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Easy Chocolate Caramel Crunch

Updated on January 18, 2014
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Introduction

I originally came across this recipe on the Everybody Loves Sandwiches blog, and the author at that site attributes it to David Lebovitz. So it's definitely made the virtual rounds!

But this is such an easy and incredibly delicious recipe, that I figured one more take on it wouldn't hurt. I give a few tips based on my experience making this candy-like concoction and also make a few suggestions for varying it to meet specific dietary needs.

I guarantee you won't be able to resist going for just one more piece.

Making the Chocolate Caramel Crunch

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Carefully line the jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, folding out the excess in the corners.  Lining the pan makes a huge difference when it is time to remove the candy.Basic ingredients.Toasting the slivered almonds.Starting to melt together the butter and brown sugar. Initially, it will look like they will never combine.Further cooking - with constant stirring - will bring together the butter and sugar into this thick bubbly mixture.Carefully pour the liquid caramel over crackers, but don't be too slow about it. As soon as it leaves the hot pan it will start to thicken and get harder to spread.Sprinkle hot caramel and crackers with chocolate chips after removing from the oven.Add toasted almonds and sprinkle with sea salt.After baking and cooling, you will have what looks like a giant candy bar.Wash your hands and start breaking it apart into your preferred piece sizes.The caramel has infused through and under the crackers.
Carefully line the jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, folding out the excess in the corners.  Lining the pan makes a huge difference when it is time to remove the candy.
Carefully line the jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, folding out the excess in the corners. Lining the pan makes a huge difference when it is time to remove the candy. | Source
Basic ingredients.
Basic ingredients. | Source
Toasting the slivered almonds.
Toasting the slivered almonds. | Source
Starting to melt together the butter and brown sugar. Initially, it will look like they will never combine.
Starting to melt together the butter and brown sugar. Initially, it will look like they will never combine. | Source
Further cooking - with constant stirring - will bring together the butter and sugar into this thick bubbly mixture.
Further cooking - with constant stirring - will bring together the butter and sugar into this thick bubbly mixture. | Source
Carefully pour the liquid caramel over crackers, but don't be too slow about it. As soon as it leaves the hot pan it will start to thicken and get harder to spread.
Carefully pour the liquid caramel over crackers, but don't be too slow about it. As soon as it leaves the hot pan it will start to thicken and get harder to spread. | Source
Sprinkle hot caramel and crackers with chocolate chips after removing from the oven.
Sprinkle hot caramel and crackers with chocolate chips after removing from the oven. | Source
Add toasted almonds and sprinkle with sea salt.
Add toasted almonds and sprinkle with sea salt. | Source
After baking and cooling, you will have what looks like a giant candy bar.
After baking and cooling, you will have what looks like a giant candy bar. | Source
Wash your hands and start breaking it apart into your preferred piece sizes.
Wash your hands and start breaking it apart into your preferred piece sizes. | Source
The caramel has infused through and under the crackers.
The caramel has infused through and under the crackers. | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Varies a lot. Depends on your willpower :-)

Equipment

You'll need a jelly roll type baking sheet with a rim around all four sides. Also recommended are at least one heat-resistant spatula - I usually use a combination of a silicone scraper type and an offset metal spatula used for frosting cakes.

A heavy saucepan makes it easier to avoid scorching the caramel mixture. Use the heavy-duty foil to line your baking sheet: any tears or holes will make it a lot harder to remove the finished product.

WearEver 68200 Commercial Medium Baking Sheet, Silver
WearEver 68200 Commercial Medium Baking Sheet, Silver

A heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet is a must.

 

Ingredients

  • Enough to line baking sheet: crackers - Matzo, Stone Wheat Thins, or similar
  • 1 cup butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • big pinch fleur de sel, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, (but I usually use more...)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted

Instruction

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Line baking sheet with heavy foil.
  3. Line pan with crackers, breaking if necessary to fill in any holes.
  4. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat. Stir frequently until the mixture begins to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add in vanilla. Add fleur de sel (salt) if using unsalted crackers. Pour caramel mixture carefully over crackers, using a heat-resistant spatula to even out as necessary.
  5. Put baking sheet in oven and immediately reduce heat to 350F. Bake for 15 minutes, watching to be sure it doesn't burn.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand for 5 minutes until the chocolate softens and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle with almonds and more fleur de sel.
  7. Let cool completely. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.
Wilton 570-1121 Easy Flex 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set, Blue
Wilton 570-1121 Easy Flex 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set, Blue

Heat-resistant spatulas are invaluable for this recipe.

 
Ateco 1305 Ultra Offset Spatula with 4.25 by .75-Inch Stainless Steel Blade, Plastic Handle, Dishwasher Safe
Ateco 1305 Ultra Offset Spatula with 4.25 by .75-Inch Stainless Steel Blade, Plastic Handle, Dishwasher Safe

An offset spatula - typically used for frosting cakes - is very handy for spreading the melted chocolate chips.

 

Notes

There's lots of ways to adjust this recipe to your personal preferences and dietary requirements.

You can use almost any kind of crackers you have on hand. Be adventurous! The original called for Matzo, but I've used Stoned Wheat Crackers and Saltines, both with excellent results.

To make this treat gluten-free, simply choose an appropriate cracker. Vegans can use vegan crackers and chocolate and substitute Earth Balance. Allergic to almonds? Try coconut or dried cranberries.

Stoned Wheat Thins 10.6 Oz - 6 Unit Pack
Stoned Wheat Thins 10.6 Oz - 6 Unit Pack

Given a choice, I go with the Stoned Wheat Thin crackers.

 

Comments

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  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

    Yummy!

  • poetryman6969 profile image

    poetryman6969 2 years ago

    Looks yummy. I haven't had wheat thins in a long time.

  • SilkThimble profile image
    Author

    SilkThimble 3 years ago from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    You might be able to do it in a toaster oven if you downscale the baking sheet. A crock pot isn't really an option with this type of cooking.

  • The Examiner-1 profile image

    The Examiner-1 3 years ago

    That sounds delicious - wheat, chocolate and almonds, mmm. I am not a baker though, can I do it in the toaster oven or crockpot? lol I will do without the salt, I avoid it as much as possible.

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