Pecan Christmas Crack (Ritz Cracker Toffee)

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Christmas Crack. Imagine all of the deliciousness of toffee, topped with chocolate and pecans; once you make this toffee bark and crack it into pieces, you simply can’t stop munching!

This is one of my absolute favorite treats to make for the holidays!

It takes just minutes to prep and the results are so incredibly delicious that no one can resist eating several chunks.A stack of pecan toffee with a title


A quick stovetop toffee is poured over buttery Ritz crackers and coated in chocolate and topped with pecans.  Once cooled, it is cracked into chunks and ready to be enjoyed!

Pecan saltine toffee with chocolate

I have made this recipe two ways, with Ritz Crackers and Saltines, both ways are fabulous. You could substitute the pecans for the nuts of your choice; I have a feeling cashews or pistachios would make a yummy addition to the toffee, chocolate, and cracker combination!

This Ritz Cracker Toffee  is made on a foil lined pan, making clean up as simple as can be! Be sure to butter your foil well to keep everything from sticking (or you can buy non-stick foil).

Pecan ritz cracker toffee with chocolate with a cracker beside it

Considering how easy this treat is to make and eat, you will want to make several batches of this Christmas Crack to share with your friends and neighbors.  It keeps perfectly at room temperature so is the perfect gift to pack up and spread delicious holiday cheer!

Recipe Notes:

I have been making this recipe for more years than I can count exactly as written below.  A few readers have had trouble with their toffee being sticky or not setting quite right.  While I’ve never had my toffee not set, there are many variables that can cause this.

If you have trouble with your toffee setting, my friend Meggan over at Culinary Hill suggests the use a candy thermometer to ensure your toffee reaches 270-290 degrees before pouring over the crackers.

Chocolate Chips should melt when heated however if you have trouble with them melting, you can melt them at 50% power in the microwave.  If your oven is too hot, the chocolate can seize instead of melting.  You’ll want your toffee to sit for about 1 minute before adding the chocolate.

A stack of pecan toffee with a title
4.88 from 39 votes
Review Recipe

Pecan Christmas Crack (Ritz Cracker Toffee)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 36 servings
Author Holly N.
Course Candy, Dessert
Cuisine American
Pecan Christmas Crack. Imagine all of the deliciousness of toffee, topped with chocolate and pecans; once you make this toffee bark and crack it into pieces, you simply can’t stop munching!



  • 54 Ritz Crackers (or saltines)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

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  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Line an 11x17 pan with foil and grease the foil well. Line with crackers.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar and stir to mix. Bring to a boil over medium heat and let come to a rolling boil for 3 minutes. Once the mixture comes to a boil, DO NOT STIR. (Your toffee should reach 270-290°F with a candy thermometer)
  • Pour brown sugar mixture over the crackers. Bake 4 minutes. Turn the oven off.
  • Remove from the oven and wait 1 minute. Pour chocolate chips over the top and let sit 4 minutes or until chocolate is soft (or place 1 minute in the warm oven). Spread chocolate evenly and sprinkle pecans on top.
  • Cool on the counter slightly and then place into the freezer to cool completely. Break into pieces.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 169, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 87mg, Potassium: 84mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 165IU, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Pecan Christmas crack

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. The instructions NOT TO STIR the sugar butter mixture after it boils was a disaster. It just burns, it takes longer to reach the 270 -290 degrees than just 3 minutes. Remade it and stirred it this time, it didn’t burn. Haven’t tried it yet but it smells better than the first batch that burnt.3 stars

  2. I followed the exact directions and used the 11 x 7 pan and my crackers were stacked 3-4 high! Did I miss something? Still tastes good though!

  3. Hi Holly,
    I have two questions. I don’t see where it says unsalted butter in the ingredients but I read that is what you used. Does it matter? Also. That pan size at 11 x 7 can’t be right as there is no way 54 ritz will fit in it with triple stacking them. I when ahead and followed what the directs say with pan size but shouldn’t have been much larger. It was delicious but no way would it “crack”. I had to saw and chisel it and it was a mess. A jelly roll pan maybe?

  4. I made this exactly as directed and it turned out great. Next time I make it, I am going to add some coarse sea salt to the top, and possibly toasted shredded coconut. It’s a great recipe, and it was easy to manage – even without a candy thermometer.

    I’m definitely putting this in the regular holiday baking rotation. Thanks for a great recipe!

  5. Yeah I definitely burnt the toffee.. but I’m not going to lie I’m probably going to eat them all anyway. I figure if they’re this good burnt they’re probably even better if I don’t burn them. This was pretty easy I’ll try again.5 stars

  6. These came out great; followed the recipe but used chopped almonds instead of pecans. Helpful hint: try to make these cookies on a day when it’s cold and dry outside. For some reason, toffee doesn’t seize properly when it’s raining.5 stars

  7. Just made it tonight. Very easy with all the explanation you are giving. It is looking good. We’ll see tomorrow how it came out. Thank you for the recipe and step by step. I think this one will be made many more times.
    Marry Christmas5 stars

  8. My daughter-in-law made these for Thanksgiving and I loved them. I had never seen this recipe before but it’s now going to be a part of my Christmas gift- giving! I’m going to try a couple varieties: white chocolate with macadamias, dark chocolate with pistachios….5 stars

  9. I’m so glad I found this recipe, I have tried to make this several times with no success. My aunt always made this around Christmas so I’ve tried to do the same but it has never worked until I followed this recipe so thank you.
    I did see one comment that used graham crackers instead and I was thinking s’more crack lol top with mini marshmallows instead of pecans. Will be making both versions double batches because mine only lasted a day.5 stars

  10. I’ll be making this for the first time. I’d love to know what’s preferred, Ritz Crackers or Saltines please?? Thank you in advance!!

    1. Hi Cynthia, use Ritz for this recipe. The buttery flavor will compliment the chocolate beautifully! I hope you enjoy it!

  11. This didn’t turn out well at all for me. The chocolate didn’t melt and was a big globby mess. What type of chocolate do you use? I used Toll house semi-sweet morsels and it seemed like they needed more to melt smoothly.

    1. Oh no Whitney, that’s disappointing!

      I generally use chocolate chips (and I’ve used various brands). Chocolate Chips should melt when heated however if you have trouble with them melting, you can melt them at 50% power in the microwave. If your oven is too hot, the chocolate can seize instead of melting. You’ll want your toffee to sit for about 1 minute before adding the chocolate.

  12. I have also made the Ritz toffee but instead of Ritz or Saltines I have used Graham Cracker (not cinnamon Graham’s just plain) I think they actually make the toffee taste more like a Heath Bar

  13. Hi! You say to mix the butter and sugar together before heating. Do you melt the butter and mix with the sugar before heating? I wonder if that is why some here had the separation when pouring it out onto the crackers? Need to know as I am making for a pot luck!

  14. Made this going on six times this holiday in different variations, and everyone loved it! I have requests to make it for book club and games night! My variations were: use rice crackers for gluten free friends, I used molasses sugar instead of Brown and all different chips or chocolate add-ons sugar free dark chocolate bar. And sprinkled sea salt on the chocolate. Used butter in all. Not sure how to do a vegan version.5 stars

    1. Brown sugar is sugar that has had molasses added. So you did a good thing. I’ve been thinking about making my own. Same with butter. Butter is very expensive so thinking of making my own from heavy, heavy cream. So easy to do and would be cheaper. I think.

  15. So, SO easy and no need to store – it’s already gone!!  The only thing I’d add to the recipe is to gently press nuts into melted chips, so they stay on!   The chips harden very fast and the nuts slide off quickly. 5 stars

  16. Just made this…still too hot to try, but some tips about melting the chocolate: Do wait about a minute when you remove the hot toffee/crackers that are still bubbling from the oven. Then sprinkle your chocolate over top, and take an empty cookie sheet (or jelly roll pan, whatever you like) and place it over the top of the pan, upside down. Walk away (I washed my sauce pan and thermometer while waiting) and when I came back, I lifted the pan, and voila! The chocolate was perfectly melty and spreadable. I also used a thermometer and my toffee boiled more than 3 minutes (rolling boil) to get close to the temp I wanted, so I think times might vary.5 stars

  17. Parchment paper works well & I used whole wheat Ritz & tried it wit chopped up Dove chocolate & t didn’t make any difference in taste so kept it at semi-sweet chocolate chips but using almonds on one then walnuts on another & pecans on another – I am going to use sugar free chocolate chips on one for kids so as to keep sugar levels down a bit – but what an amazing treat!5 stars

  18. This is really good! I only used one stick of butter (1/2 cup) by accident and it did great! Also I did semi sweet on one batch and milk chocolate on the other – semi sweet is the way to go! So yummy!! 5 stars

  19. Please dont follow the recipe. When i read the recipe, i was thinking, it will burn, but i would like to try it.  I follow it, first, 3min boil, butter and brown sugar, you should reach (270-290 degrees) OH MY GOOD. NO, NO, NO….FIRST, 3 min boil, never-ever = that degree, START TO BURN.
    OK, so keep going to follow the recipe, in the oven, NO WAY, MORE THEN BURN. GARBAGE 


    Just boil for 30 sec. then pour over the crackers, then put it at 375F. in the oven for (7-8 min) take a look.  then follow the #5 and #6 on the recipe.  

  20. I have made this for over 30 years. I boil the sugar mixture for 5 minutes. I place jn the oven for  5 minutes as well until the mixture is bubbly and the crackers appear to float in the toffee. I remove and immediately sprinkle either milk or semi sweet morsels on top and dan usually spread them after just a couple minutes. When the chips appear shiny they are as melted as they are gonna get, it’s time to spread them with a metal spatula all the way to the edges of the cookie sheet and sprinkle finely chopped pecans on top and place entire cookie sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Works every time. Timing seems to be important.  4 stars

  21. Make these every year for Christmas! Easy recipe and oh my! Soooo good!! I saw someone used mason jars, and i think it may be a perfect idea for my gifts to my neighbors! Tie some plaid ribbon and BAM!!!! Oh, ritz crackers work the best! I have tried others, but the butter in them is just an added bonus!!5 stars

  22. This did not turn out for me….after 3 minutes it was no where near 270 degrees…we cooked another 3 mintues still not to 270 and we poured it anyway. it tastes burnt/

  23. The chocolate chips never melted. I let me sit for 3 minutes, then put them back in warm oven for at least 6 minutes or more. I turned oven on again and put it back in for 4 minutes and still didn’t melt. That’s the only problem I had. Next time I’m going to use chocolate candy bars. I believe they will melt. I’m disappointed it didn’t work out.

  24. I just finished making this recipe and it did set but when I went break in into pieces it’s a little sticky 
    Could it be because I used  margarine from a tub ? 
    It’s very  delicious my hubby loves it 

    1. Glad you love it! It is important to use butter (and not margarine, as certain types of margarine may not set up well). I used unsalted but either would work in this recipe! Also be sure to let it boil at a rolling boil for the full 3 minutes.

  25. Thank you for sharing with us all.  I’ve gotta make these long before Christmas – they look so yummy

  26. Havent made it yet but planning to spon. Just wanted to let ppl lnow fidge and ceryain orhet types camdy wont set up if its raining or snowing. Many tomes I scoffed at that but ended ip with spoon fidge every time. 
    Also Perdue University came up with a product tp help lower cholesterol. It is a butter replacement called Smart Balance.  It has same taste and consistency as real butter. You can cook and bake woth it and its delicious

  27. I’ve made this at least several times. The first time I noticed the toffee (at the right temperature) was not mixed well when I poured it on the crackers resulting in the actually toffee part coming out of pot last. But it was workable. (What butter are you using? Salted or unsalted?, does it matter? Is margarine ok? I thought maybe too much water in butter so the next time i let it boil a little longer. It helped a little. I also used light brown sugar. So I thought, well maybe I DO need to use dark. So today I did. Plus my chocolate is seizing. Ugh!!! However I do keep it refrigerated, so I let it hang out on the counter for 1/2 hr first. Didn’t work. I’m so bummed. It came out great the first couple times. It’s not rocket science! Orrr is it? My batch now has seized chocolate lightly (cuz it really doesn’t spread), looking ugly on top of the crackers. I’m going to try one more batch today because I really wanted to share it with friends that here on vacation. Crossing fingers.

    1. How frustrating Vicki, I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you. I’ve not had any issues with it. I use unsalted butter in this. Hopefully your next batch worked out better for you!

  28. I’ve made this several times since Christmas, 2016. My friend shared it with our group of friends and I fell in love. I’m not a big candy eater either., but this was simple to make and I knew my family would love it too. It was also a huge hit for my teenage students and co-workers. Mahalo for this yummy treat.

    1. I forgot to add: I have used light won sugar, I’ve used margarine however I wasn’t happy with the outcome. It was edible, but the texture suffered a bit. Stick to real butter. I’ve used both salted n unsalted and didn’t taste any difference. Just remember the temperature should be monitored no matter which you choose to use. I’ve also made it with graham crackers and sprinkled my own salt on top. I’ll try it with saltines next. I’ve also used walnuts. But I think I prefer pecans. Mahalo again.

  29. I let the toffee boil vigorously for over 10 minutes, but it never even got to 250 on the candy thermometer. Afraid that it would scorch, I took it off. And it did not get hard, even on the freezer. Is there a typo in your recipe? Should it be 13 minutes? I don’t see how you got there in only 3 minutes.

  30. This was a wonderful recipe!! I packaged them in Mason Jars decorated for Christmas for hostess gifts…I kept them refrigerated until time to share…what I didn’t eat myself, that is!

  31. has anyone tried making this at half measurements? only had small tray and toffee went quite dark compared to the picture, rolled for the three mins – doesnt smell burnt. waiting to cool to put the chocolate on top, going to put grated banana lollies on top.

  32. Made this this afternoon,followed directions exactly,except I used well buttered parchment paper. No candy thermometer,but I boiled as recipe required. Turned out great!! & Looking forward to sharing it with friends this Merry holiday weekend!

  33. The toffe isn’t working for me – what am I doing wrong? I put the butter (2 sticks=1 cup) and sugar in the pot over medium heat. When it begins to boil I wait 3 minutes (tried 5 the 2nd time to see if the result would change… It didn’t). When I pour it over the crackers, I get a very wet layer and then an almost chunky brown layer. It does not look smooth & brown like the video.

    1. I’m not sure why yours isn’t smooth, mine always comes out perfectly smooth. I might suggest giving it a quick stir at the beginning before it boils.

  34. Do NOT make this recipe. It was a huge disappointment. First of all, I would use light brown sugar rather than dark. Second, watch carefully or your sugar will burn in three minutes. Third, the sugar mixture does NOT spread easily. Fourth, it’s a gigantic mess to clean up. And finally, when you break the pieces, the Ritz crackers crumble apart. I give this recipe a 1/2 star out of 5 stars.

    1. I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you, I’ve made it so many times and haven’t ever had any problems. The sugar mixture shouldn’t burn and should be easy to spread. Did you pour it on the crackers immediately? It does harden fairly quickly.

      If it is all poured into a greased, foil lined pan there shouldn’t be a huge mess to clean up.

  35. what on earth? chocolate chips did not melt I follow the recipe exactly and the chocolate chips did not melt they actually broke and never did get smooth and creamy, continued on with it and spread them as much as i could ;(, we shall see how they turn out

    1. That is very odd, semi sweet chocolate chips should definitely melt. Did you use chocolate chips or morsels? Were they semi-sweet?

    2. I wonder if the melt quality varies between chocolate chip brands, depending on the fat content of the chips, etc?

  36. I just made this. Followed the instructions and my toffee didn’t harden completely. I put it in the refrigerator for thirty minutes before breaking it into pieces. It is also sickly sweet. Not sure where I went wrong. I packed the brown sugar so maybe that was it? I also used semi sweet chocolate chips.

    1. Did it come to a rolling boil for a full 3 minutes? Mine always comes out quite brittle. I would suggest baking it a little bit longer.

  37. Just making these now with ritz crackers, semi sweet chips, and we are using macadamia nuts. We just got married in Maui and am trying to incorporate everything hawaiian in to this years xmas. My question is, how long do you put in freezer? They look so tasty!

    1. Congratulations on your wedding Karen!! You just put it in the freezer enough to chill it and make it easy to crack.

  38. Hello:

    I am not able to print your cracker toffee recipe from the link on your website. Not sure if the issue is on my end or yours. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for letting me know, it seems to be working for me. Are you using the print button located to the right of the ingredients list?

  39. This tasted amazing but was a little softer than I expected? I was thinking it would be really brittle…did i do something wrong? Didn’t last long so I guess my family didn’t care either way :)

    1. I’m not sure why yours was soft (it should definitely be brittle). Did it come to a rolling boil for a full 3 minutes?

    1. The texture of the toffee should be brittle. Did it come to a rolling boil it for 3 full minutes? Did you bake it at 400 degrees?

  40. Ok the recipe never called for unsalted butter :( but my question is do you count down the 3 minutes once it comes to a rolling boil?? and I used salted butter oops ot good ;)

    1. How disappointing Brenda. Did you use butter (and not margarine)? Did you let your toffee boil at a rolling boil for a full 3 minutes?

  41. I’m a little confused. The recipe says butter but in a couple of comments I’ve seen you ask if they used unsalted butter. Which are we suppose to use? Anxious to try making this. Been looking for something to make our neighbor that has to eat gluten free. This is perfect. Thank you!

    1. I just wanted to ensure people were using butter (and not margarine as certain types of margarine may not set up well). I used unsalted but either would work in this recipe!

  42. .just made this. might be the easiest cookie treat I ever made. tastes great. going to make another with peanut butter chips. my family is going to love it.

  43. Our toffee did not harden ? Was it not cooked long enough ? We live in Florida could the humidity affect it?

  44. I love treats like this. Someone told me about a similar recipe a couple of years ago but I didn’t take it any further because I knew how much I’d like it. I guess that I’m going to have to use your recipe the day of our family Christmas cookie bake. I can try but most of it will fly! ; ]

  45. HI Holly! I love the name of these treats – Pecan Christmas Crack is awesome!! My sister-in-law would always make a similar holiday cookie with saltines, toffee and chocolate. It was soo GOOD! This looks even better! I pinned it and about 10 other Christmas cookie recipes you have – they all look amazing!

  46. Not sure what I did. Followed the recipe and mine was very runny with the sugar and butter mix. I used 2 sticks of margarine and seemed like too much. Left it boil for a little over 3 minutes. After putting the chocolate chips on and letting it sit in the oven another minute and brought it back out it was so runny. It did harden in the freezer, but if you lift the whole thing; underneath its just a like a buttery mess and gooey. Wonder if it’s because i used Margarine?

    1. Hi Dan, I would think the margarine would impact the results. I use real butter. It might seem like they are the same thing, but margarine has vegetable oil in it, as butter has milkfat. They have very different results when cooking! If you try the recipe again, grab real butter and let me know how it turns out.

  47. Would lining the baking sheet with parchment paper make a difference in the consistency? Seems like it would make clean up a breeze.

  48. The cracker cookies sound great. After freezing for the 15 – 20 minutes, can they be stored in a cookie tin at room temperature or should they be refrigerated for storage? Can’t wait to try these!

  49. OOps I messed up and bought Walnuts instead of pecans and the store is closed, Do you think it will work or should I wait?

  50. I followed recipe, but my toffee part is a little sticky on the bottom. I was expecting it to be harder on the bottom. It is very sticky. Did I do something wrong or should it be that way? Any suggestions? Other than that is very tasty!

    1. Mine didn’t come out sticky. Did you use butter and did you allow it to boil for the full 3 minutes at a rolling boil?

        1. I think the salt from the crackers is enough, but if you like your food a little saltier, you could use salted butter.

    1. I have only tried it as written so I can’t say for sure. Please let us know how it works out for you if you do try it!

  51. I just made this for my Christmas party at work tomorrow! I didn’t change a thing on the recipe, so I hope it’s hit! It sure looks good, and super easy!

    1. What part didn’t work out for you? Did you use butter (or margarine)? Did you let it boil on a rolling boil the full 3 minutes?

  52. I have made this for many years. The recipe I had was in The Mail Box News, a cake decorating magazine that is no longer published. The original recipe called for graham crackers, but I started using saltine crackers instead and my family liked them so much better. You can use any chopped nuts on them and we like walnuts. Just put your baking pan into your freezer to freeze them, because that is what makes them so crispy.

    1. At what temperature are you cooking them? I do mine on the middle rack at 400 degrees for 4 minutes and haven’t had any trouble with burning.

  53. Any thought as to adjusting the recipe for high altitude? I live at 5800 feet, and toffee is difficult, but I’m hoping this might actually harden correctly. Most recipes take a bit longer so I’m wondering if I should boil the brown sugar and water longer?

    1. I can’t say for sure but you could certainly give it a try by adding an extra minute to the boil time. Please let us know how they turn out for you.

      1. Thanks–I added an extra minute to the boil time, and an extra minute in the oven and it came out great. Now I have to make another batch–I ‘taste-tested” too much of it….

  54. Hi Holly! Your Christmas Crack recipe is similar to a “Christmas Crackers” recipe that I’ve been making for 35 years! I’ve just passed it down to my granddaughter! Of course, my grandsons still want me to make some! lol One of the differences is that I melt the butter and brown sugar in the microwave. I may try your recipe later when not “under pressure!”
    Thanks for sharing!! KL

          1. Same with mine….it was completely watery. Failed big time. :(
            Unsalted butter and light brown sugar.
            My butter was frozen…maybe issue.

  55. I used 2 cups milk choc chips but they didnt melt?? Is that strange? Im still gonna sprinkle the crushed pecans and hope for the best

    1. Did you try putting your pan in the still warm oven for a minute or two?
      Even if they didn’t melt, hopefully they still stuck to the toffee. I’m sure it will be delicious.

  56. Yes to me that is a better selection of hand foods. I’m getting tired of making the same stuff! Year after year. Thank you for better ideas and great recipes.

  57. How do you store them after you break them? Just on the counter? In the refrigerator? I have them cooling right now but am wondering about storage…

    Thank you!

  58. Love all the recipes and especially those that do not take lots of ingredients. Grandkids love helping in the kitchen. Easy and fun recipes.

  59. I am getting ready to try this to take to a Christmas party. I am not real crazy about semi sweet chocolate so will make a batch with milk chocolate also.

    1. Hello Wilma
      How well did your milk choc melt? Mine would not melt well at all…it just crumbled mostly. I guess I will melt them beforehand. Otherwise still sweet light and crispy good.

    1. Absolutely! The toffee hardens fairly quickly so I would suggest sprinkling the pecans fairly quickly (or even sprinkling them over the crackers before pouring). Enjoy!

    1. I tried white chocolate and milk chocolate, pretzels and crackers on the same pan I do prefer the white chocolate.

    2. Hi I make it with semi sweet chocolate and butterscotch neither one melt real good but it doesn’t matter it sticks enough and so so so good!! I also put coconut on mine!

    3. Yes, using most any type of chocolate or nuts will work. I’ve even used chopped cranberries. They were a hit at work. It’s only limited to your imagination. Good luck.

  60. This looks awesome! I’ve made this with both saltines and graham crackers, but never Ritz. Must try! And it’s soooo addictive I’m sure!