People have occasionally questioned my sanity; although (being slightly delusional) I’m usually convinced that I’m okay and everybody else has the problem. But where others have failed, a common household food actually succeeded in making me question my own sanity: Soda crackers (also known as Saltines or water crackers, depending on where you live). And yes, I realize it’s ironic that crackers would make me think I’m cracking up.
For years, I’ve bought the same brand of soda crackers. Even though I experimented occasionally with other brands, I always came back to my favourite. So, fine.
Until it wasn’t.
One day I bought a box of my usual crackers, but they tasted… blah. I checked the box, but there was no “New And Improved” label. (“New and Improved” is the kiss of death for me: If I liked it before, I usually hate it after they’ve “improved” it.) But there was nothing noted on the box, so I chalked it up to a temporary aberration in my taste buds and/or a batch that had slipped through their quality control.
Until I bought the next box. By then, I had none of the original tasty crackers to compare; only the growing conviction that they’d sneakily changed the recipe. That’s when I started to wonder: Maybe it was all in my head. Maybe I was just getting old and my taste buds were packing it in. As one of my friends used to demand when she was questioning my sanity: “Are you on crack?!?” I was beginning to think I might be.
But then Hubby mentioned it too. Those damn crackers did taste different! And not in a good way. So I was stuck with a giant box of crackers that tasted like flour-and-water paste. Blech.
But I solved the problem: I got hooked on crack instead. It’s just as addictive as everybody says — I can’t leave it alone. I promise myself I’ll avoid it, just for a day, but the need gets too strong and I succumb. The world is a wonderful place while I’m ingesting it; and because I want to share the euphoria, I’m going to let you in on how to cook crack. You can thank me later. (Or hunt me down and smack me. It could go either way.)
About 40 soda crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
Line a large shallow pan with parchment paper (be sure to go up the sides a bit – this stuff flows) and lay out the soda crackers edge to edge in a single layer on the paper.
Melt the butter, add the brown sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Then pour the hot mixture evenly over the soda crackers, covering every cracker. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot caramel crackers. Let them stand a minute or two until the chocolate chips soften, then spread the melted chocolate over the crackers. Let the crack cool, then break it into pieces to eat.
Options: Use milk, semi-sweet, white, or dark chocolate chips, and/or peanut butter chips; and/or sprinkle nuts and/or candy over the chocolate layer while it’s still soft.
And now I’ve used up those crappy crackers! I like to keep my crack in the freezer – it stays lovely and crunchy, plus there are no calories in frozen food. (Or so I prefer to believe. See ‘delusional’ above.)
Let me know how you like it… and whether I should duck the next time I see you!