These are the words that were uttered by my sister-in-law, Dolores when asked about the incredibly addictive dessert she presented at her barbecue this past weekend. Now, when someone tells you a name like that… You just have to try it!
Being that I write a blog all about sweets and baking I think it’s abundantly clear that I like dessert. I mean, I like dessert a lot. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have some level of self-control. I’ll have my portion, savoring each bite as I go and when I’ve had my fill, I’m done. Let me tell you what’s going to happen when you try this dessert.
You’re going to look into the container and say “Hmm… this looks interesting. It looks like a chocolate bark of some sort.” You’ll think to yourself, “Oh! and is that toffee also? I’m definitely trying this!” Then you’ll bite into it. You’ll notice the sweetness of the toffee, the bittersweet chocolate but then you’ll notice saltiness as well. As we all know, a sweet and salty combination is just oh so nice. So you’ll look at your morsel and see something else in there. Something you just aren’t quite sure what it is at first. “Wait… Is that? …a saltine cracker??” Now that’s a little something you wouldn’t normally expect in your toffee/bark thingamajig! But it works… It beyond works. It just wouldn’t be right if it weren’t there.
Now here’s the part that really gets you though. You’ll be so delighted with this salty sweet concoction that you’ll eat one, maybe two and then you’ll think to yourself “Alrighty Self, I’m done.” This is the point where you absolutely must put the lid back on the container and put it somewhere. Somewhere out of sight. I’m not kidding. Really. Do it.
Otherwise kids, this is how it’s gonna go down. If that container is within arms reach or eye sight, you will eat more. There is absolutely no doubt about this. I’m not saying you “might” eat more… you will. You won’t be able to stop yourself. I speak from experience. At first you’ll just break off a tiny little piece… and then a little bit more… and then yes, you’ll do it over and over again until someone physically takes the container and moves it away to a place where you can no longer be tempted by it. There’s a reason why “everyone else calls it Crack.”
The beauty (or danger, depending on how you want to look at it) of this delightful dessert is that it is so very easy and quick to make! It’s going to take all of about 20 minutes to throw together but then comes the hard part… the wait. You’ll want to let it set in the refrigerator for about 1-2 hours. After trying this at the barbecue I already knew I would need to make it myself soon however two days later I received a recipe in my email. Lo and behold it looked a lot like what Dolores had made. I took this as a sign to get myself into the kitchen to make my own batch.
Dolores topped hers with chopped walnuts. In fact, any chopped nut would be a great compliment. I decided to crush up malted milk balls and sprinkle those over my version. Next time I’ve already decided I’d like to amp up the salt to sweet ratio so I’m going to sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on top and see how that works. The possibilities are endless! So let your imagination run wild but heed my advice… Have one or two and then hide the bowl from yourself!
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Toffee (AKA: Crack)
Adapted from the lovely Dolores as well as Serious Eats
Approximately 50 saltine crackers
1 c. unsalted butter
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz. high-quality dark chocolate (60% cacao or greater), chopped if using a bar and not chocolate chips
1 c. crushed malted milk balls (or any other topping your heart desires)
– Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet or jelly pan with foil. Place saltine crackers salt side up and side-by-side in the pan as tightly as possible without overlapping.
– In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat stirring frequently with a spatula. Once butter has melted, add brown sugar and vanilla stirring to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes or until mixture is amber and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and pour over saltines using spatula to spread sauce.
– Bake crackers for 5 minutes or until butter mixture begins to bubble.
– Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate allowing the heat to melt the chocolate.
– Spread chocolate evenly with the spatula so all of the crackers are completely covered.
– Sprinkle with crushed malted milk balls.
– Refrigerate until chocolate sets and hardens. Break apart and serve.