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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Cookies made with crackers are popular, varied

Thursday, November 30, 2000

Compiled by Arlene Burnett

Kathi Jo Lappin of Uniontown, Ohio, sent in a simple request, but the response was overwhelming, as 56 readers offered their versions of a recipe for a cookie/candy made of soda crackers coated with chocolate or caramel.

We read through all 56 recipes and found that most were similar but with different names, such as Toffee Bars or Squares, Chocolate Crackers Bars, Brutzel (this was spelled in various ways), Cracker Candy, Saltine Snaps or Brittle, Soda Cracker Bars, Chocolate Squares and finally Sweet Treats.

And though the names differed, the ingredients were nearly the same. For instance,some recipes called for salted or unsalted crackers, semisweet chocolate or milk chocolate, brown sugar or dark brown sugar, baking soda or no baking soda.

Here is the recipe we believe Kathi Jo requested -- Heath Bar Cookies. We are also listing three other recipes we though our readers might find interesting.

Kitchen Mailbox appreciates the responses we receive, but, unfortunately, we can't publish all of them. So who should receive credit? We chose by the fairest means possible -- we closed our eyes and picked from the stack of recipes.

If you're not looking forward to spending days baking, each recipe below will get you into and out of the kitchen in less than an hour. They're all delicious. The cookies can be stored in cookie tins with tight-fitting lids (line the cans with foil or waxed paper), and they'll keep for weeks.

Heath Bar Cookies was sent in by Judy Moss of Mt. Lebanon.

Heath Bar Cookies

56 saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
12 ounces milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Lay saltines to cover cookie sheet. Melt butter over medium heat, add brown sugar, bring to boil and boil for 1 minute only. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Spread mixture over crackers (make sure all crackers are covered with mixture). Bake for no longer than 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips -- spread the chocolate as it melts over all crackers. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Let cool overnight or until set.

Note: We let ours cool overnight and decided to break the cookies apart instead of cutting into bars.

Here's another version of crackers cookies from Helen Lamison of Carnegie.

Almond Heaven Bites

1 package of Keebler Club Crackers (30 crackers)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Slivered almonds (we used a lit- tle more than 1/2 cup)

Grease a cookie sheet. Place crackers flat on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with almonds. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add sugar and vanilla, and bring to a slow bubble. Remove from heat and drizzle mixture over crackers and almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove immediately. Place cookies on waxed paper.

Another version of this cookie came from Gloria Tracy of Bethel Park.

Homemade Candy Bars

Waverly crackers (you'll need about 75)
1 cup butter or margarine (don't use spread)
1/2 cup milk
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Place 25 crackers in an ungreased 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan. In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add milk, graham cracker crumbs and sugars -- bring to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Pour half of the mixture over crackers, carefully spreading to cover all the crackers. Top with another 25 crackers. Spread the remaining sugar mixture and top with another 25 crackers. In a saucepan over low heat, stir peanut butter and the chips until melted and smooth. Spread over crackers. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Cut into small squares. Yields about 3 to 4 dozen.

Graham Cookies was sent in by Donna Bernazzoli of Verona.

Graham Cookies

Graham crackers
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Line a jelly roll pan with graham crackers (do not section the graham crackers). In a saucepan, melt the butter; blend in the brown sugar. Spread this mixture over the crackers. Sprinkle crackers with chopped nuts. Bake about 12 minutes in a 350-degree oven. When the crackers are still warm but not hot, break into sections. Yields about 4 dozen.


Lisa George of Point Breeze loves the tortilla soup served at Don Pablo's Restaurant. Lisa writes: "It's a slightly spicy chicken-based broth that's chock full of chicken and veggies and tortilla strips. I'd love to be able to make this soup at home; I've searched for a comparable recipe but haven't found one."

Val Jansante of Alliance, Neb. writes: "I ate at a restaurant that featured many types of sauces for spaghetti. One that I found that was unusual was a beer cheese sauce. Does anyone have a recipe for that?

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com. Please include a name, neighborhood and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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