04 June 2009

Chocolate Caramel Crack

As a gentile, I can offer no personal wisdom, but this recipe is apparently a Passover staple. The particular version I use hails from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen, who in turn inherited from David Lebovitz, who likewise adapted it from Marcy Goldman. Despite the chain of homage, it should be noted that Deb's site offers enough sweet, savory, chocolaty, spicy, beautiful food to last a lifetime. If it were practical (and legal, inoffensive, couth, etc.) I would just import her blog into mine and offer it to you as the best of all things. As her blog already has all these recipes, however, I will attempt to tastefully restrain my flattering imitation. She claims that the "crack" in the recipe refers to the crackers or the crackle of the baked caramel, but I know (and she readily admits) that "crack" can have many meanings, some of which denote addiction. If you're making these for Passover, you'll definitely want to have the matzoh (and either omit the vanilla or find a kosher variety,) but otherwise you can substitute in salted or unsalted saltine crackers. I prefer the salted ones, but omit the sea salt on top of the chocolate. I used saltines tonight as there is no matzo to be found within 50 miles of this tiny town in which I'm enjoying quite a satisfying vacation.

Chocolate Covered Carmelized Matzoh Crunch
aka Chocolate Caramel Crack
Smitten Kitchen/David Lebovitz/Marcy Goldman
  • 4-6 sheets amtzoh or 40-50 saltine crackers
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into a few large chunks
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 big pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used semi tonight)
  • 1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts, or whatever (optional)
  • Sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 350˚ and line an 11 x 17 inch baking sheet with foil, then line the bottom with parchment, cut to fit. Line the bottom of the baking sheet with matzoh or crackers, covering the entire pan. You may need to cut the matzoh to fill leftover spaces.

In a medium heavy-duty sacuepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Once it boils, let it continue for 3 minutes, stirring well. Remove from heat, add salt and vanilla, stir well, then pour immediately over the crackers in the pan. Using an offset spatula, spread the caramel quickly and evenly over the crackers. Quickly is important here because it will start to set almost immediately. Bake the caramel covered crackers in the oven for 15 minutes, but watch carefully for spots that begin to get too dark. If this burning does happen, remove from the oven, cool the temp to 325˚ and put them back in to finish.

Remove pan from oven and immediately cover in chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, then spread them evenly across the caramel. If you choose, spread the nuts and/or sea salt over the chocolate. Cool completely (I like the refrigerator method for this,) then break apart. Saltines are easier to break into uniform chunks than the matzoh, but once they try them, no one will be complaining about uneven borders. They should keep in a covered container a week. If, by chance, these last a week at your house, I'd love to know about it.

1 comment:

Justin said...

Where's the picture? Nothing is as satisfying without the picture!