One of the things I always looked forward to when going to my Grandmother's house for holidays or celebrations was eating copious amounts of her famous Bark. As I got older, learning how to make the Bark together with my grandmother and cousins became one of my favorite holiday traditions. I have such vivid memories of all of us crowding in her kitchen and lining our own cookie sheets with saltines - making sure they all fit just so and the pan was perfectly filled, stirring the brown sugar and butter mixture slowly, the delicious smell filling the house as we all giggled and smashed pecans on the counter to pour over the top, and grammy teaching us all the technique of the perfect wrist flick for spreading the melted chocolate chips.
Even today, the smell brings back so many happy family memories - perfect for this time of year when I'm now so far away from that side of the family.
I will warn you, though, that my husband has started calling this "Crack" Bark, because once you start eating it, stopping is pretty impossible. So much so, that we used to have to double and triple the recipe and hide several zip lock baggie in the back of the freezer so that we wouldn't run out the first day! It's the perfect combination of sweet and salty and crunchy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious - everything you want in a sweet indulgence.
- 2 sleeves of saltines
- 3 cups dark brown sugar
- 3 sticks of butter
- 1 bag chocolate chips
- pecan pieces
- Preheat oven to 375*
- Lay out saltines in a single layer on a cookie sheet (you will have to halve some to fill the half sheet baking pans).
- Cut butter into small pieces and melt over medium heat. Add dark brown sugar and turn up heat.
- Bring brown sugar and butter to a rolling boil, stirring slooooowly but constantly.
- Pour over saltines and put in the oven until edges start to brown and sugar mixture bubbles.
- Take crackers out of the oven and sprinkle on a healthy amount of chocolate chips (2 cups to a whole bag, depending on your love of chocolate).
- Place the cookie sheet back into the oven until the chocolate chips get soft. Once soft, remove from the oven and smooth and spread the chocolate chips over the top of the crackers and brown sugar mixture.
- Sprinkle pecan pieces over top (I press them in with the spatula to make sure they set better).
- Once the pan cools, throw it in the refrigerator to set (a few hours to overnight).
- Break up the bark into pieces and enjoy!
Does your family have any traditional dishes or deserts they make during the holiday season? I'd love to hear about them below!