Many times I see recipes, which I don't try out, calling for Ritz crackers or saltine crackers. Here in Europe, crackers are what you put cheese and a cocktail onion on top of and spear it together with a cocktail stick to serve as party snacks. They are salty! Yet in the U.S. you seem to use them in sweet recipes. Am I getting this wrong? Can somebody please enlighten me? Thank you so much.
Hi, Cettina! How is Malta?
Lots of Americans use crackers for cheese and other savory treats too. I think that crackers are used to add a crunch without extra sugar or nuts. They are pretty bland so will absorb whatever flavor you put with them and will stay crunchy or soften easily, depending on how you cook them. I believe that it has roots in Depression cooking from the 20's, with recipes like Mock Apple Pie (which is just crackers in crust with pie spices, but is supposed to be pretty close in taste to the original.
I think that most recipes call for a little bit of salt, like in breads and cookies (or biscuits for you folks :), so the saltiness isn't a problem as extra salt isn't added. Saltines are basically flour and salt, and Ritz are just a buttery version of this. We also have a tradition of sweet and salty snacks, like caramel corn, spiced nuts or chocolate covered pretzels.
Personally, I haven't made any of these recipes because I am sort of a "from scratch" snob but I think that they should be tasty enough. There is a chocolate covered Ritz with peppermint, which is supposed to emulate Thin Mint Cookies that I'm always tempted to try around Christmas.
Let us know if you try any of them and how they turned out. I'm interested to see what our other members have to say about this seemingly strange American addition.
It is the sweet and salty factor! yum! My favorite thing that I make every Christmas is Ritz crackers with peanut-butter dipped in Chocolate. (the kind that hardens) you make a sandwich out of the cracker and pb then dip it into the chocolate. It is the best thing you have ever tasted especially if you love peanut butter.
Like the other lady said usually crackers take on the flavor of whatever you are putting them in. Have you every had a chocolate covered pretzel? If not they usually sell them at Starbucks, if you try one you will see the salty and sweet factor can be very harmonious. Experiment! You will never know if you like it or not if you don't every try it!
RE: Crackers in sweet recipes called Toffee Chips use a cookie sheet with raised edges. Cover the bottom of pan completely with saltine crackers. In a pan put 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar--boil this mixture 4 min. Pour over crackers, spreading over all crackers. Bake 5 min. at 350 degrees F. Oven should be preheated. When 5 min is up remove from oven and spread 12 oz. choc chips over all and sprinkle finely chopped nuts over all. Put in freezer until frozen. Break into small pieces to serve Keep unused pieces in freezer. Enjoy!
Hi Jess! Here in Malta the weather is warmish - about 72 degrees, sunny and beautiful, makes me feel a bit guilty listening to the news of countries which are snowed under and miserably cold! It does get very cold at night - coats, gloves and hats are necessary, but the daytime is lovely! Anyway, I have finally understood the concept of the saltine/ritz cracker business. Basically they are the same as what we call "cream crackers" in Europe so now I can go ahead and make my recipes with the correct substitute. Thank you all so much for your input. It's much appreciated.
Hi, I just made a recipe of the "Rolo Turtles" and they turned out just as the recipe on the bag said. I'm tempted to use Hershey Kisses next time as DD is not fond of caramel. I also made a crockpot full of chocolate covered peanuts. And it is very good. So easy and it made about 130 pieces, but using a teaspoon instead of the tablespoon I used the recipe says you can get up to 170 pieces. Which I will do next time.
Happy Holidays everyone. GG Vi
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