pecan praline caramel crack(er) bars

15 Jun
I am a HUGE fan of Deb from Smitten Kitchen. I love the photography, the food, the desserts, the blog posts, the desserts and the desserts. Have I mentioned I love Smitten Kitchen? When I saw this recipe a while ago, I bookmarked it, gave it a thumbs up, added it to my favourites, emailed myself a copy and the link, and wrote it into my blackberry as a reminder. As you can see, I really really really wanted to make this. And let me tell you – this was the best decision I have ever made in my entire 21 3/4 years that I’ve been alive. Deb from Smitten Kitchen has dubbed them, tongue-in-cheek, as chocolate caramel crack(ers) because these babies truly are addicting. As in, once you try one, you won’t and can’t stop until you have finished every single crumb – or until someone has the courage to try to sneak them out from under your nose.
I didn’t have matzo crackers, so I opted for salted soda crackers, which were fantastic! I adjusted the recipe ever so slightly: I used a bag of pecans that I bought a week ago, and made praline to sprinkle on top of these crack(er) bars, as well as the toasted almonds. Hmm, I don’t know about you, but I love the taste and smell of toasted, crunchy, sugary pecans and the nutty toasted flavour of sliced almonds. Oh, and I drizzled more chocolate on top for good measure. The combination of the chocolate, nuts  and caramel crack(er) bars and you’ve got yourself a winner and a one-way-ticket to heaven. This recipe was ridiculously (and dangerously) easy. Proceed, read on, and make these crack bars, at  your own risk. =)
a whole sheet of insanity

a whole sheet of insanity

how can you go wrong with so much goodness in one bar?

how can you go wrong with so much goodness in one bar?

yumminess comes in all shapes and sizes...

yumminess comes in all shapes and sizes...

...either giant wedges of crack(ers)

...either giant wedges of crack(ers)...

...or neat little squares of crack(ers)....

...or neat little squares of crack(ers)....

...one (or two or three) will never be enough.

...one (or two or three) will never be enough.

So just resign yourself to eating the whole bowl.

So just resign yourself to eating the whole bowl.

And don't tell your friends about them.

And don't tell your friends about them.

That way, you can have your crack(er) bars AND the crumbs all to yourself.

That way, you can have your crack(er) bars AND the crumbs all to yourself.

Recipe

(adapted from Deb at Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • 40 salted soda crackers
  • 1/2 cup  butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds slices
  • 2/3 cup pecans
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar

How-to:

  1. First, let’s make the pecan praline. In a pan, toast the pecans over medium heat while watching and stirring carefully. Once you can smell the pecans toasting (about 5 to 8 minutes) add in the sugar, and mix well. Stir continuously, making sure the sugar melts thoroughly and doesn’t burn. The goal is to caramelize the sugar without turning too dark and bitter. It should turn nice and brown and smell like delicious caramel. Spread onto a sheet of parchment paper and refrigerate until you’re ready for it later.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.
  3. Line the bottom of the baking sheet with crackers, covering all parts.
  4. In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, 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 pour 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.
  5. Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 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.
  6. Take your praline out of the fridge and break into small pieces.
  7. Remove your caramel-covered crackers from the 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. Now, sprinkle the chocolate with the praline pieces and the toasted almonds. If you want, drizzle more chocolate on top.
  8. Once completely cool (just pop it into the fridge for 20 minutes), break it into pieces and store it in a container.
  9. Test out your willpower by eating only once – and then watch your willpower fail you.

xo dessertchick

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11 Responses to “pecan praline caramel crack(er) bars”

  1. TasteStopping June 16, 2009 at 7:35 am #

    You said it first, but it is really dangerous when a recipe that tastes this good is also this easy. I mean, you could make it every day! :) (I suggest these treats as great gifts around the holidays…if you can bear to part with a batch!)

    I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.

    Best,
    Casey

    http://www.tastestopping.wordpress.com

  2. Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer June 16, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    This is evil especially when swim suit season is upon us!! Kidding! DAMN this looks so amazing and I am going to print and save this one and use it over the holidays!!

  3. oneshotbeyond June 16, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    wow…pretty sweet things!

  4. Christ Lowe June 17, 2009 at 1:09 am #

    This latest post crack(ed) me up. They look amazing.

  5. Ashley June 17, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    This is just too good, its so mouth watering.

  6. Bunny June 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    Your pictures are fantastic!! I’m bookmarking to make!

  7. arromham July 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    Cool!

  8. Ms. Messmaker November 13, 2010 at 1:56 am #

    Sigh….I just HAD to click the link from the last recipe and now I’m doomed. I’m going to have to put both recipes in a hat and draw one out. And subscribe to the blog. Pecans and caramel and crackers, oh my.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. lazy wednesdays marble chocolate ganache cake « Chocolate Fool - June 20, 2009

    [...] What’s next? « pecan praline caramel crack(er) bars [...]

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    [...] Pecan Praline Caramel Crack(er) Bars at Chocolate [...]

  3. coconut ohmygosh bars « Chocolate Fool - October 28, 2009

    [...] all you need is a yummy caramel base, and top it with whatever your heart desires. I simply used my pecan praline caramel cracker recipe and then modified it slightly. Trust me, make double the recipe, keep half for yourself and [...]

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