I love the story of this recipe. My mom tasted it had a bowling banquet, I'm from the Midwest, there are a lot of bowling banquets. She loved the cookie, so she got the recipe. She's been making the recipe ever since for holiday parties and to give to neighbors as gifts. I now associate the holidays with sheets of this bark hardening in the fridge.
So anyway, one year a five-pound bag of pecans arrived at my parent's house and it took them awhile to figure out where the pecans came from. Then my mom remember she submitted her recipe for pecan bark to a pecan farm and they liked it! So her prize was a giant bag of pecans. True story.
The next year I'm in Brooklyn and I wanted to make some pecan bark myself. So I called my mom and asked her for the recipe, she tells me it's on the website. Also a true story. So when people ask me for recipes and I'm like, "they're on my blog," I'm not a jerk, it's genetic.
I added some vanilla and sea salt as suggested by Irene and it really kicked up the bark a notch. I know there are a hundred recipes for this bark/toffee/cookie/candy thing, but we've always called it pecan bark in my family and we've always served it as a cookie. Whatever you call it, it's simple and tasty - sweet, crunchy, a little salty, and there is a nice balance between the saltines, chocolate, and nuts. Plus there is a ton of butter and sugar, you really just can't go wrong when you start a recipe by melting 2 sticks of butter in the microwave!
Pecan Bark Adapted from Surratt Farms (JB, Farmington Hills is my Mom!) Yield ~ 24 pieces
40 saltine crackers 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 sticks unsalted butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips 1 cup roasted, chopped pecans generous sprinkling of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay out the saltine crackers so that they are not overlapping.
- Heat the butter and brown sugar in the microwave until they are melted together. Stir in the vanilla.
- Pour over the saltine crackers and bake for 13-15 minutes.
- Immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Let melt for a minute and use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate.
- Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top along with the sea salt.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight so everything can harden.
- Break into pieces for serving.