Homemade Holiday: Cookie Mix

>> Thursday, December 18, 2014

Way before the days of Pinterest, I remember my mom assembling cookie mixes in jars, covering each with a swatch of colorful fabric, and gifting them around. Now? That tradition is definitely a popular one, and for good reason. I love giving wholesome, edible gifts for a variety of reasons. They’re thoughtful, they’re economical, and they’re unique.

I’ve shared with you guys my DIY Drinking Chocolate Powder and my Cranberry + Almond Energy Chunk Mix recipes. This next one doesn’t feature a specific cookie recipe. (Well, actually the one in the photos is the crunchy almond butter cookies from Oh She Glows Cookbook.) But it’s the concept that matters most.

Go wild with it.

STEP #1: Choose your recipe.

We have a wide variety of recipes on this site, but you can search around and find one that’s right for you. I favor recipes that include different textures of ingredients -- like oats, chocolate chips, different types of flour and sugar -- so I can stack. It makes everything look cool. However, it isn’t a requirement. I’d love to receive a cookie mix of any kind, pretty or not.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Whatever you choose, make sure you’re familiar with the recipe. That way, you can provide any notes or useful tips for making and baking. It will make measuring out the ingredients much less stressful, too. I usually go with a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, since it’s a general crowd pleaser.

STEP #2: Assemble your ingredients.

Now’s the time to splurge a little on ingredients. Get the nice chocolate chips. Toss in some walnuts. Use quality sugar and flour. In my everyday life, I cannot afford to spend big bucks on such luxuries all the time, but when it comes to gift giving -- it’s worth it. If there are special wet ingredients that won’t go into your jar, consider getting those, too. But don’t sweat stuff like oil, eggs, or peanut butter. Most people have these things on hand.

STEP #3: Measure it out.

If you tally ingredients from certain cookie recipes, you’ll quickly see that the ingredients to make up the yield is far too much to fit in a jar. So, halve it! It might take some experimentation -- but large ball jars have the capacity for a quart or 4 cups total. That should accommodate most “normal" cookie recipes, so stay away from bulk!

PS: These green quart jars are especially festive! And I’d consider getting reusable lids so the jar can be used again and again.

STEP #4: Add instructions and decorate.

Don’t forget to write the instructions for baking down on a card to include with the gift. List all the wet ingredients that are needed to complete the recipe. The oven temperature and time, as well as anything else that’s worth noting. If you have a special connection to the recipe, write about that, too.

You can easily make your own labels using index cards and craft paper. For a fancy touch, I love these chalkboard labels. (You can also paint with chalkboard paint directly onto the jar.)

Or you could just buy this same thing at the store. For $11?! Yikes. I don’t think so. You can make several jars for this price, and they’ll be healthier, tastier, and much more personalized. Don’t you think?

Do you make cookie jars? What’s your favorite recipe?

Pssst: One shopping days left for shipment before the holiday!

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