During the holidays, it’s always nice to have a recipe or two that can be easily thrown together and packaged for any unexpected visitors or last-minute gift-giving. Especially when the recipe requires minimal skill and effort, is highly customizable, and comes together in no time.
My approach to this recipe, which I recommend you take, is to have all of your ingredients prepared and measured beforehand. The last thing you’ll want to do is juggle the tasks of chopping and arranging ingredients while ensuring the sugar doesn’t burn. Since you’re making toffee, there is a bit of candy making involved, but it shouldn’t cause you to dread. You won’t need a candy thermometer, just a timer.
When I recently made this, as seen in the photos below, I arranged the crackers salted side up. Next time, I think I will lay them salted side down, which I think would be better for the flavor since your tongue would first be hit with the saltiness of the cracker as well as the sweetness of the toffee.
Pretzel Toffee Bark
Makes 1 half-sheet cake pan
Pretzel crackers or saltines, enough to line a half-sheet baking pan
1 cup butter, plus extra for buttering pan
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups dark baking chocolate, chopped, about 300 grams
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup pretzels, some of them broken
sprinkles for decorating
Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C
Butter the bottom and sides of a half-baking sheet. Alternatively, you can use two quarter-sheet pans.
Line the buttered pan with parchment. The butter will help the paper adhere. If your parchment doesn’t fit the full pan, no stress necessary. Just be sure to butter the unlined areas of the pan.
Next, line the pan with your crackers, salted side down. Use the broken pieces to fill in large gaps.
Then, add the butter and dark brown sugar to a large saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until the butter melts. Once the butter melts stop stirring and allow the mixture to come to a boil, swirling the pot on the hob.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, set a timer for 4 minutes keeping a close watch on the pot so that it doesn’t boil over.
After 4 minutes, pour the now toffee mixture over the crackers. Try to pour onto each cracker if possible. Then, take a clean and dry spatula and spread the toffee mixture evenly across the crackers. Afterwards, bake the tray in the oven for 5 minutes until the layer of toffee is bubbly.
Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the top of the toffee with sea salt. Then, spread the chocolate evenly onto the crackers. Return the pan to the oven for 1 minute exactly. Then, remove from the oven and using a clean, dry spatula spread the chocolate across the entire surface of the toffee. Turn off the oven.
Now comes the fun part. Sprinkle the top of the chocolate covered toffee with the pretzels, pecans, and sprinkles. Allow the pan to cool completely for the chocolate and toffee to set before cutting. I often do this by placing the tray onto a wire rack under an opened window and allow the winter chill to make quick work of cooling the toffee.
Package the chunks of toffee in cellophane bags to give as gifts.
Consider using M&M’s or other candies to decorate the top of the toffee.