Salty, sweet, and crisp this Sourdough Saltine Toffee is dangerously addictive and will be your new favorite snack. Homemade sourdough crackers layered with brown sugar toffee and rich chocolate take traditional “Christmas Crack” to another level.
This Sourdough Saltine Toffee is inspired by my favorite homemade gift “Christmas Crack.” Christmas Crack has four main components, saltine crackers, brown sugar toffee, chocolate, and toppings. While most versions of this recipe use store-bought saltines, my recipe elevates conventional Saltine Cracker Candy with homemade sourdough soda crackers.
Why I love this recipe
- Homemade sourdough soda crackers add an extra special touch to this simple dessert
- Simple to make, in spite of multiple components
- Seriously addictive and perfect for gift-giving
Baking with Sourdough Discard
Sourdough discard adds a delicious tangy flavor to balance the sweetness of this Sourdough Saltine Toffee. Since you’re not using it as a leavener, you can use your discard straight from the refrigerator. There’s no need to feed it or activate it before mixing it into your dough. Older discard will have a tangier, more acidic flavor than a freshly-fed sourdough starter. Both will work for this recipe, you’ll just get a slightly different flavor profile but your bake will still be delicious!
Need more ideas for using your excess sourdough starter? Check out my favorite Sourdough Discard Recipes!
Homemade Sourdough Soda Crackers
Homemade soda crackers with sourdough discard make this candy extra special. Soda crackers are a little different from normal sourdough crackers because the dough is a bit more like flatbread dough than pastry dough. Expect your dough to be a bit wetter and stickier. You’ll need to roll your dough out very thin so it can dry out and crisp up as it bakes. Letting your dough rest for at least 3 hours (ideally overnight) will make rolling your dough out easier. If your dough is too thick when you bake it, it will bake up into a flatbread and won’t work for this recipe.
What you need:
Baking soda: Adds lightness to the crackers and keeps them crisp and airy. Do not substitute baking powder or your dough will be too puffy and resemble a flatbread instead of crackers.
Salt: I used Morton’s Kosher Salt, double the amount if you’re using Diamond Crystal.
All-purpose flour: Keeps these crackers crisp and light instead of dense and tough. Do no substitute another type of flour.
Butter: Adds richness to both the crackers and the toffee. Do not substitute a plant-based alternative.
Sourdough discard: You can use your discard straight from the refrigerator for this recipe.
Brown sugar: Makes a super easy toffee! A little bit of moisture in brown sugar keeps this the toffee pleasantly chewy instead of rock-hard. Don’t substitute granulated sugar.
Chocolate chips: I love making these with dark chocolate chips because it balances the sugary sweetness of toffee. Substitute white chocolate or milk chocolate if you want a sweeter treat.
Toppings make Saltine Cracker Candy unique. You can personalize them by using any combination of nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, or even candy. The possibilities are endless, make these for any season or holiday just by changing up your toppings! Here I used pistachio and edible flowers as a pretty topping for Valentine’s Day presents.
My favorite combinations
- Almonds and toffee bits
- Candy cane pieces and white chocolate
- White chocolate, coconut and dried pineapples
- Freeze-dried strawberries and pistachios
- Pretzels, roasted peanuts and Chex
- Walnuts and dried cranberries
1. Make the dough and knead until smooth, refrigerate covered with plastic for at least 3 hours (ideally overnight).
2. Divide the dough in half and roll it out on a piece of parchment. Cut the dough into squares and prick each square with a fork.
3. Bake the crackers at 400 for 10 to 15 minutes. Arrange the baked crackers on a foil-lined 18 by 13-inch baking sheet.
4. Make the toffee until it registers 295 to 310 F on a candy thermometer.
5. Pour the toffee on the crackers and top with chocolate chips.
6. Let the chocolate chips melt on the hot toffee for 5 minutes. Spread the melted chocolate out using a large offset spatula.
7. Sprinkle your favorite toppings on the melted chocolate. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set (about 3 hours)
8. Break the candy up into small pieces.
Absolutely! Simply use the same proportion of freshly fed sourdough starter in the recipe. Your starter won’t add a strong tangy flavor to your brownies, but it will still work.
If you don’t have a starter, but still want to try out this recipe, simply add 56 grams of all-purpose flour and 56 grams of water to your batter.
You may have undercooked your toffee. Make sure you cook your toffee until it registers at least 295 F once they are at the hard crack stage. If you don’t cook your toffee enough it will never harden and it will make your crackers soggy.
If your toffee separates while you’re cooking it, don’t panic! Simply take it off the heat and keep whisking until it comes back together. You can also add a drop of very hot water since to bring the mixture back together.
If your chocolate doesn’t melt over your hot toffee, your candy under the broiler for a few minutes until the chocolate chips look slightly shiny.
I find that these are best stored in the refrigerator since they are better served cold.
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Sourdough Saltine Toffee (Christmas Crack)
- candy or instant-read thermometer
- off-set spatula
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 180 grams all-purpose flour
- 42 grams unsalted butter softened
- 113 grams sourdough discard
- 113 grams water
- 226 grams unsalted butter
- 200 grams brown sugar
- hot water as needed
- 255 grams chocolate chips
- 56 grams pistachios
- edible flowers
- Make the dough: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Rub the softened butter into the flour until all the flour is coated. Create a well in the center, pour the sourdough discard and water in the center. Stir together until a wet sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 180 grams all-purpose flour, 42 grams unsalted butter, 113 grams sourdough discard, 113 grams water
- Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 to 3 minutes or until the dough looks completely smooth. Round the dough into a tight ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours (ideally overnight).
- Bake: Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Divide the dough in half. Using a rolling pin, flatten each half on an 18 by 13-inch piece of parchment paper. The dough should be as thin as possible and almost reach the edges of your parchment paper. Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut the dough into small squares. Prick each square with a fork (this will prevent the dough from bubbling up while it bakes).
- Bake the crackers for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are lightly browned and completely dry.
- Prep: Snap the crackers along the cut lines and arrange them on an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet lined with 2 pieces of foil. (The cracker dough shrinks as it bakes, so you’ll need to transfer combine them to fill one baking sheet).
- Make the toffee: Combine the brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Let the butter melt and the mixture boil. Turn the heat down to medium low and stir constantly until the toffee registers 295 to 310 F (about 15 to 20 minutes, careful not to let your toffee burn.226 grams unsalted butter, 200 grams brown sugar
- Assemble: Pour the toffee over the crackers and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Let the chocolate melt on the hot toffee. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate over the toffee. Finish with your favorite toppings.255 grams chocolate chips, 56 grams pistachios, edible flowers
- Chill: Refrigerate your Saltine Toffee uncovered for at least 3 hours or until the chocolate and toffee are completely set.
- Enjoy and store: Break the slab apart into 30 to 40 pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Use an instant-read or candy thermometer when cooking your toffee.
If the butter separates while you cook your toffee, add a drop of hot water and whisk vigorously until the mixture comes back together.
If your chocolate doesn’t melt on the hot toffee, pop your baking sheet under the broiler for a few minutes until the chocolate chips are starting to look shiny.