This version of Christmas cracker candy is made with oyster crackers for a bite-sized treat. The chopped almonds and brown sugar syrup give it a lovely toffee flavor.
Cracker candy is a Christmas tradition. It’s usually made by placing a layer of crackers, either saltines, Ritz, or matzo down on a sheet pan. Then you pour a toffee sauce right on the crackers and bake. When it’s done, you spread a layer of chocolate over the toffee.
While it’s delicious, I’ve never loved the process. The toffee syrup often coated the crackers unevenly. And then after cooking, you had to break it up into sharp pieces.
Enter: oyster crackers.
Instead of using sheets of crackers, I combine oyster crackers with the toffee syrup. This means it’s bite-size and every cracker gets nicely coated with toffee. It really is my favorite way to make cracker candy.
- Oyster crackers. For the best texture, use large oyster crackers. I really recommend getting the Premium brand of oyster crackers. (Premium is the brand name of the crackers.) They’re about twice the size of other brands and are perfect for this recipe.
- Butter. I prefer salted butter for this but either salted or unsalted works.
- Brown Sugar. Light brown sugar gives this a really nice toffee flavor.
- Almonds. I like to use lightly salted almonds.
- Granulated Sugar. To keep the oyster crackers from sticking together after baking, toss them with a little granulated sugar.
- Cinnamon. A teaspoon of ground cinnamon adds a nice holiday flavor.
- Chocolate Chips. Use whatever type of chocolate chips you like.
How to Make Bite-Size Christmas Cracker Candy.
Let’s take a look at how to make this recipe. The most important step: use a timer when cooking the toffee syrup.
Make the Toffee Syrup.
In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine the butter and brown sugar. Bring this to a boil while stirring gently. As soon as it reaches a boil, cook the syrup for two minutes while stirring constantly. Use a timer for this step. You don’t want to burn the syrup.
Coat the Crackers and Almonds.
Combine the hot syrup with the oyster crackers and chopped almonds. I like to do this right in the pan. But if your pan is small, mix everything together in a heat-proof mixing bowl.
Bake the Candy.
Spread the crackers evenly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. You can use foil but be sure to grease it or it can stick.
Bake for about eight minutes. It doesn’t take long. Look for the syrup to bubble gently.
Top and Stir.
As soon as you remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar and chocolate chips over the crackers.
Wait about two minutes for the chocolate chips to soften, then carefully stir everything together right on the pan.
Let it cool before eating so you don’t burn your mouth.
- Nut-Free. Use sunflower kernels or omit the nuts.
- Chocolate Lovers. After stirring the crackers together, sprinkle some chocolate candy, like M&Ms over the top, and chopped chocolate sandwich cookies over the top.
- Gluten-Free. Use gluten-free Chex cereal in place of the oyster crackers. You’ll need about 5 cups.
How to Store.
Place the cooled candy in a container with a lid or place it into candy gift bags. Make sure you tie the bags or it can get stale.
This keeps for about a week.
Bite-Sized Christmas Cracker Candy
For the Candy
- 1 cup butter (8 ounces; 226 grams)
- 1 cup light brown sugar (7 ½ ounces; 212 grams)
- 1 (9 ounce) bag large oyster crackers, see note
- 1 (6 ounce) can lightly salted almonds, chopped
For the Topping
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup chocolate chips (about 6 ounces; 170 grams)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large (18×13-inch) baking sheet with parchment paper or greased foil.
In a medium heavy bottom saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. When it reaches a boil, cook for two minutes. Use a timer for this step. You don’t want the syrup to burn.
Carefully remove the pan from the heat. Stir the oyster crackers and chopped almonds together with the syrup. You can do this in the pan if it’s large enough or in a large heat-proof bowl.
Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for eight minutes. The syrup should bubble gently.
While the candy bakes, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Remove the pan from the oven. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar and chocolate chips evenly over the crackers. Let sit for about three minutes or until the chocolate chips soften. Stir gently to coat the crackers with the melted chocolate chips.
If the chocolate chips didn’t soften, place the pan back into the warm oven for a few minutes.
Let the candy cool. Transfer to a container with a lid and store for up to one week.
Oyster Crackers: Large oyster crackers work best. At the time I shared this recipe, Premium brand oyster crackers are my favorite to use in this recipe.