Dorista Holiday Recipe Exchange {ffwd}

Karen's Cracker Candy

Happy Holidays!!!! As part of this year’s holiday card exchange for French Fridays with Dorie, participants optionally included a recipe for a favorite holiday cookie, cocktail or other confection. In addition to the lovely exchange with our faraway friends, this week’s challenge is to try out any of the recipes that arrived in the mail.

There were so many delicious choices, but I decide to try the Cracker Candy from Karen of Our Crazy Blessed Life and the Apple Cider Sidecar from Guyla of Clementines and Cocktails.

Karen’s Cracker Candy is a treat is a chocolate coated toffee confection. Her mother gave her the recipe 17 years ago, but it originally came from her grandmother. I’ve enjoyed this many times before when other people have made it, but I’ve never made it myself. I’m not sure why because it is so simple. Butter and brown sugar are boiled together to make the toffee, which gets spread over the surprising base of saltine crackers and popped in the oven to make sure it saturates the crackers. Then, a bag of chocolate chips is scattered over top where the residual heat melts it. You spread the chocolate to cover the toffee. Karen’s recipe invites some tinkering on top of the chocolate, so I sprinkled a cup of finely chopped almonds on top. Once everything cools and hardens, you have an irresistible (at least to me) nibble.

Melting Chocolate

Karen’s Cracker Candy

40 saltines
1½ cups butter
1½ cups brown sugar
1 12 oz package chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place saltines side by side on a foil-covered cookie sheet.

Bring the brown sugar and butter to a boil. Very important: boil for 3 minutes. Spread the mixture over crackers. Bake for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over the baked crackers. Let stand 5 minutes. Spread chocolate evenly.

At this point, you can have some fun and sprinkle a topping like crushed peppermint, toffee bits, or sprinkles.

Refrigerate until solid. Remove foil and crack into pieces. Keep refrigerated.

I also couldn’t resist Guyla’s festive cocktail, the Apple Cider Sidecar. It was a breeze to mix together. The fresh lemon juice and the Cointreau infused the drink with citrus flavors, tasting like a cold cup of spiked mulled cider. Cheers, Guyla!

Apple Cider Sidecars

Apple Cider Sidecar
Makes 4 cocktails

10 oz best quality apple cider
4 oz brandy
5 oz Harlequin or Cointreau
2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

Stir together all ingredients and shake over ice. Pour into cocktail glasses that have been rimmed with raw sugar.

As my final French Fridays post of the year, I wanted to share a remembrance of all the meetups I had with my Dorista friends in 2014. Though unphotographed, I also saw Dorie Greenspan at her book signing at the Harvard Book Store in November.


Clockwise starting from left corner: I shared dinner with Mardi of eat. live. travel. write. when she visited Boston in March, Thanksgiving weekend, I spent the afternoon with Adriana of Great Food 360. I met Susan of Create Amazing Meals and Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva for lunch during my Southern California vacation with Howard in June, In July, I spent the weekend in New York City with Kathy of Bakeaway with Me, Diane of Simple Living and Eating, and Cher of The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler.

I am so happy about these friendships that started over food shared over the internet and have forged over meals shared in person.

To see other Dorista creations for this week, check other links here.


Posted on 26 December 2014, in French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. How fun that you shared a toffee recipe and made one too. I have to give Karen’s a while as well. I love the idea of the sweet and salty together.

    Your almond toffee bark is delicious! I hope I did a good job with it. The only problem I had was with the chocolate, which wouldn’t set on its own. That probably has to do with our 77°F room temprature and using both bittersweet and semisweet chocolate.

  2. peggygilbey814628432

    Hi Betsy, Happy Holidays! Hope you enjoyed a wonderful festivity. Thanks for your fun Posts on A Plateful of Happiness and I wish you the very best in the upcoming year!

  3. Both your cookie and cocktail look great! Happy holidays Betsy.

  4. Betsy, I was intrigued by all the recipes, of course, and both the ones you made look like they turned out great! Happy holidays and I’m sorry I didn’t return to blogging in time to meet you during your SoCal sojourn!

  5. Yay! I am glad you made the Cracker Candy! It is one of our Christmas favorites!

  6. Each and every recipe looks fantastic, I am going to try to do them all next year. I enjoyed reading your post, you had quite a year meeting up with so many Doristas. It’s amazing how we all became such good friends. Jim and I wish you both a Happy New Year.

  7. It was indeed, a highlight, meeting you this past year Betsy :) Here’s to more Dorista meetups in 2015! Both your recipes look delicious! Happy New Year!

  8. The cracker candy is on my list and you definitely win the award for the most Dorista meetups this year :-) I am glad we had the chance to meet up in NYC.
    Happy, happy New Year.

  9. I want to try both those recipes – they look so good! It’s wonderful that so many of the group has gotten to meet, and to meet Dorie, as well. Have a very happy New Year!

  10. Betsy, I didn’t realize that you have enjoyed so many meet-ups this year plus Dorie. It doesn’t seem possible. Just think, without FFWD, that would have never happened nor would I have crossed your path either. I have had cracker candy many times – never knew how to make them but I remember it as being very, very good. We can always rely on Guyla to provide a great cocktail recipe. I have all those ingredients on hand so will try to find a cocktail shaker at the Thrift Store tomorrow. Mine is still is storage, unfortunately. Happy, Happy New Year. Next year, for sure, JFK Library. October???

  11. I made Karen’s cracker candy as well. It was a huge hit with all of my tasters. Guyla’s cocktail sounds delicious. We didn’t get into our normal “signature holiday beverage” thing this year, but I will save it for next!

    Happy New Year!!

  12. I enjoyed participating in the card exchange this year, and I look forward to trying all the recipes I received. These two look delicious!

  13. What fun to see your photos with the other Doristas! I make something similar to Karen’s Cracker Candy during Passover, using Matzoh instead of saltines. I LOVE it. We call it “Matzoh Crack” in our family. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

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