Servings: Depends on appetites! rationing is advisable.
Salty saltines to cover pan (1-1/2 packages)
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
1-1/4 C sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
12-ounce bag chocolate chips
2/3 C creamy peanut butter
(do not use natural; doesn’t set well)
1. Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy foil, covering the bottom and sides. Place a layer of crackers on the sheet, using a serrated knife to saw crackers to fit. Set aside.
2. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook undisturbed until the caramel mixture is light golden and registers 255ºF on a candy thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla and quickly pour over the crackers, using a metal spatula to spread evenly. Bake 8 minutes.
3. Remove the brittle from the oven and sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Bake just until the chocolate starts to melt, about 2 minutes, then spread the chocolate evenly and let the brittle cool for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, melt the peanut butter in the saucepan over low heat; drizzle across the chocolate and, using the spatula tip, swirl the chocolate and peanut butter.
5. Let the brittle cool for 1 hour, then refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours (we head it to the freezer). Break into pieces.
6. There are options we’ve tried already:
*Try substituting brown sugar for a portion of the white sugar measure, save you will need a candy thermometer for checking hard crack temp.
*Substitute dark cacao chips for the semi-sweet for the chocolate junkies (MY favorite).
*Substitute chunky peanut butter for smooth.
*OR, Once the peanut butter has been swirled into the melted chocolate, sprinkle chopped dry roasted peanuts over the surface and smack several times on the counter to ‘sink’ them. Very bad for any diet. Joy to the soul!
*Skip the peanut butter, sprinkle favorite nuts over melted chocolate before chilling.
Submitted by: ruthmarie on June 3, 2010