Monday, April 15, 2013

How to make Matzo Toffee


 Once upon a time, on a warm day in early spring, our heroine decided to switch out her winter clothes for her summer clothes. Now you, dear reader, will recognize this immediately as a sure-fire way to bring on more cold weather and I can assure you our poor, sweet (albeit dim) maiden is shivering as you read this passage, but that is not of any consequence. What matters is that as she pulled clothes boxes out from under her away-at-college daughter's bed, there presented itself a forgotten treasure. Twenty-eight Hershey bars had been sequestered away in a box under the bed, no doubt left over from some sort of S'mores making orgy of last summer. Twenty-eight! Goodness Gracious! What to do?


Since it was only ten days after Passover, our protagonist was able to procure three boxes of Matzo on clearance for a mere one dollar a box! Thus the idea to make Saltine Toffee (otherwise known at the manor by its gutter name: "Christmas Crack") with Matzo and pirate-treasure chocolate was born.



Feeling particularly lavish and generous, our champion strew about some slivered almonds into the toffee mixture, but it was all for not. One could hardly even notice the presence of the almonds! She made sure to chronicle that for next time.




Also feeling a bit cautious, as if there might be need for the Hershey bars in the future, (despite being so long forgotten), the chef decided a handful or two of standard chocolate chips added to the recipe wouldn't hurt a thing and allowed her to retain a smug stash of 22 Hershey bars.

Soon the buttery rich fragrance filled the residence. The Lord of the manor wound his way down the staircase to investigate. His chocolate education behooved him to pronounce the Hershey's chocolate inferior! 

However ,it is to be noted that he consumed an astonishing amount of the dish despite his disdain of milk chocolate.


Alas, only twenty four hours later, not much remains of Matzo Toffee. The little Miss and strapping young Master of the house have broken out of the nursery and raided the pantry, leaving precious little left for the Lord and Lady of the house. Perhaps this is for the best, as most of those summer clothes would not grace our fair gentlewoman this season were she to have even one more bite of this delicacy.


Matzo or Saltine Toffee
(When you make it at Christmas, you can call it "Christmas Crack" )


Prep Time: 15 minutes


Ingredients:

  •  saltine crackers (about 60) or matzo (about 8)
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups chocolate chips or Hershey bars
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13x18"baking sheet  (or two 13x9" sheets) by lining it with baker's parchment paper and spraying the paper with a little nonstick cooking spray.
2. Arrange the crackers in a single layer on the baking sheet so that there are no empty spaces in between them. Take remaining crackers and crush slightly. Place on top to make a bumpy, uneven second layer.
3. Place the butter, white sugar and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir while the butter melts, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Once boiling, carefully pour the sugar-butter mixture over the crackers on the baking sheet in an even layer, trying to cover most of the crackers. If you miss some spots, don’t worry as the toffee will spread in the oven.
4. Bake the toffee crackers at 350 degrees for 7 minutes, until the toffee is bubbling all over. Carefully remove the pan from the oven.
5. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the hot toffee, and return it to the oven for 2 minutes to soften and melt. Once softened, use an offset spatula or knife to spread the melted chocolate over the entire surface of the toffee in an even layer. I really push the chocolate down into the crackers. While the chocolate is still sticky, sprinkle the top with the salt.
6. Freeze the pan to set the toffee and chocolate for about 30 minutes. Once set, Turn pan over onto a clean counter. Before you take off the paper, push the crackers/toffee to break it into pieces. Pushing through the paper keeps your hands cleaner. Peel off paper and store in a zip lock bag. We keep ours in the freezer or refrigerator.

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