Sunday, October 10, 2010

Remnants of summer

A while ago I bought a box of saltine crackers; you know, one of those boxes with 4 plastic sleeves inside.  I only used 1 sleeve for the project at hand (meatballs), and I've been trying to keep my pantry clutter-free, so I had to think up another use for the rest of the crackers.  Enter Mom.  She always has good ideas for miscellaneous things.

She told me that my grandma used to make a treat called graham cracker cookies, or cracker candy, or cracker treats... something along those lines.  It seems like Grandma's generation cooked by instinct rather than a recipe, which explains why some homemade foods don't really have a name.  This is one of those foods.  So simple, it barely needs a recipe, and yet I never would have thought to throw this together.

What I didn't have in graham cracker ownership, I had in saltines.  Lots of saltines.  Which were about to get smothered by homemade caramel and chocolate. 

Saltine candy

Grandma's cracker candy
Graham crackers or saltines (about one sleeve)
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
pinch salt
2 Hershey bars or 1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Line a pan with parchment paper and crackers in a single layer.  Bring butter and sugar to boil for 2 minutes, add salt and vanilla (also can add nuts at this point, or save to sprinkle on top at the end) and pour over crackers. Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes (or microwave on high for 2 minutes).  Sprinkle the chopped chocolate over top, wait a few minutes and smooth with an offset spatula.  Chill in fridge and break apart.  Can be frozen.

This is going to be a multi-use post, since I was cleaning out some photo folders, and I couldn't resist showing you the picture below.  My friend Stacy's family raises cherries in Oregon, and a few usually make their way to me (oh joy!).  I love, repeat love, fresh cherries.  Yeah, like make-yourself-sick-on-them every season type of love.  This is the first year I've tried freezing them (because I've never had leftovers before!).  I hand-pitted them with a paper clip (not recommended except for those too cheap to purchase an actual cherry pitter) and laid them out to freeze on a cookie sheet.  They are now safely tucked away for future use, probably in February when I need a reminder that summer really does exist. 

Look at these beauties!

Eat well!

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