December 19, 2016

If you’re short on time and money for the holidays, look no further than your kitchen cupboards. Crackers are a versatile and simple way to make the holidays special. They can be made into sweet or savory treats all of which your family and friends will appreciate.

 

Christmas Crack Toffee

There are many names for this holiday treat including Saltine Toffee Candy, Christmas Bark and Cracker Candy to name a few. Fans of sweet and salty can’t stop at just one piece of this crunchy and buttery chocolate-covered cracker. The saltine is so well disguised you’d never know it was a plain old saltine underneath.

Cooking spray

30 to 40 saltine crackers

2 sticks salted butter

1 cup light brown sugar

8 oz semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped, 2 tablespoons holiday sprinkles, or ¾ cup holiday M&Ms.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line cookie sheet with nonstick aluminum foil (or use regular foil and spray generously with nonstick cooking spray). Cover cookie sheet with one layer of saltine crackers.

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil, stirring continuously for about 3 to 6 minutes or until bubbly and it turns a caramel color.

Pour toffee mixture over crackers then bake for 3 to 6 minutes or until bubbly.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle tops of warm crackers with milk chocolate chips.

Allow chocolate to melt for a few minutes then spread the chocolate evenly on top of crackers with a knife. Immediately sprinkle chopped pecans, holiday sprinkles or M&Ms to the top.

Allow to cool (on the counter or in the freezer) and then break up into bite size pieces. Store the crackers in an airtight container.

Notes:

If you prefer a neater look, you can slice the crackers apart individually with a knife when cool. Club crackers could be used in place of saltines.

 

Holiday Crackers

This simple savory appetizer by Ree Drummond takes a little bit of extra effort, but it’s all worth it. When I first tried these crackers a few years ago, I was immediately hooked. The crackers are buttery, the cheese is salty and the bacon pulls it all together.

 

1 pkg Club crackers

1 lb thinly sliced bacon

grated Parmesan cheese (the kind in a green can)

Lay crackers face up on a cookie sheet. Scoop about 1 teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese onto each cracker. Cut the package of bacon in half with a sharp knife and carefully, so the cheese doesn’t fall off, wrap each cheese covered cracker in one half piece of bacon, completely covering the cracker. It should fit snugly around the cracker.

Place the bacon wrapped crackers onto a baking sheet that has a rack on it. Place in a 250-degree oven for about 2 hours.

Note: These crackers can be made ahead of time and frozen. Thaw them and then warm them in the oven for about 10 minutes. They can be served warm or at room temperature.

 

Christmas Crackers

This flavorful and easy cracker mix is perfect for gift giving or just for munching. The addition of dill weed adds a pop of green and the lemon pepper gives it a little zing.

1 (9 oz) bag oyster crackers

2/3 cup Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn oil

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

1 oz packet dry ranch dressing mix

Dump oyster crackers into a large mixing bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together.

Pour over crackers and start folding crackers with a plastic spatula trying not to break the crackers.

Stir the crackers for a few minutes to ensure that all of the oil has been absorbed. Cover bowl with aluminum foil or allow crackers to dry out a bit before transferring them to a large resealable bag.