Sunday, June 13, 2010

Heather's Chocolate Caramel Matzo

My friend Heather brought these deliciously addicting dessert to the office when she had just started working at our museum...right away I knew I would be friends with her!

4 to 6 sheets matzo or 40 saltine crackers or crackers of your choice
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-or bitter chocolate chips
Extra sea salt for sprinkling
1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie/baking sheet completely with foil, then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit. (I thought about skipping the parchment paper, but I'm so glad I didn't. If you don't, the toffee mixture you pour over the crackers would stick to the foil and that would be no good! So yes, definitely use parchment paper.)

Line the baking sheet with matzo or crackers, covering all parts. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pout it over the matzo or crackers. You'll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.

Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 8-15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening. I made two pans of this, and the pan on the bottom got burned...but actually tasting the two I liked the burned taste! That's just me...but do make sure it doesn't burn to the point of BLACK caramel. I had bits of that too and that is just a waste of good butter and sugar.

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you're using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts. Wait 10 minutes for it to cool completely or stick it in the fridge. Sprinkle sea salt over them.


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