Christmas crack: The easiest and most addictive holiday gift

All you need is chocolate, toffee and a baking sheet.

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Chowhound staff
4 min read

Want some crack? I mean, crackle? People who have had it love it and it takes less than an hour to make. I mean, really, who can say no to salt, chocolatetoffee and seasonal garnishes? Not I, say the wise.

Christmas crack is the holiday gift that the Martha Stewart of my college clique used to give us wrapped in foil and red ribbon. It was a gift that we swore to share with housemates, but we actually just locked it in our rooms to selfishly snack on it for a day or two. There literally is no way to prevent yourself from eating as much of it as you can.

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What is Christmas crack?

So, just what is it? Christmas crack is a sweet toffee sandwiched in between crackers (hence, crackle or crack) and chocolate. It is basically a life-hack method of making a salty-sweet treat when you don't want to get too involved with baking or making a lot of components from scratch. It's similar to barkbrittle and brickle.

How do you make Christmas crack?

Here is what you need:

  • Crackers (preferably salty and square, like saltines; enough to cover a baking sheet)
  • Toffee (made from equal parts brown sugar and butter; 1 cup butter and 1 cup sugar should be enough for one pan)
  • Semisweet chocolate (2 cups, no matter what your particular recipe says)
  • Seasonal toppings of your choice, such as toasted nuts; dried fruit (like cranberries); crushed peppermint candy; toasted coconut; candied orange peel or crystallized ginger; more chocolate (shavings or chips, or even M&Ms); flaky sea salt; colored sprinkles
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
  • Medium saucepan
  • Silicone spatula

What could be simpler to make? I was so shocked when I looked up the ingredients, I didn't believe that the recipe was correct. To put it to the test, I tried a recipe that I found with an hour to spare and it really was that easy. Here's how to do it:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange it so there is a rack in the middle.

2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. This keeps the toffee from sticking; allegedly, you could also simply grease the dish or just cook it in a nonstick pan, but I didn't want to take any chances.

3. Arrange the crackers in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Set aside.

4. Make the toffee by melting the butter and sugar in the saucepan. You're basically making a thin caramel sauce here. Set the pan over medium heat and use a silicone spatula to stir the butter and sugar until they're melted together and begin to boil. Let the mixture boil for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove it from the heat. Add a splash of vanilla and a sprinkle of salt at this point if you want.

5. Pour the toffee over the crackers. Use the silicone spatula to help spread it in an even layer if need be, but it should be fairly thin and easy to pour.

6. Bake the crackers and toffee for about 10 minutes. There should be a fragrant, toasty smell from the oven, but if you even think it's starting to burn, pull it out.

7. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate over the surface and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Use your spatula to help spread the chocolate in an even layer.

8. Sprinkle desired toppings over the chocolate layer.

9. Allow to cool. If you have room in your freezer, you can pop the pan in there once it's been at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to speed up the cooling and setting process.

10. When completely cooled and set, cut or break into pieces. Voila: Christmas crack!

Walking into the room with a baking dish full of this addictive crackle was a weird but fabulous feeling. Christmas crack looks much more involved than it actually is, so everyone was very impressed and the pan only lasted 15 minutes. Crazy, I know, but the name exists for a reason.

Christmas crack recipes

Here are some variations on Christmas crack to get you started, including keto and gluten-free versions of the treat:

S'mores crack


You can replace the saltines in regular Christmas crack with graham crackers, but if you do that, why not do s'more and add mini marshmallows too? Throw in pecans for extra crunch. Get Chowhound's s'mores crack recipe.

Keto cracker toffee

This keto Christmas crack covers a base of almond flour crackers with a buttery, sugar-free toffee and dark chocolate coating. It's a perfect treat for the low-carb sweet eaters on your list. Get the keto cracker toffee recipe.

Gluten-free Christmas crack

If it's only gluten that's the issue (not sugar), swapping in a gluten-free cracker is all you need to do to get your crack on. Get the gluten-free Christmas crack recipe.

White chocolate Christmas crack

Dreaming of a white Christmas? You can't control the weather, but you can use white chocolate to top your Christmas crack. Red and green sprinkles stand out against the snowy shade, but try sanding sugar for an icy sparkle, or chopped dried cranberries and chopped pistachios. Get the white chocolate Christmas crack recipe.

Matzo crack (or matzo brittle)


Consider this Hanukkah crack, made with matzo in place of saltines and garnished with slivered almonds and sea salt. Get Chowhound's matzo crack (or matzo brittle) recipe.

This article was written by Mijon Zulu for Chowhound.

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