Graham Cracker Toffee Recipe

The quick and easy way to make chocolate-covered toffee, starting with a base of graham crackers. This stuff is addictive! And it's not just for kids!

Graham Cracker Toffee

Toffee is a holiday favorite for many. But oh! it can be so fussy.

Pull out the candy thermometer to achieve the right temperature and consistency – and don’t let it burn!

And even if you successfully make it through the cooking stage, the mixture can still be hard to work with.

Never again!

GRAHAM CRACKER TOFFEE starts with every-day graham crackers that are barely recognizable once miraculously transformed into a crisp, sugary-buttery-caramel base. Then top with chocolate and nuts (or how about chopped peppermint?) and the result is suggestive of a perfectly fresh handmade Heath bar.

These are easy and taste great too. At a dinner party awhile back, I watched several people (not kids, grown-ups!) casually reach toward the plate for an extra piece, hoping no one would notice.

Be forewarned: these are addictive!

ALANNA's TIPS Make sure your baking sheet fits into your freezer. Otherwise be prepared to transfer the crackers to something else for freezing. I had high hopes for a festive look from mixed white and dark chocolate. But it just doesn’t work.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite candy recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

GRAHAM CRACKER TOFFEE

Makes 5-1/2 dozen pieces
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Baking, resting, freezing: 60 minutes
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup (120g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12 chocolate or plain graham crackers (about half a 14-ounce box)
  • 1-1/2 cups (9oz/255g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces/110g) toasted pecans or walnuts (or other nuts), chopped (how to toast nuts)

Preheat oven to 375F.

Melt the butter, brown sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Cook until smooth and a little bit ropey, about five minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, line a 15x10 rimmed baking sheet with foil, leaving a slight overhang. Lightly butter the foil. Break the crackers into four sections along the score lines and arrange in a single layer on the sheet, leaving a slight space between the crackers so that the toffee can soak between.

Pour the hot toffee mixture over the crackers, spread evenly to completely cover the crackers. Bake for 10 minutes (or less, see Later Notes).

Scatter chips evenly over top, return to oven until chocolate softens, 2 – 3 minutes. With a spatula, spread melted chocolate evenly over the crackers. Sprinkle nuts evenly over top the chocolate.

Cool for 30 minutes, then transfer to freezer for 15 minutes. Use the foil handles to lift out of the baking sheet, then break the crackers into rough pieces about 1-1/2 inches square.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Piece: 61 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 3mg Cholesterol; 33mg Sodium; 7g Carb; 0g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1.5, WW PointsPlus 2

LATER NOTES
DOES THE TOFFEE SOAK IN? I remember that it does, and that the toffee-drenched graham crackers are really good. But with a recent couple of batches, the toffee didn't soak in. So I've rewritten the recipe suggesting that the graham crackers squares get broken up and also to leave a bit of space between them. The next batch, I'm also going to let the hot toffee soak in for a few minutes before adding the chocolate onto the top for melting. Another cook says that his grandmother's recipe uses two sticks of butter and that it "really transforms" the graham crackers. That might be another tack.
TIMING Two other cooks have found that 10 minutes in the oven is too long, I've never had that issue with multiple batches in different ovens but you might want to watch carefully the first time you make this.
CHOCOLATE Good-quality chocolate doesn't melt as easily as chocolate chips so if that's your choice, I'd recommend melting it separately rather than in the oven, then spreading over top. I break it into pieces, then put into the microwave in 30 second bursts.
PECANS Trader Joe's pre-toasted pecans are just the right size (and priced so well, and so convenient) although could use a little more toasting.
UPDATED Recipe updated 2010 and 2012.

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My embarrassing toffee story: while in high school, i was helping a friend make toffee at Christmastime. We were stirring it with a plastic spatula. It seemed to me that the spatula was getting shorter, but I brushed it off as an overactive imagination. Once we poured it into the pan, we noticed some artistic looking white swirls. Sure enough, the spatula WAS getting shorter - it was melting in the molten butter-sugar mixture! Ay yi yi. I'm sure if I could see those friends today, 25 years later, they would still tease me about this... Just think, if we'd been making your version, it never would have happened! :^)
 
I had trouble with the Graham Crcker Toffee. All went well until I put on the chocolate chips. I checked them after one minute, two, three, etc. I finally realized that the chocolate was never going to melt. It went into a consistency of gravel. The batch is a disaster. What can be wrong? Was the oven too hot? I had it on 375.
 
Hi Strlsa, I'm so sorry the toffee didn't work out (though it does taste okay, yes?) and really can't imagine why the chocolate wouldn't just melt in a hot oven though times of course can vary. The only thing that I can think of is that some times inexpensive chocolate chips can be sort of grainy? I don't use anything particularly fancy, just Hershey's Toll House from the grocery, but maybe it's that?
 
Hi again Strlsa, I had another thought overnight. You know how water causes heating chocolate to seize up? Is there any chance that even a sprinkle of liquid got on the chocolate? I've had it happen in the pot without knowing it (from my fingers, say) and it does get exactly as you describe, rough and gravelly.
 
I love this I make it every year! It is VERY addicting. The only difference is I add toasted coconut. Very yummy!
 
I tried this recipe and i found that 10 minutes was way too long and it burned. I have found that 6 - 7 minutes was fine.

Also you do not need to put it back in the oven to melt the chocolate as, if you put it on straight away, it will melt due to the heat of the hot butter.
 
This is very similar to my grandmother's old recipe: 1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup walnuts. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. The extra liquid really transforms the graham crackers, although there is no chocolate. Maybe I'll try that next!
 
Hi there, I just wanted to say that the "Graham Cracker Toffee" turned out as good as it could have been. My problem was that I used 12 single graham crackers...in fact you must have meant 12 double graham crackers. So what happened was it was like I doubled the pecan and chocolate portions. It was a bit too sweet, I think if I do try it again it will be with 24 graham crackers. I read that 10 minutes was too long and also with mine it was too long. It started to burn but I salvaged most of it.
Thank-you for the delicious recipe.
 
Alanna, my mother-in-love gave me the recipe that I still use, made with SALTINE crackers! Absolutely addictive!
 
This has been my go to Christmas cookie recipe for a few years now and it never disappoints! We call it "Christmas crack" because it is so addictive. I always make a batch with candy cane bits and a batch with sea salt sprinkled on top. I've never had any trouble with the baking times. Thanks for a great recipe!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna