I think I have mastered the faux toffee recipe I mentioned the other day. My impression was that it is one of those idiot proof recipes recommended for children, which may explain why it took me a couple of tries to get it right.
Using the internet to source a recipe can be problematic. Since I had no idea what it was called, just a good idea of the ingredients. I Googled ‘saltines’ and ‘brown sugar’ and came up with about seven or eight recipes in different databases around the net; each one with a different title and slightly different ingredients and instructions. As this is a candy recipe, the length of time the sugars are heated could conceivably create a wide range of results; too short the sugars are crumbly, too high it will burn, too long and it will harden too fast and so on…
My first attempt used one of these recipes from cooks.com, suggested the butter/brown sugar be boiled for only three mins and baked for five. This yielded a toffee that was granular and crumbly. While not inedible, not the ideal result. Instead of working my way through more of these well meaning shared recipes no doubt entered from memory, I tried to source the recipe to an actual BOOK entry, where I banked that it would have been taste tested prior to publication.
Using Google Books I found results from 2 books Food That Says Welcome: Simple Recipes to Spark the Spirit of Hospitality and New South Carolina Cookbook. Both resembled the recipe I was looking for, though I still would bet money this recipe originated on the back of a box of Saltines and both recipes were in agreement about the heating of the sugars 5 and 5. The results were MUCH more satisfying and I will certainly do away with the batch fairly quickly, but I WON’T be making it again until next year. The New South Carolina cookbook shared the nutritional data and I can tell you right now…you don’t want to know.
Saltine Cracker Candy or English Toffee
1 sleeve of Saltine crackers
1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
1 cup of brown Sugar
1 12-oz bag of chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven 350°
Cover 9×13 cookie sheet with foil.
Layer saltines evenly just touching.
Boil butter and brown sugar on stove top 5 minutes. (soft ball stage)
Pour butter and brown sugar mixture evenly over saltines.
Bake 5-7 minutes at 350º or until bubbly.
Remove from oven, and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over top.
When the chips melt spread them evenly.
Then sprinkle chopped nuts evenly.
Refrigerator until cool then break into pieces.
Personally I only make a half recipe in a pan half the size in an oven half the size of normal. So that’s – 12 saltines, 1 stick of butter, ½ cup brown sugar, <1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, and <1/3 cup pecans. Next year I think I may go all the way using bittersweet chocolate and some coarse sea salt to cut the sweetness.