It is impossibly gross out today. The temeperature keeps hovering right around freezing, and it’s raining. Well, half raining, half snowing. It’s disgusting. I have to say that even though I’ve lived in Michigan for 15 of my 22 years (I had a nice – and warm! – 7 year move to Texas right in the middle), I have never learned to love the snow. Yes, it’s nice to wake up to on Christmas morning, and it’s good for a sledding outing about once a year, but beyond that, forget it. It’s cold and wet and slippery, and did I mention cold?
There are a few things that I do enjoy about winter though. First, it’s prime snuggling season, and I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who is always warm enough to be my own personal heater. Second, Christmas break and Christmas itself. And third, family baking day! My mom has four sisters, all of whom live here in Michigan (actually, all of them live in the greater Lansing area, except for one). Every year around the beginning of December, all of my aunts and cousins and second cousins get together on a Saturday and do an all day bake-a-thon. You’d think that it would be chaotic, but it’s actually always pretty well thought out. Since it’s usually at our house, my mom and I compile everyone’s requests into a list of things to make, and then make a list of all the ingredients needed, and then split it up between all of the people who are coming. Our system works out pretty well! This year our baking day is December 6, and I’m especially excited for this year, because I’ll have a million new things to post about!
But back to the food! This heath bar recipe is a definite favorite during baking day. It’s ridiculously easy to make, and we end up making 12-14 batches of it every year. It only takes four ingredients, and turns out tasting way better than the real thing! I can’t even eat the actual candy bars anymore! I think the saltines are the real show-stealer here – they add the necessary crunch to go along with the toffee and the hint of salt makes the chocolate taste even richer.
Home-Made Heath Bar
Source: Aunt Kathy
Makes: 1 cookie sheet full, or approximately enough to fill a 48 oz. butter tub
1 c. (2 sticks) butter (must be REAL butter, not margarine)
1 c. light brown sugar
Approximately 1 sleeve Saltene crackers
1 package (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with foil (you can use either, as long as the pan has sides to it — some cookie sheets don’t), and then add a layer of saltines to cover the bottom of the pan, one cracker thick. You may have to break some of the crackers in half once you get to the bottom.
2) In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and bring to a boil.
3) Boil for four minutes, stirring continuously.
4) Pour the brown sugar and butter mixture over the saltines, and spread the mixture out so it covers the pan evenly.
5) Bake for 9 minutes.
6) Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Let set for about 45 seconds until the chocolate begins to melt, and then spread the melted chocolate out to form a thin layer over the crackers and toffee.
7) Let the pan sit in a cool spot until the pan is cool enough to touch. Refrigerate for about an hour, until the chocolate has hardened. Remove the candy from the pan and foil and break into bite-sized pieces.