I have a special treat for you all today! My dear friend, Shaina Olmanson from the popular blog, Food For My Family and author of Desserts in Jars has graciously offered to guest post with some tips on how to give gifts in jars! I think Shaina is playing Santa……. she is also sharing a recipe from her book, along with a free printable AND she has a few copies of her cookbook to giveaway to three lucky TidyMom readers! Sweet!!
Let’s talk gifts. I have a difficult time with gift giving. It has nothing to do with the actual giving of the gifts; it is in the buying of the gifts. I don’t want to grab the generic gift card or a bottle of wine and hand it off to my aunt or sister-in-law and call it good. I would rather give something that’s thoughtful or that comes created by my hands. For me it’s the difference between a gift just to cross it off your list or to be thoughtful and purposeful in your giving, to show that you care for and appreciate that person.
For years we’ve been sending hot chocolate mixes as teachers’ gifts and pancake mix for the aunts and uncles. Here are a few ways to give gifts in jars:
- As part of a gift basket: If you’re sending a care package of sorts, a gift mix or a cupcake in a jar can be the perfect treat to add to your gift.
- As a handmade touch to a gift card: There are those people who are too hard to buy for or they would really appreciate the gift card. Adding a little sweetness to the gift cards still gives them something to open and hold onto, without foregoing the plastic.
- A gift for the baker: A gift basket with Desserts in Jars, a set of jars, and a few other treats can be the perfect way to inspire your baking beloved in the kitchen.
- As the gift itself: A jar full of cookie mix or hot chocolate makes a great homemade gift on its own, too. Give something sweet to those who have been sweet in your life.
When we moved to a new neighborhood, monster cookies were the first things gifted to us by a neighbor welcoming us to our new home. They’re one of our favorite cookies, and they make the perfect holiday gift.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup candy-coated chocolate candies or chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- Mix together the granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Pour into a 1-quart mason jar. Top with a layer of half of the oats. Add the candies in a layer, and top with a layer of brown sugar. Top with a layer of the remaining oats and then a layer of pecans. Seal with the lid, decorate the jar, and attach a label with these instructions for the recipient:
- 3/4 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter (not natural)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and eggs in a bowl. Add the contents of jar. Form the dough into 2-inch balls and set on a lined cookie sheet 2" apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the tops of the cookies begin to brown. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
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To make this cute gift, I have included a FREE MONSTER COOKIE PRINTABLE for your jars! Because this gift in a jar is a mix, you want to be sure the recipient knows how to bake up a yummy batch! Click the image below to print a page of 5 labels.
click to print your FREE Monster Cookie Labels
To make your gift even more sweet…….I’m giving away 3 copies of my book, Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine available at Target, World Market, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your local bookseller.
GIVEAWAY has ended. Congrats to #41 Emily, #192 Micky and #207 Dallas
Find more details on DessertsinJars.com
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post, telling me your favorite cookie. (If you’re reading this via email, please click over to the post and leave a comment directly.)
Official Rules: No purchase necessary. Open to US residents only . Must be over 18. Giveaway begins on December 5, 2012 will end on December 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm CST. Prize value $16.95. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Three winners with a valid entry will be selected at random using random.org. Winners will be notified by email by December 15, 2012 and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected. TidyMom, and Harvard Common Press are not responsible for lost or undelivered emails. Winners will be posted on this blog post by December 30, 2012. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. By entering this giveaway, you have agreed to these rules. Giveaway sponsored by Harvard Common Press .
Good luck to everyone!
Shaina Olmanson is the cook, freelance writer, and photographer behind Food for My Family, which was named one of the top ten Top 100 Mom Food Blogs by Babble.com in 2010, 2011, and 2012. She is the author of Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine, has served as the food editor for LifetimeMoms and daily contributor to Babble’s Family Kitchen, and contributes regularly to FoodYourWay.net and SimpleBites.net. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband and their four kids.