By Sharla Lovelace
Hello! I’m Sharla Lovelace, one of the lucky trio of authors to write with Jodi Thomas and Scarlett Dunn in The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas. I had so much fun writing this second chance novella “The Mistletoe Promise” about my spunky heroine, Josie, and her sexy, cowboy-with-a-secret, Ben. ❤
And I’m so excited to be here talking about what I love about the holidays! Now me….I’m a southern girl. And we equate love and holidays and all things warm and fuzzy…with food. So I’m gonna tell you a story. This is how something called “Crack” made it into our holiday rotation. 😉
You know, all that amazing, delicious, decadent holiday food that for some reason we only cook once a year because someone deemed it Holiday Food with capital letters, officially making it a proper noun and legally so. 😊
So…in our household growing up, my mom (who was not a big fan of cooking) baked once a year. And boy, did she. Lemon Meringue, Pecan, Strawberry Cream Cheese, and Apple pies. Notice the caps? Yep. That’s how important they were. Pecan tarts, pecan bars (are you seeing that pecans had a starring role?), sand tarts, and oh I forgot the breads. Pumpkin bread. Banana nut bread.
Dear God, I’m fanning myself with the memory.
Anyway…fast forward a few decades, and my late mom’s recipe box resided with me. And since I’m my mother’s daughter, I too, am not a big cook. But once a year….yeah, you see the trend. My daughter and I would trot out the box and crank out all the treasures. It was tradition, after all. Love equaling food, and all that. But we never ventured outside the box, so to speak. Never added to the treasure trove.
Fast forward again, and my now grown daughter is in the Navy and lives across the country. She’s single, and has some time on her hands, and what does she do? Break the trend.
She cooks. Like for real. From scratch.
I don’t know where she gets it y’all, because it’s not from me, and my mom is looking down from heaven I’m sure wondering how my kid is channeling Paula Deen, but hey… it happens.
And then, on my daughter’s first Christmas on shore leave, she broke another trend. She added something to the holiday gluttony—I mean baking. She added something we’ve affectionately deemed “Christmas Crack”.
Seriously. I know that’s probably not appropriate, but it is truly addicting and amazing. All you need is nuts and chocolate and a crockpot. I’ve since made it, and brought to another family function outside of the holidays (I know! I’m a rebel now!) and my nephew officially labeled me his crack dealer. (Again, I know. I’m sorry, lol)
Anyway! Time to share the love!
These are my ingredients, but you can substitute any nuts you like and any type of chocolate chips you like. I’ve done it many different ways depending on what I had on hand, so feel free to tweak it for you!
- 16 oz jar of peanuts (salted or unsalted)
- 1 pkg of pecans halves, walnuts, whatever nuts you’d like
- 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
- 12 oz bag peanut butter chips
- 12 oz bag dark chocolate chips (I added this because I love dark chocolate)
- 12 oz bag Heath chocolate chips (I do this for my hubby who loves Heath bars)
- 2 – 1 lb pkgs of chocolate almond bark
- Layer ingredients in a large crockpot (starting with peanuts).
- Layer in nuts every so often to keep the ratio good. For my family, the more nuts, the better.
- Turn the heat on low, cover with lid, and leave for 2 hours.
- Then remove lid and stir everything to combine.
- Replace lid and let everything goo together for another 30 minutes.
- Stir again and then spoon mixture onto wax paper or aluminum foil (I learned the hard way not to put directly on a plate…way more work than is necessary).
- Allow to harden for at least one hour.
So…that’s my story. I’m sure you have one, too! And I hope you try it, (the recipe is also on my website SharlaLovelace.com) and can one day serve your family some Christmas Crack…with a straight face. 😊
All my love! Xoxo
In these Texas-set stories of romance and adventure, the Civil War is over, Christmas is coming—and it’s time for three rugged fighters to become lovers . . .
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jodi Thomas
Dispirited by war, when Trapper Hawkins accepts a job hauling five little rich girls to Dallas, all he cares about is the money. He doesn’t expect they’ll awaken his spirit—or that their intriguing nursemaid, Emery Adams, will awaken his heart. And when danger strikes as Christmas Eve nears, he definitely doesn’t expect Emery and the girls to risk their lives—for him . . .
THE MISTLETOE PROMISE * Sharla Lovelace
A catastrophic storm, an ailing herd, and a failing cattle ranch have left Texas rancher Josie Bancroft in danger of losing everything her father worked for. Still, she’d rather die than merge with her neighbor rancher Benjamin Mason, the man who broke her heart years ago, on Christmas Eve. As old sparks fly and secrets are revealed, however, Ben is determined to help Josie—and prove that this time around can be different. That the misunderstandings of Christmas past need not define their future . . .
CHRISTMAS ROAD * Scarlett Dunn
Yellow Fever has hit Clint Mitchum’s Texas hometown and taken his father and siblings, leaving Clint ever more cynical. Racing homeward to be by his mother’s side, Clint finds only a note from her, asking that he help her caregiver, a young woman named Amelia. Assuming his mother has passed, in his grief Clint ventures out to search for Amelia—and finds the best of gifts—just in time for Christmas . . .