Love a sweet and salty treat? Then you’re going to love Christmas Crack Bark, an easy holiday sweet treat that’s dangerously delicious!
It’s been several years since I started making this treat. I think I may have first seen it on Pinterest and it’s been a hit ever since. Practically everyone who tries it, falls in love and asks for the recipe. Thus, the name of this sweet treat, Christmas Crack Bark, as it’s so addictive. The best part of this treat is that it’s so easy to change it up with extracts and toppings to suit your taste.
Before we get to the Christmas Crack Bark, it’s day 9 of the Festive Christmas Ideas Event – Sweet Treats! I’ve teamed up with a group of talented blogging friends to bring you a plethora of creative ways to celebrate your holiday season. You’ll find new ideas every Monday and Wednesday between Oct. 19th through Nov. 18th. Don’t forget to scroll down to find all the wonderful Christmas Sweet Treats linked at the bottom!
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks of butter)
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 sleeves of salted crackers or about 70 crackers. I use a generic, Winco Stores crackers, which are less dense than brand names (sub with Ritz crackers)
- Optional - 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla or chosen extract (see notes)
- 10 - 12 ounces of chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans + pinch of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup crushed candy cane
- 1/4 cup toffee bits + pinch of kosher salt or sea salt flakes
- 1 to 1 1/2 T. Christmas sprinkles + optional - 2 tsp. shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover the 14" x 20" baking pan (see notes) with heavy duty foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Line tray with crackers. Set aside.
- Over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar to make a caramel. Occasionally mix until it begins to boil. Then stop mixing and boil for an additional 3 - 4 more minutes or when a candy thermometer reaches 270 - 290°F. Remove from heat and if you want to add vanilla, add it in now. Be careful as it may splatter.
- Pour the caramel over the crackers. Use a spatula to spread over the crackers. Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes on the middle rack.
- Remove the crackers from the oven and sprinkle on chocolate chips. Let sit on the hot caramel for 2 - 3 minutes to soften. Then, use a spatula to spread it over the caramel.
- While the chocolate is still soft, sprinkle on the toppings. I like to split my pan in quarters and sprinkle on the four separate toppings listed above. Feel free to adjust the amounts to your taste.
- To set the bark, place it into the freezer for 15 minutes or fridge for 1-2 hours to harden. Once set, use a knife to cut into squares or break apart the bark by hand into chunks.
- Serve or store bark in airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks in the fridge (husband likes it cold) or up to a month in the freezer. If storing in the freezer, use parchment paper between layers of the bark to prevent sticking.
Other topping options:
- crushed pretzels
- miniature cocoa marshmallows
- salted peanuts
- orange, almond, or peppermint to taste. Start with 1/4 tsp. and work up from there.
If you don't have a candy thermometer, don't worry. Just boil the butter/sugar mix until it looks dark and thick (3-4 minutes). If the mixture crystallizes a bit when poured over the cracker, don't worry as it will still taste delicious.
I use our spare freezer to cool the bark, but you may want to use two smaller sheet pans that can fit into your regular freezer/fridge to speed up cooling.
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Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Original Saltine Crackers, 16 Ounce
24 PCs Christmas Foil Treats Cookie Gift Box (8.75" x 5.75" x 2.75")
3 Quart Saucepan with Lid, Ultra Nonstick Coppper Sauce Pan
Heat Resistant Silicone Spatulas Set for Nonstick Cookware
Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, 75 Sq Feet
Baking Sheet Set of 2, Size 20 x 14 x 1 Inch, Non Toxic & Heavy Duty & Easy Clean