It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad few days around here. We are all fine, but there was a family brouhaha that just didn’t sit right. We were all out of sorts, and, truth be told, a bit afraid of what the future will bring, too. So what to do? Make the all time favorite family comfort food, of course!
This recipe is rustic and quik, and it’s done in 20 minutes. So it’s great just to start on this and put some of that pent up adrenaline to good use. But then there’s the cooling off period. Once made, these bars have to sit in the refrigerator to harden up a bit. Again, another good thing. A cooling off period is needed after a big family brouhaha. Then comes the peace and contentment, sitting down with a good cup of coffee, some rustic chocolate covered graham crackers and reflecting on what went right and what went wrong, and figuring out how to right the wrongs and ultimately, bringing peace back to the family.
In August of 2005 my friends Sharon and Margie, from Lake Arrowhead Retreats, gave me a recipe for Saltine Toffee Cookies which they had found on AllRecipes.com. Truth be told, the recipe didn’t sound very good. Saltine crackers, brown sugar, butter, and melted chocolate? Just say no. But they insisted I try it. They insisted the recipe was good. I trusted them, they make some great food, so I tried it. It WAS good. VERY good. Then I came to find out this recipe is sort of an Internet sensation and I might have been the last person on the planet to know about it!
Years pass, and one fine weekend, I took a chocolate making class. The instructor of the class talked about how her mother used to make a ganache and pour it over crumbled up graham crackers as a bedtime snack for her and her siblings (I know, I know, what a Mom! I never did that for MY kids…). Then the gears started churning. Chocolate covered graham crackers are one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, but I had never made them. The chocolate covered graham crackers from Starbucks are the best, but they are a bit too rich with a bit too much chocolate. OH! The light bulb popped! Could I make chocolate covered graham crackers for my kids, too? I could one-up that other Mom, as well! I could make chocolate covered graham crackers and with caramel! Never mind that she was using a fancy ganache and I was just melting giant chocolate bars, LOL! What if I use the Saltine Toffee Cookie recipe but substitute graham crackers for the saltine crackers. What if???
So I did it. Many times. My son says these are the best things I make. The last tin I made, hidden in the refrigerator behind the lettuce, lasted only three days.
Turns out, I am not the first person to think of this! Lots of people on the Internet have used graham crackers instead of saltines with this recipe. Again, why am I one of the last people on the planet to know about this?! 🙂 Anyway, here’s my recipe. You can find lots of versions all over, but this is the one that works for me. Keep these Caramel Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers refrigerated, when they are not being eaten… If these cookies sit out too long at room temperature the graham cracker starts to soften and loose it’s crunch 🙁 My 2005 copy of this recipe (with saltines rather than graham crackers) specifies that the recipe makes 35 servings. ROFLMAO!!! That’s so funny 🙂
Caramel and Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers
- approx. 2/3 a box of graham crackers (two wax covered packages out of a box of 3 packages)
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large sized (4 or 5 oz) chocolate bar, chopped (I like a Symphony Bar or a Cadbury Bar, if you like dark chocolate, the Hershey’s Special Dark Bar is good)
- ¾ cup chopped nuts (if you like nuts. I have never added nuts) OR, if it’s December, crushed candy canes! (I loooove this option!)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a rimmed cookie sheet with graham crackers. Place the graham crackers as close together as possible. You will need most of 2 waxed covered packages. Set tray aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine butter and sugar and stir constantly, over medium heat, until sugar is melted.
- Raise heat slightly, to bring mixture to a boil. Boil vigorously for 3 minutes, without stirring–shaking the pan occasionally is OK (the original directions said to “stir constantly” but I have found this to make a grainy caramel layer).
- Immediately pour caramel over graham crackers. Use an offset spatula to quickly spread the caramel evenly over the crackers.
- Place tray in hot oven and bake for 5 minutes.
- Remove tray from oven and sprinkled chopped chocolate evenly over top. Let chocolate just sit on top of caramel for 5 minutes.
- Spread the now melted chocolate evenly over the caramel. Sprinkle with nuts (if using).
- Let tray sit until chocolate has hardened. This make take a few hours. To speed things up, put the tray in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.
- When chocolate is set, break bars into uneven pieces. Sneak a piece or two. Serve or cover and hide in refrigerator until needed.
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today! If there is a brouhaha in your family, I hope it’s over quickly and sweetly!