In the Kitchen Inspiration When life is tough

Chocolate Brittle Crackers

Because I’ve felt a little brittle at times this week, and because, well, chocolate is always a good thingI thought I’d share my recipe for Chocolate Brittle Crackers with you. Scroll to the bottom for the yumminess.

chocolate brittle crackers

It’s been a week of blindsides. Which are harder to deal with when you’re feeling brittle.

It’s a funny thought, brittle. An oxymoron really. A conundrum. Seemingly strong, but so fragile. If you have a friend wading through grief right now, you should know something. Maybe it’s been a few months since their source of grief and they say all the right things and look so strong. But, trust me, their sadness is still raw to them. They still have a spot or two in every day that feels oh-so-very empty. They’re still brittle.

chocolate brittle crackers

Four months after sitting with mom as she left a world of pain and cancer to meet her Savior . . . three months after collapsing in disbelief in a hospital waiting room under the news that God had called my Daddy into glory as well . . . and I’m still brittle. I’m still prone to shatter into tears when the fullness of my loss cascades down on me at odd moments. But I’m also still reminded daily that I serve an omnipotent God who does more than watch my back. He is my backbone.

{{ I was blindsided by emptiness. }}

One day this week I was looking through pictures for something entirely different and tripped over ones of mom and dad’s extended visit to our farm last summer.

I was blindsided when I stumbled on images of their smiles shared with granddaughters, eager hands stained with mulberry juices, and tired slouches that resulted from barn chores they wanted to help with. I suddenly felt empty and alone. (I’m writing occasionally about my experiences in dealing with grief these past months, if that interests you those posts are all gathered here.)

{{ I was blindsided by spring snow.}}

Then, in typical New England fashion, we enjoyed a winter blizzard on the first day of April. The forecast said a few inches. When the skiffs started, we wrapped up farm chores and I decided to go for a walk with Bixby, realizing it would be the last chance to hear the patter of the snow fall while surrounded by the silence of the white-washed woods until next winter (well, hopefully).

We walked our typical route for checking the sap buckets–well he ran it; seven times; back and forth. (Bix is a New England snow dog at heart.) But there was no need to peek under any lids. It hadn’t warmed up enough that day to convince the sap to dance, or even amble.

Then we woke up to find the snow had done all the dancing, all night long, and kept on waltzing through the day, leaving us with about 15 inches of beauty by the end of April Fool’s Saturday.

I enjoyed the view from my desk and helped, here and there, as the maple syrup operation manager (aka hubby) ran nine buckets of sap through all his stations. For a good hour, in fact, he had every stage busy, from the outside propane boil, to the indoors RO filtering, to the stovetop final boil time. (I’ve written lots here about how we make our delicious backyard maple syrup.)

We had stored the buckets of sap in the back hall this week. Because in a 2oo-year-old farmhouse (give or take a few decades) the back hall that leads to the barn is unheated and can be a nice walk-thru cold storage area, if you use it wisely, unlike we did on our first winter on our homestead.

{{ I was blindsided with hope. }}

But this week I was also blindsided in a marvelous way. You may remember my daughter whose example taught me about seeing beauty in the midst of sorrow? After 18 months of chronic pain, after 10 specialists, after the appearance that there may be no end to her pain, she met the right team of doctors, at the right hospital, at the right time. This week, three weeks after surgery, my sweet daughter has had some joyful, pain-free moments.

I realized the baby chicks that had just hatched when I first wrote about my daughter’s chronic pain– which no medical professional seemed able to help with– are now providing us with those longed-for eggs that we thought seemed so far away. The promise is fulfilled every morning when I reach into those nesting boxes and pull out nourishment that I can carry back to the house in my pockets.

Even better, the one we named Brooke (because her mother was River, the calm beautiful hen) has decided to go broody and mother a flock of her own. We’ve incubated eggs many times, and we also had the joy of watching a mother hen raise her young on our farm last spring. The latter option is, by far, the better. But it’s not something you can force. You just have to hope for it and wait. If you can rest while you wait, all the better.

And, much more importantly, my daughter is recovering well from surgery. She’s dealing with therapy and retraining nerves and muscles to do what they’re supposed to do, and do it without pain.

So, yes, I’m still brittle. Maybe I always will be.

But God chooses to fill my brittle days with blessings and blindside me with reminders to lean on Him, because He is the omnipotent source of all strength, He’s the most glorious fullfilled promise ever, He’s unbreakable, and He chooses to be my backbone where I am brittle.

chocolate brittle crackers


chocolate brittle crackers

chocolate brittle crackers

chocolate brittle crackers

chocolate brittle crackers

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 11.42.12 PM

chocolate brittle crackers

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:5-6


Print Recipe
Chocolate Brittle Crackers
Warning: This stuff is super easy to make, but it's also super easy to devour!
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. (You don't wanna skip this part. Trust me. I know... Did you see my picture above?) Spray the foil with nonstick spray.
  2. Lay the crackers out in a single layer on top of the foil, doing your best to cover every bit of the tray. If you have leftover crackers, you can crush them to sprinkle on top if you'd like. (I skip that part. I like my chocolate fully exposed. 🙂 )
  3. Melt the butter with the brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring and bringing it to a rolling boil.
  4. As soon as it's boiling, carefully pour the sugar-butter mixture over the crackers in an even layer, trying to cover most of the crackers.
  5. Bake the toffee-covered crackers at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the hot toffee, and allow them to sit for a minute to melt. Use a spatula to spread the melted chips over the top in an even layer. Sprinkle on crushed crackers, if desired, while the chocolate is still hot.
  7. Refrigerate the pan for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate is set. Then break into small pieces and enjoy!
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chocolate brittle crackers

chocolate brittle crackers

Please take a second to follow along here on SoulyRested to catch up on a few of my memorable mishaps, enjoy musings about my centuries-old farmhouse, or glean a little parenting/homeschooling insight from this momma who’s been failing at the effort for almost 2 decades. I hope my focus always helps you Keep it Simple while being Souly Rested on Christ.

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18 Comment

  1. You have a wonderful way with words. What you have described is exactly what I went through when my parents passed away. So glad your daughter has found the right doctors, am praying she continues to improve. Thank you for this blog, I can´t wait to try this recipe. I´ve been craving brownies but these sound even better.

    1. Thank you, Thalma, for your sweet words. They are a balm for me this evening. And thank you for your kind prayers for my daughter. She had a good day today. As for this chocolate brittle, yes, in my humble opinion it even trumps brownies. Well, unless the brownies are warm and topped with my favorite mint chocolate ice cream. Then I’d have a hard time choosing. 🙂

  2. Your Chocolate Brittle recipe sounds dangerously good and easy. I’m sorry you’re feeling brittle, yourself. I haven’t walked in those shoes, but I can imagine that it would take a lot of time to heal from that double-whammy of losing both of your parents in such a short time. I didn’t know all of that about your daughter. I hope her recent surgery puts an end to her chronic pain, and that she heals quickly.

  3. I’ve heard this referred to as toffee bark and it is delicious!

    Facebook’s Memories posts often blindside me – photos of a loved relative or animal that is now gone, and just last week I was reminded of the day the crew came and put up our dairy barn, that burned down just a year later. I feel as though I’ve been punched in the gut when I see one of those. We seem strong on the outside, but it’s easy to punch a hole in that exterior, isn’t it?

    1. Yes, Kathi. Our strong exterior is quite fragile, isn’t it? I haven’t even once thought of the fb memories that will start to blindside me. I guess it’s just going to be a new “normal,” this tiny emptiness that surfaces and aches sometimes. But truly thoughts of my assurance of Mom and Dad’s perfect heavenly life always outweigh my temporary achiness, those thoughts and the blessings that each new day brings (including chocolate 🙂 ).

  4. What a lovely post, beautifully written. Thank you for sharing on Homestead Blog Hop (and chocolate is always a good start on the road to recovery 🙂 )

    1. It’s always great to be part of the Homestead Blog Hop, Liz. Thanks for hosting it! And yes, chocolate is indeed a good start to just about anything. 🙂

  5. Your recipe sounds so easy, tasty and would make a great treat for any time of the year. So glad to hear about your daughter getting relief from her pain. What a blessing that must be for her and you. I glad that we don’t usually have snow in our area on Easter although there has been years we have. Congratulations on being featured on Homestead blog hop. Have a healthy, happy & blessed Easter!

  6. Sounds like you’ve been having a tough time – but this is really well written. And I might just ahve to try the Chocolate Brittle! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

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