Homemade Food Gift: Christmas Cookie Jars
Now, I realize that my timing may be off on this. Christmas has come and gone, and if you're like me, you are in detox mode from indulging over the holidays. But, if I may…I'd like to offer up some residual Christmas cheer.
I made these festive cookie jars this holiday season after seeing them on Brown Eyed Baker's list of homemade food gift ideas. Number 2 on her list is Bakerella's Homemade Cookie Mix (Be forewarned, if you have a sweet tooth, enter this site at your own risk. You will be dazzled by the goodies she whips up!).
At the Brown Eyed Baker's wise counsel, I turned Bakerella's Cowgirl Cookie Jars into the most adorable Christmas Cookie Jars. I lucked out and found 2 cases of canning jars on Craigslist, hit up Walgreens for some glitzy tinsel, and got my arts-and-crafts on.
Homemade Cookie Mix
I wasn't going to blog about this, since it seemed as if I had missed the sleigh on timeliness, but the feedback I got after giving these has been amazing! Everyone is clamoring for the recipe. Not only are these pretty, thoughtful, and homemade gifts…they are really delicious. Don't take it from me though.
Real live testimonials:
"These are SO good. I can't stop eating them, and I've been eating cookies all day." - Carly
"Thank you for making these completely idiot proof." - Christina
"Holy gods of cookie heavens have shined down upon me! Best f-in baked dessert product of this Xmas season!" - My Brother
People loved these cookies. They made them with their kids. They horded them from visitors. They ate them all in one day. Warm, gooey cookies on a cold winter's day? Now that is Peace and Joy.
Now that the holidays are over, the last thing you may want to see is another cookie. Don't fret. Give it a day or two. It will pass.
Joy to the World
Christmas Cookie Jars
Adapted from Bakerella's "Cowgirl Cookies"
Makes: 27 cookies
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup & leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cooking oats
3/4 cup M&Ms
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Stir all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add 1 slightly beaten egg, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients thoroughly.
5. Roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
6. Enjoy while warm and gooey!
To assemble the Cookie Jars:
Start with a 1 quart smooth, glass, canning jar. Layer the ingredients in this order:
1. Flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt (stir these all up before pouring in the jar so they are well distributed)
4. Chocolate chips
5. Brown sugar
6. White sugar
7. Chopped pecans
Pack each level down *really* tightly or else it won't all fit. You can get the most packing power after the oats layer and the brown sugar layer. I used that top piece from the lid of my food processor (the thing you use to push veggies in through the hole in the lid) to really jam it all down.
Add the chopped pecans last, because depending on how well you pack the layers, you can add more or less pecans to adjust. As Bakerella notes, better to sacrifice nuts than chocolate. But also, for practical reasons, it helps keep the white sugar from spilling out all over the place when the recipient opens the jar.
The ingredients will be flush to the top of the lid when you seal it up. To decorate the top of the jars, wrap 16 inches of decorative wire tinsel around the top. Print the Preparation instructions on little cards made from wrapping paper, and punch a hole in the corner so you can attach it to the tinsel. Voila! Instant Christmas Cheer.
Bakerella's non-secular version involves decorating with suede cord and some fabric. She cuts the fabric into 6 inch squares and the suede into 25 inch pieces. Place the fabric on top and tie ribbons around the lid to hold it in place.