"Christmas Crack" Makeover! Crisp crackers coated with caramel and chocolate layer to create a salty, crunchy holiday treat. And now you can make it low-carb, paleo and vegan! (No gluten, grains, dairy, or sugar.)Jump to Recipe
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Cracker Candy Recipe Makeover
"Christmas Crack" has been a TOP requested recipe makeover from readers for a couple of years now. And now I see why!
Crisp salty crackers coated in smooth caramel, with rich chocolate on top! Sweet and salty, crunchy and scrumptious! Crispity, crunchity, munchy & YUMMY-- the candy that's hard to resist! (I guess that's why it's called crack - ha)
Traditionally it's made with saltine crackers (gluten), homemade caramel/toffee (butter and sugar) and chocolate (more sugar). And the recipe's not exactly fool-proof.
Honestly, it was intimidating to recreate a healthy version. I mean, homemade crackers - without any grains?? - that actually taste GOOD?
But hot dang I actually did it, you guys. (See my Ultra Crispy Low-Carb Cracker recipe HERE.) And they are surprisingly simple to make (when you have basic tools like a rolling pin, parchment paper, and a pizza wheel.)
Then I adapted my low-carb dairy-free Caramel recipe to layer on the crackers and added my favorite 85% dark chocolate on top. It's actually EASY to put together. No stovetop, no baking!
Hallelujah low-carb Christmas Cracker Candy is here!! Just in time for the holidays 🙂
Homemade Low-Carb Crackers - made with almond flour, flax, olive oil, and tapioca flour. This blend of "flours" creates a neutral flavor profile similar to wheat but without the gluten and grains. No canola oil, soy or other inflammatory ingredients.
Don't want to make your own crackers (even though I promise it's easy)? 🙂 You can use store-bought crackers made with almond flour such as Simple Mills brand (these are delicious and have clean ingredients, but aren't as low-carb). Or use any other gluten-free or low-carb crackers you like!
Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free Caramel
Unlike traditional caramel made with butter and sugar, my recipe is made with cashew butter, coconut oil, sweetener (I used Besti Brown "Sugar"), vanilla, and salt.
What is Besti? Besti brand "Brown Sugar"is a natural sweetener made with an allulose/monkfruit blend. It looks and tastes exactly like traditional brown sugar, but has zero calories and carbs. Plus zero sugar alcohol (erythritol) for those with sensitivities (like my husband). You can find Besti on the Wholesome Yum website HERE (Use code PRETTYPIES for a sweet discount!)
Cashew butter and coconut oil create a dairy alternative that is super creamy, rich and sweet. Adding vanilla and Besti brown sugar or caramel stevia makes it taste very similar to traditional caramel but without the dairy and sugar!
- Cashew butter is a special kind of nut butter that has an extra creamy consistency, a neutral flavor profile and it's own natural sweetness. It is a little higher in carbs than other nut butters, but it's hard to beat the taste! In a pinch, you could use another type of nut or seed butter like almond or peanut. I bet peanut butter with chocolate would be AMAZING actually! I'll have to try that next.
Sugar-Free and Paleo Chocolate
For this low-carb Christmas Crack, I used extra Dark Chocolate which is lower in sugar but still delicious. My favorite is Aldi European 85% Dark Chocolate Bars. Even though they have high cacao, no dairy, and low sugar, the taste is smooth and rich - not bitter! - like some brands can be.
Here are some other healthier and sugar-free chocolate options:
- Hu Chocolate for Paleo (sweetened with coconut sugar, clean ingredients, dairy/soy-free)
- Lakanto Chocolate - sugar-free, sweetened with erythritol and monkfruit. (available at Lakanto.com with a discount! Use code PRETTYPIES for 20% off)
- Lily's Chocolate - sugar-free, sweetened with stevia
- Unsweetened chocolate - add your own sweetener! Plus a little almond butter to town it down.
I recommend using a BAR of chocolate versus chips, which are made differently to make them retain their shape. Bars are better for melting coating. But if chips are all you have, that should work fine too. You can always add coconut oil to the chocolate, too, to make it easier to work with.
NOTE: If you use non-dark chocolate (sweeter than 85%), I recommend reducing the sweetener in the caramel so the crackers aren't *too* sweet.
How to Make Dairy-Free Christmas Cracker Candy
- Line a square pan with foil for easy removal.
- Fill the pan with crackers.
- In a small glass bowl, melt oil and stir together caramel ingredients.
- Pour caramel over crackers. Refrigerate or freeze until set.
- Chop chocolate and place in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring occassionally, until mostly melted. Stir smooth.
- Pour chocolate over and smooth with a spoon.
- Before it dries, sprinkle with your favorite toppings.
- Chill until set, cut into squares and enjoy!
You can customize your bark to make it how YOU like it! And to make it look so fun, festive, colorful and PRETTY. It really takes it to another level when you add layers of texture, color and crunch. So good!
Here are some topping ideas to give you some inspiration. Use as many as you like!
- Chopped toasted nuts such as pecans, walnuts, cashews or peanuts.
- Sliced or slivered almonds
- Seeds like pumpkin (green pepitas are so yummy!) or sunflower seeds
- Dried shredded unsweetened coconut flakes, shreds or chips (toasted or plain)
- Pomegranate arils (for a beautiful, colorful, juicy red burst!)
- Dried fruits such as cranberries, dates, fig or raisins (note these are not low-carb)
- Small candies (sugar-free if you like!)
- Sprikles!! (My favorite!! They make me happy :)) See below for dye free and sugar-free options.
Homemade Sugar-Free Sprinkles
I used regular sprinkles for this recipe because 1: that's all I had. And 2: I'm not going to worry about a teaspoon of sugar.
But there are options if you want to avoid artificial coloring and sugar or corn syrup! You can make OR buy "better" sprinkles. Several brands have popped up in recent years that offer dye-free and sugar-free options, such as these keto-friendly sprinkles I found on Amazon.
If you want to make your own sprinkles, there is a really easy method! I use shredded unsweetened coconut that I color with a couple of drops of all-natural food coloring.
How to Store
This cracker candy has the caveat that it needs to be kept chilled or frozen for the best results. The caramel will start to melt at room temperature.
If you want a more shelf-stable type of dessert, you can add in an extra 1-2 Tablespoons of coconut oil OR coconut butter to the caramel (plus a little more sweetener to compensate). This does change the flavor somewhat.
The good news is you can keep this crack frozen and it thaws in no time! Just a few minutes on the counter and it's perfectly crunchy and crispy!!
It should last in the freezer in an airtight container for at least one or two months. Or keep in the refrigerator for about 1-2 weeks. Line a storage container with a paper towel to help absorb any humidity or moisture so the crackers stay nice and crisp.
Time to make your holidays special with this cracker candy treat! Let me know if you try it. Be sure to leave a comment or rating below.
And if you have any questions, drop them in the comment section, too. I'm here to help! And a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and Happy New Year from my family to yours!
Low Carb Christmas Crack (Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan & Paleo)
- 16 low-carb crackers - recipe here, or use store-bought
- ¼ cup unsweetened cashew butter - or other nut or seed butter
- 2 Tbs Besti Brown Sugar (monkfruit/allulose) - or 2 squirts caramel or toffee stevia
- 2 Tbs coconut oil - or buttery flavor coconut oil, or refined coconut oil + butter extract, or palm oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 dash pink salt
- ½ cup good-quality dark chocolate bar, chopped - sugar-free if desired. ~ 2 oz.
- Line a 9x9" square pan with foil or parchment for easy removal.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt coconut oil. Stir in cashew butter, sweetener, vanilla and salt. Taste and adjust for sweetness.
- Pour caramel over crackers. Cover and refrigerate or freeze until set (about 30-60 minutes).
- Chop chocolate and place in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring occassionally, until almost melted. Stir until completelysmooth.
- Pour chocolate over set caramel layer and smooth with a spoon. Before it dries, sprinkle with your favorite toppings.
- Cover pan with foil and freeze or chill until hardened (about 1 hour)
- When set, cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!