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December 16, 2015

DIY Christmas: The Easiest Mason Jar Cookie-Mix Gifts Ever

DIY Christmas: The Easiest Mason Jar Cookie-Mix Gifts Ever

You’ve seen them in high-end stores, selling for biggish bucks. Save your money for another seasonal splurge. It takes only 10 minutes to create multiple Mason Jar Cookie-Mix gifts for a fraction of the cost. The best part, it’s nearly impossible to make them look bad. And you can fill them with your favorite cookie ingredients, for a very personal present.

What you’ll need:
Mason Jars: ShopRite sells several sizes, in quantities of 6 and 12. We went with the quart size, which accommodates the dry ingredients for a halved cookie recipe.

Dry ingredients: What does your favorite cookie recipe call for? Pick up the basics (flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda), plus any mix-ins you need (chocolate or flavored chips, oatmeal, raisins, nuts, candies, dried fruit, etc.)

Finishing touches: A printout of the recipe; ribbon or fabric to decorate.

How-to:

  1. Based on your favorite cookie recipe, start measuring and layering the dry ingredients. Begin with the flour, topped with baking soda and salt. Carefully pour it into the jar as your base. If things are getting messy, do this in the sink (to catch flour that doesn’t make it into the jar) or use a wide funnel.
  2. Add a contrast color in the form of the brown sugar, pressing down to compact the ingredients as much as possible.
  3. Add a layer of the granulated sugar.
  4. Top with your add-ins, close the lid and you’re done. Parfait-looking perfection in 4 easy steps!

Print out instructions on how to incorporate wet ingredients and bake. This can be done in a few simple sentences. Use this template:

Combine dry ingredients gently with 1 stick softened butter, ½ tsp. vanilla and 1 beaten egg.

Bake for 9-11 minutes in oven preheated to 350°.

Use a festive font and color, and print out on a mailing label or plain paper that you attach with a glue stick. We like the latter approach better, as it’s easier for your giftee to reuse the jar afterward if the label is easier to peel off.

Finally, attach a pretty ribbon (stick in a cinnamon stick for some nice aroma) or a circle of fabric secured with a rubber band covered with a decorative ribbon. You’re done. Happy gifting!Collage-layers

One more tip: If you’re the recipient of a Mason Jar Cookie Mix gift, get the best results by making sure your butter is very soft and incorporated extremely gently with your hands, a wooden spoon or on the lowest speed of your hand or stand mixer. That way, you won’t break add-ins that are traditionally mixed in post-creaming.