Sister #2 has been feeling a bit at odds with the universe, which seems to be throwing everything it's got at her. To top it all off, this week she wound up in the hospital with a bad case of strep throat. She's on the mend, but a care package is in order, so today I put on my apron and got to baking. First up was a batch of lemon bread, a family favorite and something that keeps (and ships) well.
The other half of the care package was another batch of the chocolate caramel crackers I made earlier this week, but this time I departed a bit from Deb's recipe. Since the changes I made were rather substantial, I've decided to post my version of the recipe in full. The other post will be updated with a link to this one.
My main problem with the recipe in its original form was that when I made it, the caramel didn't turn out properly. I don't know if I stirred it too much, boiled it too briefly, or if it just wasn't my day for caramel. Whatever the cause, I boned up on caramel- and toffee-making, and decided to make some adjustments (hewing largely to this recipe) that I thought might give me better results.
The first change was in the ingredients: instead of all brown sugar, I used half white/granulated sugar and half brown sugar. I also added a couple of tablespoons of water, and incorporated the salt at the beginning of cooking rather than at the end. Next, I employed a candy thermometer and rather than boiling the mixture for a prescribed amount of time, I let it boil until it reached the hard crack stage, 300F. Furthermore, instead of all the stirring that Deb recommends, I mostly left the caramel alone. I only stirred it a bit now and again to make sure that things were homogeneous. Finally, instead of keeping the matzoh + caramel in the oven for 15 minutes, I only left it in there until it looked like the caramel had oozed through the matzo appropriately, which was about 8-10 minutes for me.
The result was a rich, toffee-like candy with a satisfying crunch, miles better than the first batch. I think Sister #2 will like it.
Recipe below the fold.