Oh, these cookies. Oh, my. Well, they’re almost more like candy than cookies because of the caramel layer in them. The toffee. When I saw this recipe calling for saltines in it, as I am wont to do, with something unusual in it, I had to try it. You might not think this sounds good, but it’s a perfect match. You find that you LIKE the little bit of salt from the saltines. To me, the saltines “make” this. It’s really quite easy – different than making traditional cookies for sure. We made these on Wednesday, and I’m finding myself reaching for just one more little piece of this. It’s particularly delicious with a cup of coffee.
Picture right: one of the saltine toffee shards turned on its edge so you can see the layers.
First you put down a layer of saltines in a rimmed baking sheet (with parchent or silpat – mandatory to get them out of the pan). Then you make the caramel toffee – just sugar, butter and a tad of corn syrup, until it reaches 300 degrees F, at which point it’s turns to a beautiful honey color. That gets scooped or poured (carefully, as it’s really hot) over the saltines. Meanwhile you’ll already have the chopped up chocolate standing by. After cooling the caramel layer for 3 minutes, you sprinkle the chocolate pieces all over. In minutes the chocolate has melted and it’s spread over the toffee with an offset spatula (if you have one). Then the sliced (toasted) almonds are sprinkled on top of the soft chocolate. Press them in slightly so they’ll adhere to the chocolate. Freeze 15 minutes, carefully tip the sheet out of the pan, upright it, then break it into narrow shards. Done. You should really try these. They’re a winner-recipe in my book. It came from Food & Wine.
Chocolate-Almond Saltine Toffee
Recipe: Nicole Plue at Food & Wine
Servings: about 30 pieces
1/2 cups sliced almonds (6 ounces)
Approximately 60 saltine crackers (not low-sodium)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter — 3/4 pound
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate — chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 350°, spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for about 6 minutes, until golden.
2. Line a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat or lightly buttered parchment paper. Arrange the saltine crackers on the baking sheet in a single layer, patching any holes with cracker bits; slight gaps are okay.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and corn syrup and cook over low heat until the sugar is melted. Brush the side of the pan with a moistened pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals. Cook the syrup over moderate heat without stirring until it starts to brown around the edge, about 5 minutes. Insert a candy thermometer into the syrup and simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon, until honey-colored caramel forms and the temperature reaches 300°, about 6 minutes longer.
4. Slowly and carefully pour the caramel over the crackers, being sure to cover most of them evenly. Using an offset spatula, spread the caramel to cover any gaps. Let cool for 3 minutes, then sprinkle the chopped chocolate evenly on top. Let stand until the chocolate is melted, about 3 minutes, then spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee. Spread the almonds evenly over the chocolate. Freeze the toffee until set, about 15 minutes. Invert the toffee onto a work surface and peel off the mat or paper. Invert again, break into large shards and serve.
NOTES: The chocolate-almond saltine toffee can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.