Christmas is that time of year when, despite the joy in the air and the snowflakes falling on our eyelashes, everything tends to go ever so slightly wrong. We get caught up in the strange, horrible desire to synthesize the “perfect” holiday and I, for one, begin to wonder if the true magic of Christmas is how quickly time is able to disappear.
The closer we get to Christmas, the more that buying presents for teachers, neighbors and co-workers becomes a mute point. But who more deserving of a small token of gratitude than those who care for us and our children on a daily basis?
The truth is that you probably have almost everything you need in your home to put together a sweet and thoughtful homemade gift: toffee brittle. It only takes five ingredients, five steps and half an hour. There’s no kneading, cutting, rolling, icing or baking in batches. As you make it, your house begins to smell like glorious melted butter and there’s something about watching saltines dance atop hot bubbling sugar that is downright mesmerizing, a sort of modern day “vision of sugar plums.”
Five Ingredient, Five Step Christmas Toffee Brittle
Makes enough for five small boxes
You can pretty much use whatever you have on hand to make the brittle. Club crackers, pretzel sticks and peanut butter snack crackers all work well. The same goes for the chocolate—whatever you like or have will work, as long as it’s the right amount! Here’s what I recommend:
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar, white or brown
12 oz chocolate (one bag semi-sweet chocolate chips)
40 saltines (one sleeve)
toppings (pictured: crushed malted milk balls)
Step 1 Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and grease with canola oil or non-stick cooking spray. Place saltines on cookie sheet.
Step 2 Melt butter and sugar over medium heat in a small pot, whisking a few times. When the mixture comes to a boil, pour it as evenly as you can over the saltines.
Step 3 Put the cookie sheet in the oven for 10 minutes.
Step 4 Take the toffee out of the oven and sprinkle chocolate over it. Spread with a spatula to cover. The chocolate should melt immediately, but if it doesn’t, pop it back in the oven for 30 seconds to a minute.
Step 5 Distribute toppings of your choice while chocolate is still warm. Refrigerate for at least two hours before removing from pan.
USPS flat rate boxes from the the post office
Inside-out brown paper grocery bags
Ribbon or twine
White paint pen, sharpie, pencil or crayon
NOTE: If you are shipping your brittle, keep it fresh in a plastic baggie and stuff the box with newspaper to keep it from breaking.
What’s your go-to last-minute gift idea? Do share!