Gifts in jars . . . what could be cuter? I got this idea from a conglomeration of pins that showed pretty much anything you could imagine stuffed into jars as presents: banana bread mixes, drink mixes, foot scrubs, handmade lotions — the possibilities are endless, and mason jars just make everything cute. Am I right? Just look: You know I’m right.
I made one of these for each of my five co-workers, Brett’s co-teacher, our landlords, and my best friend in Ohio . . . eight in all. The jars came in a package of 12 from Walmart. Target also has them, as does probably every other craft store out there. The ribbon also came from Walmart’s craft aisle. As for the “directions”, I just used a couple fun fonts and printed them myself, adhering to the jar with two small pieces of double-sided tape.
I actually did a test-run of placing the ingredients in the jar and then making the recipe itself. No way was I going to give away a recipe that was a dud. Luckily I only had to make a couple of adjustments and the cookies were great. But I also learned an important lesson . . . let’s just say it looked like a flour bomb exploded all over my kitchen table, and that’s an understatement. It’s actually really difficult to measure out two cups of flour, mix in some baking soda and salt, and then put the mixture in a jar without spilling, oh, half of it.
So you would think my first step would be to re-visit the canning aisle where I got the mason jars for a canning funnel, right? Oh, you give me too much credit. Of course I didn’t go there. I didn’t even know those funnels existed. I went to the kitchen gadgets aisle, and there aren’t funnels there. None. And when I asked someone where to find them, I was led to — where else — the oil aisle for cars. Well, the good news is there were funnels, and I got so excited to use my new funnel. Seriously, my excitement over a funnel was a little ridiculous, and not long-lasting. The flour immediately got stuck in the mouth. Cue me banging the jar on the table to get the flour down and using a wooden spoon handle to shove it through. It took forever. So the bad news is I didn’t realize until after driving the 20 minutes to Walmart and 20 minutes back that I needed a wide-mouth funnel. Somehow I finally completed all eight jars, but I totally learned that lesson. Never again.
Besides all of that, I really did enjoy making these cute gifts and giving them away. I realize a lot of people make and receive tons of cookies around Christmastime, but to me, here was a major time-saver handed to you in an adorable package: going to a Christmas party and quickly need a dessert to take? Having a few friends over and nothing in the pantry? Or maybe you’re simply craving nice, warm chocolate-y cookies from the oven and don’t have the ingredients to make them from scratch? Well, here you go. All you need besides the mix are two eggs, some butter, and vanilla extract. Yum! Here are the instructions for the jars:
Christmas M&M Cookies in a Jar (adapted from this recipe)
What you need:
- 1 quart-sized glass jar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/4 t. salt
- 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
- 1/4 c. white sugar
- 1 1/2 c. chocolate candies or chocolate chips (I used half mini green and red M&Ms, half mini chocolate chips)
- Rinse the jar with hot water and dry thoroughly.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Place this mixture in the bottom of the jar.
- Onto this, layer the brown sugar, then the white sugar, and finally the chocolate candies/chips.
- Attach the following directions to the jar: (1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (2) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (3) Empty the contents of the jar into a large bowl and mix well. (4) Using your hands, add in 3/4 c. softened butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (5) Beat 2 eggs with 1 t.vanilla extract. Work this into the flour mixture until well-combined. If dough is too crumbly, place in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. (6) Shape dough into 1 inch-sized balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Slightly flatten the dough balls. (7) Bake for 10-14 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Remove cookies to a rack to cool. Makes about 3 dozen small cookies.