Love does not need expensive, elaborate gifts. Sometimes, keeping it simple like making these Chocolate Bark Crackers with Salted Caramel can be a creative and cute way to show your love. Even better, these sweet treats can be made quickly and easily with basic baking ingredients from your pantry and refrigerator.
Valentine’s is less than two weeks away. Like other holidays that have become full-blown retail extravaganzas, I prefer to celebrate the day of hearts and the love month in a down-to-earth manner by cooking and baking for those I love. I dislike having to wait for an hour or more in line at restaurants for a table. Even worse, I don’t find joy in jostling my way around the mall in search of presents. I like to show my love in my own special way and making good use of my time.
These sweet treats came together by chance. I had an excess of crackers and had amassed a lot of chocolate bars from the holidays. As for chocolate chips, who doesn’t have them in the pantry?
I’ve made this dessert a few times using different types of crackers. There were times I used the Sunflower or Sky Flakes brand crackers which Filipinos are familiar with (it is a Philippine brand available at Asian markets). Other times, I had a box of Saltines laying around so I used that, too.
But once the dessert was ready it was sheer heaven. The crisp cracker’s simple flavor was a great base for the decadence of sweet caramel and rich chocolates melted beautifully on every piece. As I took the tray out of the oven, the heady chocolate aroma overpowered the kitchen air so much it was intoxicating. Believe me, this is probably the best invention since sliced bread. Make a batch today. Do a trial run for Valentine’s or any special occasion.
After all, love is best expressed on ordinary days. Love is a balm during tough times, when pain is excruciating and no one is there to hear you cry. Love is needed most when the road ahead is dark and there is no light in sight. Love is best shared when it’s least expected.
Chocolate Bark Crackers with Salted Caramel
- Large baking tray: 9 inches x 13 inches
- 24 to 30 pieces Saltine crackers or Sunflower crackers brand
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter unsalted
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt
- 100 g. or 3.5 oz dark chocolate bar coarsely chopped
- 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped unsalted walnuts or cashews chopped (optional) walnuts or cashews (unsalted)
- Take a shallow tray measuring about 9 x 13 inches and cover it with foil. Place a piece of parchment paper on the tray to fit inside.
- Arrange the crackers side by side on the tray. Do not overlap the crackers, lay them flat next to each other leaving no gaps in between.
- Separately, in a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the brown sugar and butter together. It will take about 6 to 8 minutes for this mixture to turn to a caramel-colored liquid. Let the caramel boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Quickly pour the caramel all over the crackers on the tray. Sprinkle the sea salt all over the caramel. Bake in a preheated oven of 350 F for 12 to 15 minutes. The caramel will have melted further. Do not let the crackers burn at the sides.
- Remove the tray of crackers and melted caramel from the oven. Chop the chocolate bar coarsely in chunks. Spread the chocolate chunks on top of caramel. Then scatter the chocolate chips all around on top of the chocolate chunks. Return the crackers-chocolate tray to the oven. Continue baking at 350 F for 5 to 6 minutes till chocolates melt.
- Take the tray out of the oven. If some chocolate chips have not lost its shape, spread the warm chocolate further to level off using a spatula. *Note: If desired, while the chocolate is hot and melting, sprinkle chopped nuts all over (optional).
- Give the chocolate time to harden on the crackers and caramel. It should take about 30 to 45 minutes. If preferred, place the entire tray in the freezer for chocolate to firm up quickly.
- When chocolate has hardened, cut the entire piece in small, uneven pieces about 3-inches or so, resembling a bark. Serve as a dessert or snack.
- Storage: Keep the chocolate pieces in a covered, dry container in the refrigerator.
- Cook's Comment: To give as gifts, place the chocolate pieces in a covered decorative container.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]