather than a full boil?
Why did my Carmel and chocolate come off of graham crackers?
Did you boil the sugar mixture for the 3 minutes and did you bake the crackers for 10?
I totally forgot to bake them? Help
There’s not much you can do if you forget that crucial step.
Debra Kisner says
I made the christmas crack I think its to sweet. what can I do not to make it so sweet?
I don’t think you can adjust the amount of sugar without breaking the butter/sugar ratio. You could swap out the chocolate with a more bitter chocolate to offset the sweetness of the sugar.