I know there are probably lot of you out there who either need a really simple last minute gift, or who with the terrible economy want to make INEXPENSIVE gifts this year. This is one of the easiest, cheapest, and yet most impressive gourmet-ish gifts I've ever found. My friends call this recipe Christmas Crack because it is addictive, and you crack it apart, but I've found this doesn't tell people much about it, so call it whatever you wish. It's basically chocolate covered toffee pieces, and it's made with things that are probably already in your kitchen. Here goes:
1 sleeve saltine crackers
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 package chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a 10" x 15" with foil (the kind of sheet that has raised edges!). Spray with Pam, or grease VERY lightly with butter. Cover the cookie sheet with a single layer of saltines. Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Pour over the saltines, and try to spread it as evenly as possible. Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. When you remove it, the caramel mixture will be molten and boiling; allow to cool about 3 min, or until you can see the crackers distinctly, which will have shifted while baking. Push them back into order with a fork or knife.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the toffee and let sit for about 5 minutes to melt. Once melted spread chocolate evenly. If desired, sprinkle on pecans and press lightly into the chocolate. Let cool a bit and then transfer to fridge to harden.
Once hard, break the candy into small pieces and place in containers. I warn you, this is addictive to MAKE and to EAT, but go easy on it, as it is literally butter + sugar. I give it as gifts in tins to people I'm attempting to impress (in-laws, boss, etc), and in gladware to everyone else who has already been impressed and is now just awaiting their yearly fix. (I actually wash and reuse the gladware that my lunch meat comes in so I can do some recycling and save some money.)