This year, the Christmas season around my place is a little simpler than usual. And I am loving it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love the season as much as ever. But instead of going into auto-pilot this year with all of the parties, the decorating, the spending, the cooking, the go-go-go-ness of it all…I decided to just focus in on a few of my absolute favorite things this year and enjoy the mess out of them. Examples?
Christmas music. Ohhhh baby (it’s cold outside!), I am totally one of those people who adores Christmas music. And with only 4 short weeks this year between Thanksgiving and the end of December, you’d better believe that I’m soaking it up (on the housetop). I am listening to thesethreeplaylists (you can too!) non-stop, my Pandora station is set to all things “holidays”, I’m one of those people who totally jams out to the cheesy holiday station on the radio, and I may have even broken out a few of my old-school Christmas (-time is here) cds for a party. It’s merry, fun, and basically a free way to soak up the season, and I love every minute of it. Also?
Relaxing holiday gatherings. Emphasis on relaxing. For me, that basically means any sort of gathering, happy hour, or party where I’m around friends I already know and majorly love (vs. the years of obligatory Christmas-Party-Mingling-With-Strangers Past). It means some cozy dinners, some impromptu dance parties, some movie nights with fuzzy slippers, some drives around to see Christmas lights, whatever sounds merry and chill. And quite simply, it just means the events that I want to go to, not that I feel like I have to. And being totally cool with a few “silent nights” at home too, to just cozy up and be still and soak up the season. (And maybe watch some episodes of The Good Wife, which I’m still mega hooked on!!) Also?
Fun holiday baking. For me, the season is already busier than normal. So if I want to bake, I don’t want it to take up an entire afternoon or evening. And I could care less about fancy; give me fun. So when the moment of decision came about what to make for a movie night at my place this week, I decided to follow a whim and whip up one of my favorite quick and easy, 5-ingredient treats that my mom used to make for us as kids. (I’ll give you one guess…)
Graham cracker toffee!!!
Graham Cracker Toffee Recipe | 1-Minute Video
Did anyone else make this stuff growing up?!?
Well, in my house, we actually called them graham cracker treats. I didn’t realize that they resembled toffee until later in life when I actually learned how to make toffee, and realized how ridiculously easier (and arguably just as tasty!) this speedy graham cracker version actually is. And it’s true that all you really need are just 5 ingredients:
Well, the fifth is whatever you want to top these with. Nowadays I like to use chopped pecans. But I was picky about nuts as a kid, so my mom usually made me batches with just extra chocolate chips on top. For the holidays, though, you could sprinkle crushed peppermints, or those Andes chocolate chips, or sprinkles, other nuts, or even extra toffee chips if you’d like. The topping sky’s the limit. But the basic recipe is the same as it has always been.
Just line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil. And then squeeze as many graham crackers as you can in a single layer.
Heat some butter and brown sugar together in a saucepan until they get all bubbly. Then pour the mixture on top of the graham crackers and spread it evenly across the top. Pop the pan in the oven and let the butter mixture get a little more cooked and extra bubbly. Then remove it and sprinkle on a bunch of mini chocolate chips all over the top. Wait a few minutes for them to get all melty and gooey, then spread them around, leaving a few places where the butter mixture can still shine through. Then sprinkle on your favorite toppings, and let the tray cool to room temperature.
You can then break the toffee into individual pieces at this point. But what I recommend — which I learned from my lovely mama — was to pop the tray into the freezer for an hour or so instead until the bars get totally frozen. And then remove and break them into pieces, and eat them chilled.
I don’t know why, but I swear these bars are so much better frozen.
And then — since these bars took you less than a half hour to make — you can spend your extra time however you darn please.
If you’re going at full speed this year attending All The Events and making All The Cookies and decking your halls with All The Decorations Imaginable, I sincerely say power to ya. I hope that your holiday is filled to the brim with all things merry and meaningful and bright.
If anyone else is like me — perhaps home with a little She + Him on in the background, a few friends sitting around the couch in our slippers, a pup snuggled up beside me in a very handsome Christmas sweater, munching on our (ahem) fourth pieces of graham cracker toffee, I send a happily relaxed “cheers” your way.
This 5-Ingredient Graham Cracker Toffee is quick and easy to make, and feel free to sprinkle it with whatever topping sounds good!
14–16 sheets of graham crackers
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line an 11 x 15-inch baking sheet (or jelly roll pan) with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (If using aluminum foil, mist it with baking spray.) Arrange graham crackers touching side by side in a single layer, breaking some of the graham crackers in half if need be so that that they fit. Set aside.
In medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add brown sugar and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a boil, stirring constantly. Let the mixture boil for about 2 minutes, then remove from heat and pour over graham crackers. Use a spatula or spoon to spread the mixture evenly over the graham crackers. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until the butter mixture is bubbly.
Remove pan and immediately sprinkle the the chocolate chips evenly on top of the graham crackers. Let sit for a few minutes until the chocolate is melted, then use a spoon to spread the chocolate around as much as you’d like. Sprinkle nuts (or your desired topping) evenly on top of the melted chocolate.
Let sit for about two hours and them cut and serve. Sometimes, if I am in a hurry, I will cool the cookies in the freezer for a quicker serve time.
Those look great! I always made the 7-layer cookie with the same kind of base, but with coconut, butterscotch chips, sweetened condensed milk, etc., but these are much simpler. I couldn’t find the exact amount of sugar in the text. Would you mind posting it? Thank you! These will be great at my Christmas Even open house.
So sorry about that! I entered the wrong code and the recipe didn’t show up. It’s there now. :)
My girl Sheila turned me on to this ADDICTIVE goodness but of course I used pretzels and not graham crackers you little genius!!!!
This sounds like one of those treats that is almost impossible to stop eating and I love how easy it is to customise. I want to whip up a batch asap!
how much brown sugar do you use? These look SO good!
Oops, so sorry about that! The recipe formatting wasn’t showing up, but I just fixed it. It’s 1 cup of brown sugar. :)
I feel like I missed out on some amazing childhood goodness because I have NEVER tried these! BUT, I have never really liked s’mores.
And, now I know why. My taste buds have all along been wanting my graham crackers toffee-ized! YUM! Pinned!
My mom used to make these for me too! One of my favorite holiday treats! That freezing trick is genius :)
I Love that you’ve simplified your season … it’s so easy to get caught up in the nitty-gritty and forget to just relax!! Great recipe, it’s gorgeous!
What a great easy recipe! Perfect for when you need a last minute hostess gift!
I agree about the frozen part. I keep them in freezer to try to limit my snacking, but it’s not effective. Another hint…when you remove sheet from oven and add chocolate chips, invert another baking sheet on top of it to hasten chocolate melting. YUM!
I usually make mine with saltines, I’m going to have to try this with graham crackers – love it!
This looks heavenly. I’ve never made a cracker toffee but I’ve seen recipes floating around. I love that you used graham crackers in your. It’s a recipe that I would love to try!
I’ve made the saltine version for years…time to try something new!! Thanks for sharing!
I’m with you on the Christmas music! It’s been playing non-stop for 2 weeks. My kiddos and hubby were not happy about it being on before Thanksgiving but I like to defy the rules. ;-)
This looks so easy and delish. Bet the kids would love to make it with me!
This looks amazing!!
Where’s the toffee in recipe
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!! I’ve used it about 4 times now and all of a sudden this 5th go round I messed up some how! The toffee isn’t hardening. What did I do wrong this time?
Oh I am right there with you jamming out to cheesy Christmas music every chance I get! I’m also loving that you used graham crackers for this and it is such an easy recipe to make!
are you as worried about Cary as I am?? #lovingTheGoodWife :)
this looks insane! I need to make a batch asap!!
I love a good toffee. I usually make mine with saltines, but I will DEF try this now!
Oh my goodness, I love this stuff!! I totally agree – it’s amazing frozen!
We make these all the time, except instead of graham crackers, we use saltines! The salt adds a nice touch. These are always a hit anywhere we go!
Awesome Ro, thanks for sharing! :)
Just pointing out the obvious: these absolutely delicious goodies can ALSO be made for vegans by substituting Earth Balance butter substitute (1:1 substitute) and vegan chocolate. They are just as tasty and will be quickly devoured!
Thanks Betsey, we’re so happy you enjoyed them! Good to know they can be made vegan with good results! :D
Will dairy free butter work? My son is allergic to dairy… Including butter :(
Hi Leslie! We haven’t tried this with dairy-free butter, so we can’t say for sure. However, we think it would work, as we’ve seen other recipes online for dairy-free toffee. We hope this helps – definitely let us know how it turns out if you give it a try!
Has anyone used cinnamon graham crackers?
My wife is chilling a batch right now. Since trying cinnamon graham crackers, it’s the only kind we use now! I’ve asked her to make two batches so that I can give some away at work this week…
Another winner, ladies!! So easy and delicious. I wrapped mine in decorative cellophane as gifts for friends too. Thanks!
Thanks Meredith, we’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe! :)
Hey there! So, these look delicious, however, my brown sugar/butter sauce is just not coming together. It seems to be that all the butter is kind of settling at the top and it won’t mix together very well. Any tips? Can’t wait to try these!
Sometimes caramel can “break,” and the butter will create a layer of oil on top. What you can do if this happens is add a dash of water and whisk vigorously, while over low heat. It should fix it! We hope this helps!
These are delicious! And for those who live in places where graham crackers are not available, “Digestive Biscuits” work well…just put the circles down on the foil lined and buttered sheet pan and fill in with halves, quarters, etc of the biscuits– after they bake you won’t be able to tell that the biscuits were not squares/rectangles (like graham crackers).
We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe, and ooooh, we love digestives — we’ll totally have to try those next time! :)
Would topping this with m&ms work instead of pecans?
We haven’t tried it with M&Ms, but you definitely could! We hope you enjoy!
They are delicious & so easy to make. Nice gift for neighbors at Christmas time. We love them.
We’re so glad you enjoy the recipe!
Made these today with my 6 and 8 yr old granddaughters. I added some mini marshmallows at the end and put the tray under the broiler for about 1 min. They were EXCELLENT and very simple to make. Will definitely make them again.
Thanks for sharing with us, Anna — we’re so happy you and your granddaughters enjoyed it!
i just popped my first batch of these in the freezer, and i’m so excited to eat them! i predict deliciousness. however, i have just one question: how long should i keep my toffee in the freezer? thanks so much for the great recipe!
Hi Isabel! Just an hour. :) We hope you enjoy!
These are so addictive! It has been a while since I have had these and had forgotten how wonderful they are. Thank you for sharing!
Made it tonite.. Great taste
Easiest recipe ever and great for the holidays ! Definitely a crowd favorite
This recipe is so easy and quick to make. I’ve made it before, following the recipe exact. This time I substituted mini chocolate chips and after spreading them and sprinkling with chopped pecans, I topped it with crushed Almond Roca that I pressed into the mixture while still warm. I cool them in the fridge and enjoy them as is, or as an ice cream topper. Delish!
How do you think these would fare in the mail? Looking for a good dessert treat to send to a friend… Thanks!
I have never had any success making toffee or candy and just wanted to get rid of a box of graham crackers left over from the summer. All I had for chocolate was 2 regular size Hershey bars and some pecans that I chopped and toasted in the microwave. I followed the recipe exactly otherwise and they turned our like candy-crack! Oh man – will have to hide these in the freezer as suggested! Thank you for an easy recipe for a novice candy-maker.
Took some to friends home along with other cookies today. These were the ones she asked for recipe for! Said they were soooo good!
It’s hard to stop eating this!
In the recipe instructions you forgot to mention when to add the toffee
So easy & so good. Surprises others when they find out that they are made withgraham crackers..
Tip don’t use gluten free graham crackers. They disintegrated into the toffee. If you have celiacs I guess you won’t be able to enjoy this.
I made these for my girlfriend one night. I added a cup of peanut butter chips and they were awesome (duh!) We couldn’t stop eating them!
I’ve made this several times and it’s really easy and tastes great. I like it with butterscotch chips too! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for having this recipe available. It is always a hit!
Omg…..received this recipe from a patient many years ago and it is a family favorite. WE call them graham cracker treats!!
I put crushed candy canes on mine!