THE name for this delicious cookie-confection comes from the fact that you "crack" the final product into irregular pieces. But with the mayoral hijinks in Toronto this year, it's hard to ignore the contemporary connotations. This is, in fact, a highly addictive chocolate substance.
I get so many cookie recipes that (sadly) I can't use them all. Several readers have sent in versions of this recipe in years past. I've always hesitated, partly because the recipes would include slightly ominous instructions like "Don't even think about making this without aluminium foil," and "Boil EXACTLY five minutes, and no matter what happens, DO NOT STOP STIRRING." I was half-intrigued and half-terrified.
Avril Kousof sent in a recipe this year, and I finally decided I had to give it a try. As with many things that look daunting, making chocolate crack was not that hard once I jumped in. And the result, a wonderful fusion of caramel, chocolate and cookie is definitely worth it.
Approximately 200-250 g whole graham wafers (about one-half of a small box)
250 ml (1 cup) salted butter
250 ml (1 cup) brown sugar
500 ml (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Line a 25x38 cm (10x15 in) jelly roll pan with aluminium foil and spray with cooking spray or grease well with butter or margarine. Line the pan completely with a single layer of graham wafers, breaking wafers up, if necessary, to make them fit. Set aside.
Combine the butter and brown sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for exactly 5 minutes, stirring constantly. You might need to adjust the heat: If the mixture sputters too much, reduce the heat. If it stops boiling -- a full boil will have breaking bubbles all over the surface -- increase the heat.
Pour the mixture over the graham wafers as evenly as you can. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let the chips melt for a minute or two and then spread them as evenly as you can with a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon. Let cool to room temperature and then place pan in the fridge to chill. When the pan is chilled, peel the foil from the wafers and break the slab into random pieces.
Tester's notes: Not so scary, really, and very delicious. For variations, Avril has experimented with different kinds of chips and has sprinkled the warm chocolate with nuts, marshmallows or crushed candy canes.