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Fool’s Saltine Toffee

“Since tomorrow is National Cookie Day I thought you deserved something sweet. I published this recipe 4 years ago, but I have given you some updated photos. It is a good one and since Zoe is here visiting I’m sure we will be making  a batch. Enjoy”

Thirty years is a long time. Some years go faster than others. Some keep you wishing that they were already over. Some you wish you could repeat. You may wonder where this is going. Well, I’m one of those food bloggers that push the average age of food bloggers up-kind of way up. And this week I made it to thirty years of marriage. A milestone in my book. I should have something to say about that, huh?

 I suppose if it had been an easy year, I might not reflect so much; but this year has been hard. Financially things are challenging, but like so many we are weathering the storm. In fact, the last 10 years have been tough and I am truly amazed we are still here; together and in our home. Things have not only been financially rough, but we’ve had other hurdles to cross, too. And in my mind we will be jumping them for a long time. Now my husband is an optimist and he thinks we will be OK soon. I hope he’s right. Oh, I hope he’s right.
 Thirty years ago things were wonderful and the world was our oyster. Today, two perfect pearls later, things may not be so wonderful, but our pearls are still perfect and I am oh, SO proud of them. When I wonder what my contribution might be to our crazy world I have little doubt that we have given it something enormous, something special, something perfect and beautiful. But we all say that about our children, don’t we? (Well, if you don’t, you should.)  Getting married is the easy part. It’s the after that can become hard and it is the commitment we have to them and to each other that has caused us to endure so long.

Marriage to me is like the mountains. You have the peaks and you have the valleys. Well, the valleys can be beautiful but it is the peaks you have to climb to get in and out of the valley. Let me be honest here. There are times I thought I could just walk away but I knew that my decision impacted others and that was just a risk I wasn’t willing to take. My husband hasn’t been perfect but than I guess neither have I. However we love each other and are dedicated to each other and God willing, we still will have enough time to find our way together-happily ever after.
The world becomes very small when you are struggling. Struggles are not things that others want to hear about. Especially when it has been so long. But I am here to say that WE are still here. Together. Not perfect, but together. We’ve made it this far and we haven’t given up. We marked the occasion with three glasses of wine—- each. At a place where we had a Groupon. It was cheap and good thing, because other than the wine it wasn’t very good. Good luck to them, too! We went next door to get a hot dog but they told us they had just closed. We ended up eating Chinese that was  just OK, but we were together and we made an occasion that we will remember and thirty years is worth remembering-isn’t it? Maybe next year we can be in Hawaii or Italy or Napa but this year-well-it was OK to still just be here.
And that brings me to food. Something sweet, something simple. Marriage is so complicated that I didn’t want to stress my brain out further. And so I made these. They were sent to me long ago by the person who I baked Onion Lover’s Twist Challah with, and they have been in my repertoire since. A good thirty years. My kids love them as does my husband. They are perfect for gifts and you can make them several ways. I use saltines, but you could also use graham crackers or matzah, which is what I do in the spring. You can top them with milk chocolate or dark chocolate and add nuts if you want. Some people call them Fool’s Toffee which I guess is what marriage makes you feel like some days. And you break it into pieces like real toffee, so it too is a little rough around the edges. Like life. Sometimes the smoothest path is full of stones.

Fool’s Toffee

Makes 1 15 x 10″ pan
About 15 minutes to make and 5 minutes to bake
Ingredients:
2 sticks butter
1 c packed dark brown sugar
1 t vanilla
pinch of salt
12 oz chocolate chips
1/2 c nuts finely chopped (optional)
36 Saltines
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375.
Line a 15 x 10 pan with foil. Butter lightly. Line with saltines or matzoh.
Bring butter and sugar to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 4 minutes. Take off heat and stir in vanilla and salt. It will bubble. Make sure mixture is well mixed and cohesive. I usually beat this with a whisk to make sure everything is incorporated.
Pour butter mixture  over saltines evenly. Bake for 5 minutes.It will bubble, but do not let this burn! Take out of oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. As they melt, spread  them evenly over your toffee. Top with finely chopped nuts if you choose. Refrigerate until cool. Break into pieces.
Take a bite and remember how sweet life is.
Sweet Goodness

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    December 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I don't think I've seen saltines used in a toffee recipe before! Nice twist.

    I'll bet I push the age of bloggers out even more than you. We've been married 31 years, but I've known my wife for for quite a bit longer than that. Nice post – keep on truckin'.

  • Reply
    Abbe
    December 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    You will like these! And we, too knew each other for 4 years before marriage. Now we just have to get everyone our age to understand this blogging stuff! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Two Healthy Kitchens
    December 4, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Oh my goodness, this toffee truly does look so delicious! From your pretty photos, it seems so gourmet, but when I glanced through the recipe card, I realized it's actually incredibly easy – bonus! Hope you and Zoe have lots of fun together this weekend! (Psssst … I've missed reading your blog lately – it's good to be back! 😀 ) ~Shelley

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 1:58 am

      So easy Shelley and so nice to see you again! You need to try this. You will love it!

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    December 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    My husband will love these too!!
    Congratulations on Pearl Anniversary, Abbe!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:05 am

      Thanks Angie. Not like he was around to celebrate!

  • Reply
    Sippity Sup
    December 4, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    30 years is an achievement and I'm happy to hear that the valleys in life are as navigable as the peaks. XOGREG

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:06 am

      Well, actually since this is an older post with way new photos, it is now up to 34. Long time. Getting closer to those peaks! Thanks Greg!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    December 4, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Good to see this dish reappear! Have fun with Zoe!

  • Reply
    Karen Harris
    December 4, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    We are right behind you. My how the years roll by. This toffee looks great. Enjoy your time with Zoe.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:07 am

      This is so good to have in your back pocket. Love this recipe! Thanks Karen!

  • Reply
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    December 4, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Oh goodness, this toffee looks too good for words! I wish I could steal a piece right now…

    And happy anniversary! 🙂

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:07 am

      I wish you could too, Pamela! It is worth stealing!

  • Reply
    Carol at Wild Goose Mama
    December 5, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Very very true words about marriage that I agree with totally. I've only been married once for 25 yrs and I
    am a widow now. Somehow thru thick, thin and chaos we stayed together and it was sooooo worth it.
    Of course he annoyed me by dying. We had finally gotten many aspects 'right'. When I hear about some divorces, my silent opinion is if me and my husband could bring a marriage out of the ashes because of effort and a deep love for your children then I suspect more people could too. But since I don't walk in their shoes, truly what do I know.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:09 am

      We are together on that thought. I think you know a lot more than you let on! And dying? Well, I'd shoot someone for that!I am sorry for your loss, Carol. It truly sounds like you had the good times and the bad and I know you are grateful for all of it. Hugs, my friend.

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    December 5, 2015 at 1:55 am

    I've made this with matzah, but now want to try saltines! We'll hit 30 years in April—so glad to have a blogger friend my age 🙂 So many are as young or younger than our children—yikes. I totally agree with your reflections on marriage—we both should be proud we chose well and endured. xoxo

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:10 am

      Both are good. I like the saltiness of the crackers though! Enduring. A lot to be said for that!

  • Reply
    Paula | Vintage Kitchen
    December 5, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    True words Abbe, though I was only married 10 years, the world gets small when you're struggling, you're so right. Congrats on so many years and wonderful children! I've saved up this recipe to make soon. Sounds amazing and so easy!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:12 am

      The world gets very small Paula. But it is starting to grow again and that is good. You will love this recipe!

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    December 5, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    I adore toffee – love this with saltines! How smart and I bet it is so tasty.

  • Reply
    Cathleen
    December 6, 2015 at 2:22 am

    I have always wanted to try to make this! This looks amazing!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:13 am

      Cathleen, I think this recipe was written for you! So easy and quick and totally delicious!

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    December 6, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Abbe, thoughtful post, I hear you the easy part is getting married it's staying together that's the work. In my case well worth it, I guess some type of struggle makes it even better, easy to say now. Ha! Love, love this toffee, so nice of you to make it for your daughter. Happy Holidays!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:14 am

      Totally agree with that statement, though I am not sure that all marriages are struggles, nor should they be. But if they are it is worth a second look to figure out what you can do better. Thanks Cheri!

  • Reply
    Beth
    December 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Congratulations on 30 years of marriage. My husband and I are coming up on 25 years, and it's hard to believe that much time has passed. Thanks for this honest post, and I wish you much happiness in the years ahead. xo

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:15 am

      Don't know where the time goes, Beth. It is now 34 since this was an old post. I figured my photos were so awful back then! Thanks you so much and happiness to you, too. Sometimes the best part is that it does go fast. But most of the time one wonders where it went!

  • Reply
    Holly @ abakershouse.com
    December 7, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Beautifully written and so glad you shared both your lovely words and this recipe. Is Zoe home already? Have a wonderful time together!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:16 am

      She got home Thursday night and we've been busy ever since! Thanks Holly. Sometimes it is worth letting out!

  • Reply
    ChgoJohn
    December 7, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Congratulations on your 30th anniversary, Abbe. I don't know much about marriage, sorry to say, but I do know toffee. Yours sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    December 7, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    I love making almond toffee but this recipe is new to me! I love the salty, saltine twist. I must try them this year. I think things have been rough for a lot of people the past 10 years – ever since the market bubble burst and then 9/11. Nest eggs were hit hard for so many, including ourselves. But, we're still together too and also have our two beautiful pearls and 2, almost 3 little pearls 🙂

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:22 am

      Try them Susan. I've been making them for over 3 years now. You are right about the past ten years. Hard times make relationships that much harder. It is the pearls that make it worth it. And two little pearls-well I would call those gems!

  • Reply
    beyondkimchee
    December 7, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    This is a great looking toffee. I haven't made toffee for years and this inspires me to make some this holiday. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 8, 2015 at 2:22 am

      Try this. It is really foolproof. And it is so quick and easy!

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    December 8, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    I like toffee so I know I would enjoy this little treat.

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