Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Gift Jars :: Cookies!

One night last week, I pumped up the holiday music, grabbed myself a beer, and danced around the kitchen while making these completely adorable holiday cookie jars for some friends and family for holiday gifts!  It's really an inspired gift (if I do say so myself), because don't you often find yourself craving a delicious homemade cookie but lacking the energy to pull a recipe together?  And while some of the bags or boxes of cookie mix can be a decent fix, there's really nothing like homemade.  So this is a way to give someone the best of both worlds: a quick cookie fix that offers all of that homemade flavor!  Plus, who wouldn't want to get holiday cookies that they can enjoy in January or February, after the mountains and mountains of cookies have been eaten?! 

I snagged this gem of a recipe from the Bakerella website -- genius!   Here's what you need in order to create these cookie gifts.

1 quart glass jar (I found mine at Target)
1 1/3 cup of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooking oats
3/4 cup red and green M&Ms
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans (*I didn't have room for these in my jars!!!)

Then using a funnel, or a make-shift funnel from parchment paper, put the ingredients into the jar as follows:

Flour/Baking Powder/Baking Soda/Salt
Cooking Oats
Chocolate chips
Brown Sugar
White Sugar
Pecans, if there's room!

Be absolutely sure to pack each layer down as much as possible!  I used a ladle that fit into the jars to jam each layer as much as I could before adding the next layer. 

Now you have to tell the recipient how to bake these cookies!  You can find a handy PDF file with the instructions already printed for you at the Bakerella website.  All you need to do is print, cut, and tape. Done! But if you want to hand write the instructions or make your own handy set of directions, this is what you need to include:

Stir all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Then add:
1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 cup butter (melted slightly in the microwave)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Then roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. You should get about 2 dozen cookies.

Attach the instructions and dress up your holiday jar with ribbons or holiday stickers!  Everyone will love these jars filled with cookie love!

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