We got up early Saturday morning. Warmed milk in a sauce pan, mixed it with butter and maple syrup and poured it over some crumbled yeast and saffron. It was the first batch of saffron buns of the morning. Many more would come. We had asked a couple of friends to come over and help us roll them. We had such a nice morning together. Preparing the dough, kneading, talking, rolling, baking. It was like an advent celebration, but instead of eating the buns, we were baking them. A couple of hours and over a hundred saffron buns later, we loaded them into a car and handed them off at a Christmas party.
Luise had asked an organization that helps children and mothers in need if there was anything we could do to help out. And as it turned out, they needed saffron buns for a Christmas party they were arranging. We didn’t stay for the party, but apparently over 300 children and mothers came. It was a fun morning for us and it felt great to bake for someone else. I think we might have a new Christmas tradition in our house. Next year we will invite even more friends to cook or bake for a good cause. We might even challenge all of you to do the same.
Whether it is for a good cause or just for your family, these small jars filled with homemade “Nutella” are great as gifts. I was a bit hesitant to call it Nutella, as they taste so much better than the store bought version. It tastes real. Very flavorful, nutty, chocolaty and sweet. But not too sweet, just enough to enhance the hazelnut and chocolate flavor. You can make it in no-time, fill up a few jars, wrap a pretty ribbon around them and then scratch Christmas Gifts off your list. Or sell them at a market and donate the proceeds to a good cause.
Here are two other great initiatives.
• Two of our friends created a beautiful limited edition poster to help the victims of the conflict in Syria. They sell and ship worldwide. 100% of the proceeds goes directly to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).
Makes around 3 cups
3 cups / 400 g raw hazelnuts or nuts of your choice
20 fresh dates or soaked dried dates, pitted
1/2 cup / 125 ml melted cacao butter (or coconut oil, the taste will be different but delicious too)
4 tbsp cacao powder
1/2 cup / 125 ml water or more if you prefer