Since gluten-grains don't have any obvious negative side-effects on me or my husband, we do allow ourselves treats during the holidays, though we still try to keep them minimal throughout most of the season, really up until the actual week of Christmas when we generally allow ourselves to eat whatever whenever.
This week though I desperately wanted some Christmas goodies! Half for the taste (DUH), and half for the experience of getting to do a little bit of holiday baking. So I thought about the few "bad" ingredients I have picked up over the last couple weeks in anticipation of this very moment, trying to think of what treat sounded best. Ah! Saltine Cracker Toffee, I tell myself. But of course, I have no saltine crackers in the house (What my brain thought it was doing including ingredients I didn't have, I'll never know when I told it to consider what I did have -- my mind has a mind of it's own. Uh, creepy.). Never one to shy away from a recipe due to missing even a main ingredient, I looked through my cupboard to see what I could substitute. Oatmeal! Yesssss. This will work just fine. So I set to work. I'll show you the end product now, because being the lazy blogger that I am (and anxious to just EAT IT) I forgot to take pictures until practically the end:
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Set aside an 8X8 glass pan, or any other similarly sized bakeware. In a small saucepan combine butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Allow to come to a slow/med boil and continue to boil, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and a very small sprinkle cayenne. Very small. You don't want the end product actually tasting spicy. But trust me, a teensy bit of heat just kind of enhances the flavors (I can't make chocolate anything without a sprinkle of cayenne or chili powder -- please don't start calling me Jesse, please!). Add the mix-in of your choice, stir until well coated and spread on the bottom of an 8X8 pan. Place in 400° oven for approximately 5 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly all over. Remove from oven and allow to sit approximately 3 minutes to cool slightly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips while still warm, allowing it to sit for another 3-5 minutes or until chocolate chips are nice and gooey. Gently spread melted chips over top of the toffee. Sprinkle generously with margarita salt (unless you used a salty filling like Saltines or pretzels).
Similar recipes call for a lot more chocolate (like an entire cup), but it's already so very sweet due to all the brown sugar that I like it with less chocolate like this. Which is saying something because I'm a choco-holic. Feel free of course to add more if you so desire! Allow the candy cool completely before cutting or it will fall apart.
Now is the hardest part of all. Try not to eat the entire pan in one day. Good luck! You're going to need it.