1. Gather your ingredients
- 32 saltine-style crackers
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) dark chocolate (semi- or bittersweet) chips or chopped chocolate
- 2/3 cup toasted, chopped almonds or a nut of your choice (optional)
- Sea salt for sprinkling
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups ice cream, any flavor
2. Prepare your oven and pan
- Heat your oven: To 350°F (175°C).
- Prepare pan(s): Line the bottom and sides of 1 9×13-inch baking sheet or 2 8×8-inch cake pans with foil, then lightly coat foil with nonstick spray.
3. Get busy with the saltine crackers
- Arrange crackers in a single layer so that they fit in the bottom of your pan. In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to cut any to make them fit flat. In ours, I used a serrated knife to cut several to fit neatly. Having no crackers overlap will make it easier to spread the caramel in a few minutes.
4. Whip up a caramel filling
- In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar together. Stir until it begins to boil, then whisk for 2 to 3 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour over cracker-lined pan(s) and use a spatula to evenly spread the caramel, working quickly as it will be eager to cool and set.
5. Bake and add chocolate
- Bake in your preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, checking in at 10 minutes to make sure the corners aren’t darkening too quickly.
- Remove from oven and scatter chocolate chips over caramel crackers. Wait 5 minutes for them to soften, then use a spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer.
- Sprinkle with nuts (optional) and a couple pinches of sea salt.
- Transfer the pan(s) to freezer until absolutely cold and solid, about 15 to 30 minutes.
- Using the foil to lift cracker/caramel/chocolate sheet, carefully transfer the sheet to a cutting board and remove the foil.
- If you’ve made this in one 9 x 13″ pan, cut your sheet evenly in half with a serrated knife.
- Line the bottoms and sides of your baking pan (now foil-free) with a piece of plastic wrap.
- Place your first cracker/caramel/chocolate sheet side down in the bottom of your pan, with the cracker on the bottom, chocolate on the top.
- Scoop your desired amount of ice cream over the sheet and spread it into an even layer.
- Place second sheet of candy, chocolate side up, on top, pressing it onto the ice cream.
- Return to freezer for several hours, at least 4 but probably 8 is best to get the block of sandwiches solid enough to cut
8. Cut and enjoy!
- When sandwich block is frozen solid, transfer to a cutting board (you can also freeze your cutting surface for 10 minutes before using, to give you more time before things get too melty) and use a sharp serrated knife to very, very carefully saw your block into ice cream sandwich squares.
- I cut my 8×8-inch blocks into 16 2-inch sandwiches. This is definitely the peskiest part. If things warm and melt too fast, just place the whole thing back in the freezer for 10 minutes before continuing.
- Once cut, return sandwiches to freezer to let them firm up again, before transferring them to a container or freezer bag for store, or, you know, your mouth for near-immediate gratification.