My mother-in-law makes numerous fabulously yummy Christmas goodies all through December. She's most known for her gingerbread (which I'll be sharing later this month, when I stinking finish my first three dimensional gingerbread house), but she has a lot of other goodies that I love as well.
My utmost favorite are her Mock Heath Bars. Not only are they addicting, delicious, irresistible, and down right yummers, they are unbelievably simple to make. I shall show you.
First off, the ingredients: about 40 Saltines, 1 C. butter, 12 oz. chocolate chips, 1 C. brown sugar, and about 1/2-3/4 C. pecans.
Take a jelly roll pan (aka: a cookie sheet with high sides) and line it with foil. Then spray it with cooking spray. Then preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Start lining up your saltines on the pan, making sure they are as close together as possible.
I broke some in half when there was a giant gap on the side of the pan. I used about 40 saltines total.
Then you'll need to start melting one cup of butter. Now, I'd suggest making sure that the butter isn't frozen (like mine was), but it still melts. It just takes longer.
Measure out one cup of packed brown sugar
and add it to the melting butter.
Stir until they've melted together and let it boil for about 3 minutes.
It'll look like this when the three minutes are done.
Now you're going to take you're boiling pot of brown sugary butter bliss and pour it all over the saltines you've lined up.
The crackers might float a bit. That's okay.
Pop them in the oven for about 5 minutes.
While you're waiting take about 2 handfuls of pecans. You could use more, but this is the amount that made me happy. You're going to pound them to smithereens.
I would suggest putting them in a ziploc bag before you commence the squishing. That way they won't make a giant mess. Oh, and use the flat side of the mallet so you don't poke holes in the bag. And if you don't have a mallet, use the bottom of a can of corn or something else heavy with a flat surface.
After 5 minutes, you're cracker and butter/sugar concoction should look bubbly like this. (This will totally freak Evan out. He hates things that look bubbly like this.)
You will now take your bag of chocolate chips and start spreading them over the crackers.
In hindsight, I would recommend making sure the chocolate is a little more evenly distributed. No biggie, but I found it melted a bit unevenly, making it more of a pain to spread. Now, pop these back in the oven until the chocolate melts (4-6 minutes).
When the chocolate has melted to your satisfaction, start spreading it everywhere with a spatula. Please try not to lick the spatula until you are done spreading the chocolate. No one wants your cooties.
Now, sprinkle your crushed pecans all over.
It'll look like this when you're done.
You are now going to chill your Mock Heath Bars. I put mine in the refrigerator for about an hour. It would appear that I also need to clean my fridge of the leftovers that are trying to take over. Hm.
When they are sufficiently chilled, take out the pan and start breaking the bars into small pieces. Make sure you sample one (or one hundred) to make sure they are adequate. You wouldn't want to pass these out and find out they were disgusting, would you?
And now you are ready to share them with loved ones. Or eat them all for breakfast. Or have your husband take them to his office and have them magically disappear in record time without finding out who the culprit was who ate them all. Perhaps the boss? Or the paralegals? Who knows. All I know is, I'll have to be making more now since I've lost half my batch.