With the holidays almost here it’s time to start cooking! Yepie, baking is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. I love that I can dig into all my mom’s old recipes and create some super easy, totally yummy Christmas recipes with my kids. I can remember making this chocolate, caramel, peanut butter and graham cracker Christmas toffee recipe with my mom.
Chocolate, Caramel, Peanut Butter and Graham Cracker Toffee
Over the years, we have tried this recipe different ways, and in my opinion, it’s best with graham crackers and creamy peanut butter. My family isn’t big on the peanuts on top, but they LOVE the creamy Skippy brand peanut butter and Honey Maid Graham Crackers we used this time. Not to mention it’s super easy and doesn’t take long at all.
- 12 to 14 Honey Maid Graham Crackers (your favorite flavor is excellent, we used honey flavor)
- ¾ cup butter (unsalted or salted is fine if you use unsalted be sure and add a nice sized dash of salt)
- ½ cup brown sugar (light)
- ¼ cup creamy Skippy Peanut Butter
- 2 ½ cups chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Arrange Honey Maid graham crackers in a single layer on a 15 x 10 baking sheet.
- Combine butter and sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat constantly stirring until the butter and sugar are melted. Boil melted mixture together for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
- Pour hot mixture over the Honey Maid Grahams evenly covering completely and spreading to the edge of the pan. After pouring the mixture on the crackers in the above mixture, I used a spoon to be sure all crackers were covered by moving mixture toward the edges.
- Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven but leave the oven on.
- Pour peanut butter into the pan, used to melt sugar and butter, it should still be warm enough to melt the Skippy Peanut Butter. If it’s not, turn on low and melt peanut butter.
- Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. You may want to place back in the oven for no longer than 1 minute to melt the chocolate chips. If the chips melt without the oven, you can turn the oven off. Once chips have melted, smooth them evenly to cover the top of the crackers.
- Sprinkle with fun holiday sprinkles, or my husband likes them with crushed candy canes on top. You can also use peanuts or any other topping that sounds yummy.
- Allow to cool in the pan lined with foil for 15 minutes, remove from pan, and refrigerate until chocolate is hard.
- Enjoy! Oh, they are great frozen too!
Mattie and Catie started out helping me, but when I turned around, they were gone. I knew it had to be pretty darn important for them to be missing helping me bake something fun, yummy, and holiday themed. I was right, Mattie noticed the leaves had finally fallen from the tree, and they had to play in it. We ended up with a lot of rain late this year, so the leaves have taken a little longer to fall off. With all the recent cold weather, I guess they finally had it, and the girls couldn’t stand it – they had to go play!
Gingerbread House Fun With Kids
Making a gingerbread house isn’t easy anyway unless of course you’re a professional gingerbread house maker. They might not be easy to make, but they are loads of fun to create, because the sky is the limit, and it’s made out of sweet goodies and our favorite Honey Maid Grahams.
I do have a recipe that allows us to create our gingerbread pattern pieces, but I honestly like using graham crackers more, because it tastes better when the house begins to come down! That’s what it is all about – building it and slowly eating the house down to the bare floor.
- Honey Maid Graham’s
- Royal Icing
- Piece of cardboard or tray
Royal Icing (glue to hold your gingerbread house together)
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar (divided)
- Whisk together the egg whites and 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar until the egg whites are smooth.
- If you are planning to eat your gingerbread house and worry about raw eggs, you can place the egg and powder sugar mixture in the microwave for 30 to 35 seconds. The mixture will need to reach 160 degrees, and you cannot allow it to get warmer than 175 degrees. You can also consider using liquid egg whites or pasteurized dried egg whites.
- You’ll now add the rest of the powdered sugar to your egg and sugar mixture and use a mixer to combine the mixture. On high continue to beat until the icing begins to hold stiff peaks. If needed, you can add more sugar to get it to form stiff peaks. Once the mixture is complete, you can use a pastry bag, or cut a baggie to resemble a pastry bag. I used an old cookie icing bottle because I could shut the lift to keep it from drying out, and it was easy to apply frosting with the bottle. Whatever works for you is great!
Assembling the Gingerbread House
I suggest planning out your house. If you’re building a gingerbread house with your children, it will be so much fun! Even if things don’t turn out, perfect the memories are always 100% fantastic!
Mattie wanted to use a large tray and make a floor, so we lined the whole tray with unbroken Honey Maid Graham Crackers. You don’t have to do this, but it’s an excellent excuse to eat Honey Maid Grahams with frosting when it’s all said and done. I know that’s why Vayda and Mattie wanted to build a floor and cover it in icing.
Next, we planned how we wanted to do the house. I was planning on the traditional gingerbread house pattern, but the kids wanted to try something new. I was starting to get a feeling I should have told them we were going to stick with the pattern; I had to remind myself this gingerbread house wasn’t about me, LOL. It might sound crazy, but I love making gingerbread houses. My brother and I used to build massive gingerbread houses that would take days to make. We had fun and got good at it. Now that we have kids of our own we both have a hard time backing off lol.
Mattie and Vayda decided they wanted to make the whole back side of the gingerbread floor a house, and use the rest for trees and things. GREAT IDEA, and it’s time to start on the walls!
I have always found it easier to build the walls and allow them to dry thoroughly before putting them up. The above picture is the back wall since the house is a little bigger let the walls dry before attempting to put them up. You’ll need four walls total, and be thinking about the roof.
You can do a pitched roof or a flat roof. Most people do the pitched roof, so we decided to do a flat food and make two small bedrooms up top – one for Vayda and one for Mattie. We went a little icing happy, which is totally okay if you’re planning to cover the roof with snow.
To make the pitched roof you’ll need 2 Honey Maid graham crackers and glue the ends together, so it looks like a pitched roof. We did two of pitched roofs and fixed together four more graham cracker pieces for the flat roof. The girls wanted to make the house look like our neighbor’s house, so far so good.
So we have four walls, one flat roof, and two pitched roofs drying. Allow to sit until dry.
The girls wanted to cut a window and door so they could put Santa in the window and a wreath on a cracked door. So before we put up the door, we cut the pieces out. If you’re going to cut the graham crackers be sure to warm your knife just a little. This will help keep the Honey Maid Grahams from cracking or breaking when you cut them.Mattie made a wreath on the door and set it to dry.
I waited a bit to put a roof on because I knew we were going to need access to put the door in the way the girls wanted it. BAM, door is up, looks great, and now it’s time to put the roof on. First you’ll lay the sheet of 4 Honey Maid Graham Crackers down. Make sure its’ stable, and place your two roofs on top.
This is where you’ll probably want to stop and let things dry, and make the kids take a lunch break because Vayda oh clumsy Vayda. She was standing next to the house talking to me and BAM. Yes, crash the roof caved in, broke, and we had to fix it the best we could at this point. I was a little upset, but it was funnier than anything. The look on her poor face wasn’t anything I can even describe. I don’t think any of us knew whether to cry or laugh. Of course, we laughed for Vayda’s sake; the last thing we wanted was her upset because she is clumsy, LOL.
This is our finished product! It’s after the girls piled on the coconut, because they wanted a lot of snow, and tried to make icicles dripping from the side of the house. They did great, didn’t they! I’m pretty happy with it, and more than happy with the time I got to spend with the girls.