Cracker brittle is a confection that can be made in a number of ways but generally is done with convenience in mind. The simplest way to construct cracker brittle is to line a pan with crackers — either salty crackers or graham crackers — and then bake them with a mixture of melted butter and sugar on top until everything has set. Some recipes call for the addition of nuts or chocolate to form a top layer over the brittle. In a few preparations, such as a butterscotch variety, the crackers are baked with premade candies on top instead of the sugar and butter mixture. The resulting brittle can be a salty treat or can have a sweet and salty combination with, possibly, a layer of solid chocolate on top.
A complete and simple recipe for cracker brittle starts by boiling brown sugar and butter in a pan along with a small amount of vanilla until the mixture has come together completely. Alternately, the mixture can be heated in a microwave and stirred every few seconds until smooth. Next, a baking sheet is lined with parchment, foil or non-stick spray. A single layer of crackers is arranged in the baking sheet so a solid cracker surface is formed.
The melted butter and brown sugar mixture is poured over the crackers and maneuvered until it forms a mostly even coating on top of the crackers. At this point, some recipes call for the addition of nuts such as almonds, pecans, peanuts or walnuts and, sometimes, chocolate chips or chunks of chocolate candy bars. The entire baking sheet is then placed in an oven and allowed to cook for a short time. When done, the cracker brittle is removed and allowed to cool.
During the cooling phase, if no toppings were added previously, many recipes call for the addition of small flakes of chocolate. The chocolate can be milk chocolate, dark chocolate or even white chocolate. The idea is that the heat of the underlying brittle will melt the chocolate enough to temper it so it cools into a solid block on top of the sugar. Once cooled, the cracker brittle is done and can be broken into pieces to be eaten.
Many substitutions can be made. The crackers that are used can be standard salty snack crackers or sweeter graham crackers. The butter mixture can be made with white sugar, brown sugar or even thick maple syrup. The layer of butter and sugar can be replaced altogether with soft flavored candies that will melt in the oven. Other toppings, such as dried fruits or pieces of premade candy, can be melted into the chocolate to provide a complementary flavor against the saltiness of the cracker base.