I want to share with you another one of my new favorite Christmas gift ideas. I made these last Christmas for friends and co-workers and they were so well liked, I made them again this year. I think they would also make a perfect Valentine’s Day treat or hostess gift.
Last year I made this recipe in the original form using 1 quart mason jars (pictured) for several friends. To keep costs down, I used 1 pint jars (a half batch) for my co-workers since I was making a bunch of them. Back during the summer, I decided I would make these again this year. To cut costs on my jars, I started saving our Prego spaghetti sauce jars. Below is a table with the ingredients for each size jar.
To make the jars, just layer the dry ingredients in the jar in the order listed and shown in the picture.
A few notes:
* The original recipe for the large mason jars didn’t fill the jar as full as I liked. I want the ingredients nice and tight so that if the jar gets tipped, the layers stay in place. Two things I found helpful were to tap the jar lightly on the counter after adding the flour so that it settles a little and you can fill that extra space with other ingredients (instead of allowing it to settle on its own later). Also, just use a little extra of the chocolate chips, cranberries, and walnuts if you need to.
** I’m not sure if “heaping” is quite the right word for the measurements on the spaghetti sauce recipe. Just make sure you’re generous with the amounts, don’t level off your scoops, otherwise you’ll come up a little short and not have a nice full jar.
One more thing, tamp down the brown sugar around the edges with the back of a spoon before adding the next layer. This will give a clean line between ingredients.
Once you have all the dry ingredients in the jar, attach a note with the following instructions:
“Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat together X tablespoons softened butter, X egg, and X tsp. vanilla until fluffy. Add entire jar of ingredients and mix well (cookie batter will be stiff). Drop cookies onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Makes X cookies. Store in a cool dry place up to 3 months.”
Refer to the table for the ‘X’ quantities appropriate for what size jar you are making. I also usually include a list of the dry ingredients on the tag if I am giving them to people I don’t know well, in case anyone has allergies or anything.
The original recipe said you can store them up to three months. But, I happen to know one co-worker who didn’t make last year’s cookies until about a week before he got the next year’s! Not that I’m recommending that… But, the fact that you can store these for a few months and use them later (after the initial tide of Christmas goodies rolls out) is one of my favorite things about them!
I had one co-worker tell me he had a great time making the cookies with his kids (10 yrs. old) and another tell me he had fun making them with his mom (75 yrs. old). Now that’s what I call a versatile gift! I hope you enjoy!
Total Project Cost: less than $5/jar depending on how much you spend on the jars and what size you make
Total Project Time: not long, less than an hour for 6