Jillian and I first starting taking road trips together in 1999. At first, we would take our lives in our hands, pushing the beater Toyota Corolla that her parents bought her when she was a teenager to its limits, with short 300 mile journeys from our school in New Haven to my hometown here in Maine. As the years progressed, the trips became more ambitious, but our cars never seemed to improve much. There was the 1992 Volvo sedan that we used to take Summer vacations in the Catskills and in Montauk, when the heat and stink of Brooklyn became too oppressive and overwhelming, that I ultimately sold to a Mormon missionary with a backpack full of license plates. Or the army green Jeep Wrangler that carried us through the four year-long road trip that was our life in Mexico, before dying its final death on the side of the road just outside of Progreso, where I am certain I actually saw it explode some sort of viscous mixture of engine coolant, blood and oil into the dusty street.
What has remained constant throughout all of these trips, no matter where we were at the time, or where we were headed, was the half-eaten package of safety cone-orange packaged peanut butter crackers that rode shotgun in the cup holder between us. These crackers, sold six or eight to a pack, always seem like the best possible option, when I am trying to make a meal out of the junk at a gas station. They always seem marginally more healthy than driving through McDonald’s, or eating whatever taco-flavored abomination is warming on the stainless steel hot dog rollers at 7-11. The (ostensibly) cheese-flavored crackers and peanut butter always seem wholesome, compared to the other available road food options. They’re not. They’re terrible for you. They’re fairly high in fat, pack 300 milligrams of sodium, and have the unusual quality of giving you a queasy, upset stomach long before they actually satisfy your hunger. Let’s cover them in chocolate.
This isn’t really a recipe, so much as it is a really, really good frikkin’ idea.
Salted Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Crackers
Makes about two dozen crackers
- 24 bright orange peanut butter crackers (Keebler, Little Debbie, and Austin brands are all good choices)
- 1 4 ounce bar milk or semisweet baking chocolate
- Kosher salt
Fill small saucepan with about an inch of water, and warm over medium heat. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pan to act as a double boiler. Break chocolate into small chunks, and stir until melted.
One at a time, coat crackers in melted chocolate, and set aside on parchment paper. Let cool briefly, and sprinkle each cracker with Kosher salt. Chill in refrigerator until set.