THE GIFT OF CHOCOLATE

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In a perfect world, I'd give my friends homemade cookies and raw bars for the holidays made with healthy ingredients like almond butter, goji berries and hemp or chia seeds.  But since many of my friends,  and none of my relatives, are on the same health supportive journey as me, I thought I would settle on making something with chocolate for holiday food gifts.  I just couldn't imagine giving my building's superintendent or my mother cookies made with chia seeds and goji berries and explaining them to either of them.

If I'm going to tell the truth here, I'm too lazy to make ten different kinds of cookies so dealing with chocolate is much easier.  I usually make chocolate bark, but this year I thought I'd make some chocolate bars.  I bought some 70% dark chocolate from Trader Joe's and also some white chocolate, for no other reason than because my daughter insisted. 

To make chocolate bars, just pour the melted chocolate into a mold, and then strategically top with some add-ons.  Homemade chocolate bars are a terrific project to clean out the cupboards with - I had orange flavored dried cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, tons of pepitas, sunflower seeds, almonds and a handful of pistachios sitting around and put them to use.  My daughter had been given a few candy canes, so we took a couple and chopped them with a knife  (a hammer will work, too) and decorated one or two of the chocolate bars with them. What the heck, right?

I don't think you need a recipe for these but for those who want some direction: just melt the chocolate over a double broiler. If you don't have a double broiler, fill a pot about halfway with water and put a stainless steel bowl on top with the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts over medium heat. Pour the chocolate into molds. (You can spray the molds so the bars are  easier to get out.)  If there's any leftover chocolate, pour it into a sheet pan and you can break it into chocolate bark when it dries.

Add your add-ons and refrigerate until the chocolate is hard. Turn over onto a plate. You can wrap them in cellophane bags. 

Here's to a happy and healthy holiday!