My family didn't have a lot of traditions around the holidays. Growing up we usually did one of those chocolate advent calendars, we got to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and we would go to church on Christmas morning, but other than that, there really were no set in traditions of things we ALWAYS did. One thing that I didn't really know existed until I'd moved out of my own house was the concept of neighbor gifts. We'd never done them for our neighbors growing up, and I don't really remember people bringing anything to our house either.
The Christmas before I left for college in January of 2011, I'd been living with my friend's family for a few months, and it was fun to see how other families did the holiday season. Their Christmas wasn't really that different than what we had growing up, except it was a tradition in their house each year that my friend's mom would make large batches of this chocolate cracker toffee, and then give tins of it to what I can only assume was every single family at church.
This recipe isn't the exact same as the one she makes, although she did give it to me at one point, and I lost it. But I'm pretty sure it has to be fairly similar to this one, and it tastes amazing! This is a fun recipe because you can top it with so many different things. I opted for Christmas colored sprinkles, but you could easily do nuts, sea salt, m&ms, etc... and totally make it your own.
This year I'm planning on making a couple batches of this and actually hand it out to our neighbors. It's so fun to live in such a friendly neighborhood where we actually know two families on our street, and another family one street over. Since I'm pretty minimal when it comes to wrapping things up, I'll just be stashing these away into some Hefty Quart Size Zipper bags (which are actually cheaper and more durable than Ziploc), and then putting these little bag labels on top, and calling it a day.
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers
optional: sprinkles, nuts, candy for topping
Preheat your oven to 350°. Line a large 11x17 cookie sheet with parchment paper, or a silicone baking sheet, and then line it with saltine crackers. My pan took about 1 1/2 sleeves, and I had to break some crackers in half to fill in the final edge.
In a small pot, melt together the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Bring it up to a boil, and then set the timer for three minutes, and stir the mixture constantly so it does not burn. Remove the butter and sugar mixture after three minutes, add the vanilla, and then pour it on top of the crackers, and spread it out evenly with a rubber spatula.
Place the crackers in the oven for 10 minutes, and then sprinkle the two cups of chocolate chips on top. After 3-5 minutes, the chocolate chips should have melted, and then using your rubber spatula again, spread the chocolate evenly on top of the caramel and cracker mixture. If you're topping your toffee with something, now is the time to sprinkle it on top.
Place the tray in the fridge for at least one hour for the chocolate to harden, and then break into pieces and place in bags or tins to give as gifts, or just eat it all for yourself.
This post was created in partnership with Hefty, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.