For years I’ve had saltine cracker toffee, but never the guts to try making it. During my Christmas baking frenzy I decided to give it a shot… only with pretzels instead.
I saw it on Pinterest and by god if it’s on Pinterest it’s going to work, right?
Yeah, well. First attempt was an utter fail. A mass of gritty, buttery stick pretzels melded together by a layer of shitty chocolate that melts as soon as you look at it wrong.
Not to be undefeated by diabetes, I tried again. The result was an orgasmically delicious sweet and salty treat.
Now, I’d never made toffee before. In fact most of my experiences with candy making have resulted in tears, anger, and/or hospital visits.
Most recipes I found used vague terms as timing instructions like “when it looks done” or “yummy and bubbly” or “when it’s on fire.” I get it because that’s how I usually cook. Cooking is different from baking and candy making, because while there is sometimes science involved, you can use a little more improvisation.
Baking is chemistry. It’s motherfucking science. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can cock it up big time.
I knew that the second attempt would need precision, even if said precision was me just acting like I knew what I was doing.
So here’s my way.
What you’ll need:
- Dark brown sugar
- Pretzels – square grid kind are best but you could use minis too.
- 1 bag of mini semi sweet chocolate chips. They melt faster.
- Candy thermometer , or a spoon and small bowl of water
- Baking sheet/Jelly roll pan – a pretty big one.
- Sauce pan
- Foil – wide, heavy duty is best
- A potato masher, crab mallet, or at least a clean hammer. Something breaky.
Pre-heat your oven to 375°F.
Put two sticks of butter in a sauce pan. Add two cups of dark brown sugar. Heat over medium high, stirring well and constantly until the butter is melted. Once it’s all incorporated stop stirring and turn the temperature down low so it stays bubbling. Don’t stir any more. I hear it will turn your toffee into gooey caramel.
While that builds up a pan full of sweet sexual tongue tension, line your baking sheet with the foil. Try to only use one sheet. If you must use two, fold it over at the seam and flatten that shit good. You don’t want it leaking through.
If you have one of those fancy silpat mats, I hear they work well so you could use it, or go fuck yourself because aluminum foil is good enough for us peasants.
Anyway. Put a single layer of pretzels on the bottom of the pan. A single fucking layer. Don’t get lazy on this like I did unless you want a pan full of disappointment. Put the pretzels as close together as possible.
About now the caramel should be bubbling all thick and sensual-like. Ease your candy thermometer in there and give it a test. It should be 245° F–250° F, right up close to the hard ball stage. Heh. Ball.
If you don’t have a thermometer, dip a spoon into the sugar then hold it in a bowl of cool tapwater. You want it to kind of roll between your thumb and forefinger and make a nice, tight, supple little ball. Kind of like a nipple.
Turn off the heat and pour the caramel carefully over the pretzels. It doesn’t have to be even and you don’t have to smooth it out but try to get a little on every pretzel.
Pop it into the oven for about 5 minutes. This is the part where I sound like those wankers on Pinterest, and say, it will just look done. The heat will have distributed the toffee evenly through the pan and the bubbling will seem to be reaching a climax. But you’ll need to give it blue balls at this point and pull out because you want it al dente not achingly hard.
Let it cool for 5 minutes or so, then top it off with the bag of chocolate chips. Wait a minute or two for it to melt, then with the spatula gently spread the chocolate all over the toffee. Don’t press too hard or it will mix and shift the pretzels around. At this stage it’s still going to be quite hot and wet. I mean, soft. You do want this part to look nice though, so work that chocolate over with gentle, long strokes, until it’s good and smooth.
Optionally you can sprinkle it with sea salt, at this point.
Now put the whole damn thing in the freezer for a couple hours. I’m serious. Wait. And it needs to get cold or the chocolate will never solidify.
When it’s done, it will be in a big solid sheet. Peel the foil off the back of the sugar slab… carefully. Grab your hammer and break that shit up like a tray full of crystal blue.
If you did it right, this will be almost as addictive as meth and just as likely to make your teeth rot.
If you saved the foil from being ripped to shreds, it makes it easier to collect the crumbs. (I plan on using the crumbs, toffee chips and the failed batch in cookies.)
For best results store in a Ziploc bag or airtight container in the fridge. As soon as you take it out the chocolate will start getting shitty on your hands but you likely won’t care.
This recipe is cheap as hell to make even if you screw up once or twice, therefore is perfect to make in large batches and give to people in fancy tins.Salted caramel is a hot trend right now so they will likely give you the best blow job ever after eating this jank.
Especially because their teeth will be gone.
Try it and let me know how it turned out for you! You can ask me questions on Twitter @Jennie_z if you think I’ll be of help.
Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark I saw this before making the first batch. Two sticks of butter per cup of sugar seems like a LOT. a LOOOT. This shit is pretty buttery as it is.
stages of candy cooking – apparently it’s called the firm ball stage. Heh. Firm ball.
Saltine Toffee – the original, not nearly as sweet.