Simple never tasted so good.

Sheri Castle

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Credit: Southern Living

Recipe Summary test

active:
2 mins
bake:
10 mins
total:
12 mins
Servings:
6
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When it comes to beloved foods that we grew up eating, it can be surprising to learn that others have never heard of it and mistakenly believe their first bites are the first bites for all mankind. That's part of the story (and considerable eye rolling) surrounding recent viral social media posts of a woman who seems to think she "invented" smearing butter on saltine crackers. If there were ever a time to say it, bless her heart.

At mere mention of buttered crackers, some of us fondly recall mowing through a sleeve of saltines and a hunk of butter as an after-school snack, items almost always on hand. (Insiders know how to rake the edge of the cracker along a stick of slightly softened butter to create a perfect curl.) Other buttered cracker fans describe restaurants and diners where a basket of cellophane-wrapped cracker packets and bowl of individually wrapped butter pats are the first things servers placed on tables as a complimentary starter. And still others tell of eating buttered saltines with soups and salads, using the crackers as the bread of the day. No matter the context or occasion, salty crackers and creamy butter are a delicious duo – and that simple goodness is what gets the newcomers so excited and keeps the old hands so devoted.

There's no set recipe for buttered saltines any more than for buttered toast or bowls of cereal, although some people turn the idea into something slightly elevated: warm butter-baked saltines. These are sometimes credited to country and social clubs across the South, but the truth is that we'll never know who first prepared them. But it was probably a talented, resourceful home cook who knew exactly how to transform modest ingredients into simple dishes that please us all.

Some versions of this two-ingredient recipe call for clarifying the melted butter, while others skip that step. If you prefer clarified butter, it's quick and easy to use ghee. Be sure to open fresh saltines so that they'll turn out crisp. This is supposed to yield 6 servings, but it's tempting for the cook to gobble up half the tray as soon as they come out of the oven.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Arrange the crackers in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Melt the butter in the microwave or saucepan. Drizzle the warm butter over the crackers, making sure they are well coated. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Serve warm.

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