Since last November when I posted the recipe for “Crunchers” (one of the most popular recipes on Pinterest), it has likewise gone on to be the most popular recipe on my site.
I really adored the Crunchers, so imagine my distress when two readers within a week of each other let me know that the recipe had disastrous results for them. You can read the comments over here, at the bottom of the post.
I try to share recipes that I have tried and loved and that work. That said, I wanted to see what might have caused such awful results. In both cases the butter separated out from the graham-sugar mixture that gets spread between the cracker layers.
I remade the recipe yesterday. I noticed that I had not paid attention to how high the heat was during the 5 minutes that the graham mixture boils. This time I did note that my heat was on medium high and the graham mixture was ready just before the 4 minute mark. I kept it boiling, though, to see what happened at 5 minutes.
Sure enough, there was some separation of butter. I poured it off into a bowl and used the remaining mixture with excellent results. The mixture was thick and easy to spread.
Bonus here: I saved the butter and used it to make pancakes in place of the melted butter called for. Gave them a hint of graham-brown sugar flavor.
One thing I did differently this time around was to use 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and omit the 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips. I got a perfectly smooth chocolate-peanut butter glaze and I liked the flavor far better.
Here’s the updated recipe.
80 Keebler Club Crackers (or use Nabisco Waverly Crackers, Christie Toppable Crackers or a similarly buttery cracker that has a rectangular shape.)
1 cup butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Line an ungreased 9 X 13-inch baking pan with foil, allowing foil to extend about an inch on either end. Line the foil with 1 layer of club crackers, cutting to fit if necessary.
2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, milk and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. (Begin timing 5 minutes from when you see the first bubbles.)
Note: Since “medium heat” might be different on various models of stoves, I recommend watching the mixture and at the 3 to 4 minute mark remove from the heat if the consistency is that of a thickening pudding. (Does that make sense?)
If the butter does separate, use a slotted spoon to drop the graham mixture over the crackers. Pour off the butter into a bowl lined with foil and set aside to let it solidify. Re-melt the butter and use for any dessert recipe that calls for melted butter or to grease a skillet.
3. Remove from heat and spread half of graham mixture evenly over crackers. Place another single layer of crackers evenly over graham mixture, cutting to fit if necessary. Spread remaining graham mixture evenly over crackers. Top evenly with remaining crackers.
4. In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter and chocolate chips. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over top of crackers. Cover, and chill for at least 1 hour.
5. Lift foil overhang and remove Crunchers from pan. Cut into bars.
Makes a lot.
In keeping with revisits, how about a lovely version of this Neil Young classic by Sam Amidon?
Mr. Amidon is from Brattleboro, Vermont. Makes me like him even better. :)