So, here goes. Oh! and also, please overlook my rudimentary efforts at picture collaging. I'm a newbie to the whole thing and this was the best I could do in the time I had.
Salted Caramel Crack (Caramel is pronounced with three syllables, k? care-uh-mel. Yes, at least for this recipe, you must say it that way.) Whew! now that that's taken care of...
Salted Caramel Crack
~approximately 40 saltines (about a sleeve and a half)
~2 sticks butter (splurge and use real butter, peeps, it's worth it)
~1 cup brown sugar
~2 cups chocolate chips
~1-2 Tablespoons coarse sea salt
(Pictures are numbered to correspond with the steps in the recipe.)
1. Those are the ingredients. Mmm-hmm...that nearly-empty canister was full of chocolate chips, so just pretend that you see them. There are still some there. And the coarse sea salt...that's the cheapy stuff from Wally-Mart...no need to break the bank for this recipe. Unless you already have really good stuff stashed away...then by all means, use that.
2. Line a cookie sheet with non-stick foil. Or whatever non-stick pan-liner-type stuff you use. But I swear by non-stick foil. Any-whoo, line your cookie sheet/jelly roll pan with it. Then lay out your saltines. I break mine if I need some to fill in the gaps. I don't want any gaps. I want as much of this salty-caramely-chocolatey goodness as I can get.
3. Your oven is preheating, right? Just checking. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt your two sticks of butter and the cup of brown sugar. I've done this two ways--melt the butter first and then dump in the sugar--OR--dump them both in and melt them together from the beginning. I haven't had any different end result either way, so I just dump them both in at the beginning. Melt those and bring to a boil. Boil for between 2-3 minutes. The longer you boil, the harder, more crackly your caramel-toffee layer will be. I've found that 2 minutes 15 seconds is just about perfect for me.
4. Pour boiled butter/sugar mixture over the saltines and spread evenly. Some of your saltines are going to want to get out of place and move around with the caramel. Correct them gently, work with them, but make them get back in their spot. Even saltines need to be well-disciplined. Once the caramel is spread evenly, immediately stick the pan into your 400* oven. Bake for 5 minutes only.
5. This is generally what your concoction will look like when you pull it out of the oven (you do see that the pics are numbered, right?) Yummm. Resist the urge to dip your finger into that bubbly-caramely-divine-looking goodness. If you want to feel Hell-on-your-fingertip, that's it. Another hard-learned lesson. Only once this time.
6. Immediately after pulling the pan out of the oven, sprinkle 2 cups of chocolate chips evenly over all. Allow the chips to sit for a minute and warm up a bit...
7...then spread the chocolate evenly over top of the caramel. The chips will melt completely as you spread them. Again, feel free to wrangle any stray crackers back into place as needed during this process.
8. After chocolate is evenly spread, sprinkle with sea salt. To be honest with you, I don't measure the amount of salt I use...the 1-2 Tablespoon guideline is a complete guess. I just take the shaker and sprinkle it lightly over the entire pan. Don't go too heavy...remember those saltines have salt on them, too. Yes...I made that mistake, too. If only it had stopped me from eating the entire pan.
Now, put it all in the fridge to chill. This stuff is best served cold...really cold. Not frozen. But cold. Once it's chilled, break it off into pieces and eat it. At the counter. Standing up. Because everyone knows that calories don't count from food eaten while standing.
(P.S. Credit goes to my IG friend @mrstimmyt for first introducing me to a variation of this recipe. Thanks, Katie, I owe these five pounds to you♥.)