Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gifts In A Jar

So as promised, here are the recipes and photos from the bridal shower gift I gave my sister this past weekend. I posted the "teaser" photo earlier which showed the four gifts in a jar with the accouterments that made the gift. Three of the jar mixes came from the book The Ultimate Gifts for the Cookie Jar by Lia Roessner Wilson. Here's a link on Amazon:

Along with the three recipes I used from this book, I also used the Mocha Rum Balls recipe I posted about earlier for a total of four gifts in a jar. Here are the three recipes:

The Recipes:

Hearty Trail Mix Cookies

These hearty cookies are filled with natural goodness - oats, raisins and coconut - as well as with a chocolate treat. They're not only delicious, but colorful too. The candies provide a rainbow of color throughout.
Ingredients for the jar:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup M&M candies
Instructions for jar:
  1. In a 1-quart jar: pack brown sugar in bottom and make as level as possible. Pour sugar over and level.
  2. Pour oats over sugar and level.
  3. In small bowl, combine flour; baking powder and baking soda. Mix well. Gently spoon flour mixture over oats. Level carefully, then tamp down.
  4. Sprinkle raisins over flour mixture. Level and smooth the edges to make them even. Sprinkle raisins on top and press down. Sprinkle coconut over raisins and press down.
  5. Sprinkle candies on top. Press down and place lid on jar.
For the gift tag:

Hearty Trail Mix Cookies
  • 1 egg
  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Empty contenst of jar into large mixing bowl. Add egg and softened butter.
  2. Beat on low speed or by hand to blend, then drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  3. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to cooling rack. (Makes about 3 dozen.)
Colorful Candy Cookies

Colorful cookies are really sugar cookies speckled with colorful, candy-coated chocolate.

Ingredients for jar:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup M&M candies
Instructions for jar:
  1. Place sugar in 1-quart jar and smooth over top to make even.
  2. Spoon brown sugar over and pack down evenly.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour; baking soad and salt. Stir to mix. Spoon over brown sugar in jar; press down evenly.
  4. Pour candies over flour mixture and place lid on jar.
For the gift tag:

Colorful Candy Cookies

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Empty contents of jar into large bowl.
  2. Add butter and eggs.
  3. Beat by hand, so you don't break candies, until dough is throughly mixed.
  4. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until edges are browned.
  5. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to cooling rack. (Makes 3 to 3 1/2 dozen).

Mint Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients for jar:
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup mint chocolate chips
Instructions for jar:
  1. Place sugar in 1-quart jar and spoon brown sugar over sugar.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Spoon mixture over brown sugar.
  3. Spoon cocoa over flour mixture, add chocolate chips on top and press gently to fit.

For the gift tag:

Mint Chocolate Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Empty contents of jar into large bowl.
  3. Beat egg with vanilla and butter.
  4. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients in bowl and stir well.
  5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes.
My results:

Ok, I posted earlier about the disastrous first recipe I tried with the rum balls. But the other three were perfect. They worked just as described and turned out very cute indeed.

As you will see, I made the gift tags with the title on the front and the directions on the back. Each tag was die-cut from a paint chip from the hardware store and then embellished with some glittery floral stickers, then tied onto the jars with some pretty white ribbon. The jars were topped with circles of quilting fabric that I cut with pinking shears for a little ruffled edge. To keep the ribbons on the jar, I put a bit of scrapping adhesive on them in three or four spots so they wouldn't slip and slide on the jar rings.

Here are the photos. First up, the Hearty Trail Mix Cookies:

And a peek under the fabric shows the layering with the raisins, coconut and M&M's.

Next up is the Colorful Candy Cookies:

And a peek under the fabric top reveals the pretty M&M's.

Third is the Mint Chocolate Cookies:

Peek under the fabric:

And last but not least, the Mocha Rum Balls posted about earlier:

And just for kicks, here's the photo of the finished gift all together once again. These gifts-in-a-jar sell at craft fairs for around $10 a jar, so this is a great way to save money and have a fun, personalized gift for someone. I hope you'll give these a try and let me know how it works for you. Enjoy and be sure to check back tomorrow for more recipe fun!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sneak Peek

Well, I THOUGHT I was well prepared, but turns out I was wrong... We're out of town this weekend for a bridal shower and to visit family and I thought I had typed up the recipes on my computer so I could post them while we away, but turns out I only got PART of them. So you'll have to wait until we get home tomorrow night to get the actual recipes for this post. I am, however, going to post a sneak peek for what I'll be posting since I DO have the pictures with me! Anyway, here's your sneak peek... This is the gift that I made up for my sister's bridal shower that was yesterday morning. She had registered for cookie sheets, etc. and so I decided to make a "kit" with the cookie sheets, cookie scoop, adjust-a-cup, and a couple of spatulas and then added 4 "cookies in a jar" mixes that are the kind that you just dump into a bowl and add a couple of things to make cookies. So here's the gift photo for which I'll post the jar mixes when we get back home:

I also picked up a couple of new cookbooks on our trip, so I'll have to share about those purchases when I get home as well... one is from the famous Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, Texas! So be sure and check back tomorrow!