Everyone has at least one recipe they are famous for if they are lucky. This is mine. I am famous for “crack.” I can make an addict out of anyone with this simple dessert. I say simple, because I have the method down to a science, but there are a lot of helpful hints that make this “drug” a success. I cannot even begin to tell you how many conversations I have had with people about “crack,” and what can go wrong while making it. The complaint I hear most often is that no ones “crack” is as yummy as mine. Well, I’m the “Queen of Crack,” so of course mine is going to taste better. You’ll notice that there are more suggestions for this recipe than both ingredients and directions. Read them. Don’t even think about asking me about “crack” until you have. I took a lot of time to write down any helpful hints I could think of, and I’m hoping it will eliminate harried phone calls, inconvenient emails, and untimely texts.
I’ve made this sugar rush causing dessert for over ten years, at least ten times a year; that’s a whole lot of “crack.” I change the sprinkles to match whatever season is near, and I always send a batch with B.O.B. Bob to his work. His co-workers fight over this, and they always let me know when it’s been too long since the last “crack” delivery. I neglected them this year at Christmas, so I made up for it recently by sending them a shipment of the good stuff. I’ll also be taking a batch to our nephew’s birthday party this weekend, which we will be celebrating at Chuck E. Cheese’s. I’m not sure whether I should be looking forward to this, or dreading this. Children’s parties are not my thing, but I’ve been assured that Chuck E. Cheese’s sells beer; I may just survive the day. A little bit of “crack” might make the day go easier, but I’m not counting on it to help too much with masking the screaming voices of exhuberant/irritating children. Pray for me, and if you don’t hear from me next week, send someone to save me from the ball pit; chances are I stumbled in there after one too many drinks.
- 1 Sleeve Nabisco Original Premium Saltine Crackers
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
- 2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 (12-oz) Bag Nestle Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
- 1/4 or 1/2 Cup Rainbow Sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a cookie sheet with tin foil, and use a little pat from one of the sticks of butter to lightly grease the foil.
- Line the cookie sheet with the saltine crackers, making sure that they touch one another. Don’t worry if part of the sheet is empty.
- Place the butter and sugar in a heavy bottom, non-stick coated medium saucepan, over high heat.
- Stir constantly for five minutes with a silicone spatula.
- Turn off the heat, add the vanilla, and stir until incorporated.
- Carefully pour the mixture over the crackers, and use the spatula to spread the mixture out evenly.
- Bake for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and place it on top of the stove.
- Use a fork to push all of the crackers back together.
- Sprinkle the mini chocolate morsels over the crackers and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Use a cake spatula or silicone spatula to spread the melted chocolate over the crackers.
- Toss on the sprinkles.
- Allow to rest for several hours until the chocolate has hardened, or place the cookie sheet in the fridge or freezer to quicken the process.
- Break the “crack” into small to medium size irregular pieces.
- Store in an airtight container.
- I have buttered the foil and not buttered the foil. Does it make a difference? I have no idea. I think it’s more of a piece of mind thing.
- Line those saltine crackers up like little soldiers. If you don’t there will be gaps in your “crack,” and this is one type of “crack” that doesn’t need a gap.
- Using a heavy bottom, non-stick coated medium saucepan is a must. You don’t want your butter and sugar mixture to burn, and you definitely don’t want to spend hours cleaning the pan you use. Make sure to place every item you use to cook with from this recipe in hot water as soon as you are done using it. I’m helping you out here. It will make a difference in the cleanup process.
- Stir constantly means stir constantly. It doesn’t mean go to the bathroom, feed the cat, take out the trash, or check on the laundry. If you don’t stir the butter and sugar mixture it will burn, and it will bubble over the edge of the saucepan and destroy your stovetop. Stir.
- The butter and sugar mixture will bubble up when you add the vanilla. This is why you make sure to turn the heat off first, and stir until it is incorporated. Don’t forget the vanilla. I do this. Constantly. It’s not as good, and there’s no way to fix this mistake. If you do forget, you can still eat the “crack.” It will still be delicious, but not as delicious.
- Spreading the mixture over the crackers with a spatula will help to evenly distribute the butter and sugar. You want every cracker to develop a “toffee” topping; otherwise someone will just be eating a cracker coated in chocolate. You don’t want that.
- I’ve baked the crackers for less than 5 minutes, and I’ve baked them for more than 5 minutes. Baking the crackers for 5 minutes seems to be the safest amount of time; not too undercooked, and not too overcooked. Your oven may be different than mine, but start out with 5 minutes. The crackers should be a medium golden brown.
- Push the crackers back together lightly, using the tines of a fork. Once again, this is not because I suffer from OCD. It’s all about gaps in your “crack.” You don’t want them.
- Use the whole bag of mini chocolate morsels. It seems like a lot, but it makes the perfect “crack.” You need a thick layer of chocolate over the crackers to hold everything together. Leaving the cookie sheet on the stove helps to melt the chocolate, as well as allowing it to set for 5 minutes before spreading it out.
- I use a cake spatula to spread out the chocolate. The angled blade is the best tool for the job. If you don’t have one, use a small silicone spatula instead. Do not allow the spatula to touch the “naked” crackers, or the crumbs will get into your chocolate topping.
- Sprinkles. They look so pretty. How many should you use? I normally don’t measure. I usually just toss those little buggers on there, and I add a little more if it means finishing the container off so that it doesn’t take up space in my baking drawer. In this case, I actually measured. Using a 1/4-cup of sprinkles, the “crack” looked a little blah. Using a 1/2-cup of sprinkles, the “crack” looked like it was dressed up and ready to head out to a party. I like the 1/2-cup option for this recipe. If you’re going to use rainbow sprinkles, it should look like there’s a damn rainbow.
- You can allow the “crack” to rest at room temperature until it has hardened, but this takes FOREVER. Allow it to cool enough to safely put it in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.
- When your “crack” is hard, it’s time to break it up. Use your hands. Sprinkles will fly everywhere. I tend to break the “crack” into smaller pieces. It’s very rich, and some people will only want a little piece. They’ll be back for more though, because it is “crack” after all. Also make sure that no little bits of foil are stuck to the bottom of your “crack.” That would be bad.
- You can make “crack” up to a week ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Just remember to allow it to come to room temperature before consuming it. You don’t want to “crack” a tooth. Sorry about that, I couldn’t resist.
- There are a lot of suggestions for this recipe, and I wrote them all here for a reason. This is a simple recipe, but it takes a little bit of time to learn when things are right with “crack.” Be patient, and don’t try and mess around with the original recipe too much. After you make it about ten times the process of making it will totally make sense to you. And yes, you will make this recipe over and over again, because it’s so damn addictive.
- Use the crackers and mini chocolate morsels that I suggested in the ingredient list. Cheap crackers and chocolate will make for blah “crack.”
- Use whatever sprinkles, nuts, or decorations you have on hand to top the “crack” with.
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