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Christmas Treats for All

The other night I did not sleep at all.  Not even a wink.

Eventually I got up at 4 a.m. and decided I may as well make the most of it.  In my opinion, there is no better time for baking and making treats than the quiet morning hours.

I cleaned the beautiful crockery I picked up for a steal at 1 euro each and the chocolate molds I had picked up on impulse.

I went through my Ebooks, Pinterest selections and in my head and settled on making shortbread, chocolate macaroons, chocolate covered ginger, cranberry and nut chocolate and raw truffles.

The shortbread was for my mom who adores it and I found a great traditional recipe here.

The chocolate macaroons were inspired by a recipe in Heather from Food and Yoga for Life's new ebook.

The chocolate covered ginger was inspired by a friend in the village who loves it.  I simply melted good quality dark chocolate in a double boiler, lined my molds, added the ginger, covered them up, and let them set in the freezer.

The cranberry and nut chocolate was inspired by my favourite trail mix packed with cashews, cranberries, mulberries, brazil nuts and almonds.  I chopped them all up, added some shredded coconut, and set them in molds with more dark chocolate.

The raw truffles were similar to the ones I made last year.  This time I combined almonds, Medjool dates, a spoonful of cocoa powder, a swirl of maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon and salt, and dipped them all in shredded coconut.  My vegan friend in the village received a square pot filled with these as the chocolate and shortbread had dairy.

I tied up my little pots with green and red ribbon and delivered them at friends doorsteps to spread a little Christmas cheer.

It may be a little early for Christmas, but it's never too early to put a smile on someone's face.