Today’s recipe for Toffee Bark is one I’m pulling from “The Room 14 Cookbook.” Maybe you’ve heard of it? No? Fair enough—it was, after all, the cookbook put together by my fifth grade class and it enjoyed a successful but limited run (fifth grade) by a very small press (copier in the teachers’ lounge).
It is, perhaps, the only recipe I have made with regularity since those simpler times, when I wore pigtails without a hint of irony. Why? Because it is easy, quick, and the most delicious version of bark I have ever had the pleasure of eating, often in excess.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never met one of the many versions of the holiday treat I didn’t like. I can put away white chocolate-peppermint bark like it’s my job (no actual employer for that one yet, I’m freelancing).
Still, it is this tried and true incarnation of bark I keep coming back to. Maybe it’s the satisfying crunch of the cracker base, or perhaps it’s the salty kick of toffee that makes it so addictively tasty. While I’m not sure of the exact reasons behind it, I do know that my friends, coworkers, and acquaintances seem to feel similarly. I’d conservatively guess that about 40% of the invitations I receive during this season are because people feel the holidays mean they can politely demand I bring dessert.
Chloe is an expert on how brave off-campus-dwelling souls should cook in their first kitchen. She majored in Religion, Arabic, and Netflix and could eat avocados for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Serves a crowd
1 to 1 ½ “tubes” saltine crackers (Nabisco brand seems to work best)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)—no substitute
One 12 ounce package chocolate chips
1 cup sliced almonds, or other chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line a lipped 12” x 18” cookie sheet with saltines. Combine butter and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly. Let mixture bubble 3-4 minutes. Pour the cooked mixture over the saltines and carefully spread into the crackers.
Bake in preheated oven until it is just a little darker than golden. Remove from the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips.
Let the bark sit for about 5 minutes and spread the chocolate with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the chocolate with nuts. Freeze or refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. Press the cookie sheet against the side of the counter to lift a corner of the solid bark out of the pan to break apart into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!