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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gifts in a Jar

I talked a little bit about Gifts in a Jar HERE, but I want to go back to it before Christmas. These are great for last minute gifts, hostess gifts, teacher gifts, etc. They are quick, easy, and inexpensive. You can find all kinds of recipes on the internet, along with downloads of the recipes to print out on tags. The tops of the jars can be covered with scrap fabric, raffia, buttons, beads, shells, etc. You can add a miniature wooden spoon or spatula, measuring spoons, or cookie cutters to dress it up. Don’t just stop with baking recipes, either. Try drink mixes, bath salts, soup mixes, almost anything that has several dry ingredients. They all look pretty layered, so use your imagination!

I have a book that I bought when my son’s school was doing a fundraiser, you know the ones where you pick something out and try to get something useful or cheap, but everything in there you already have, don’t need, or “cheap” is still $10. I was amazed that I found this since I knew I would actually use it this year. It’s called Gifts in a Jar, Cookies, Brownies & Bars. It even comes with precut fabric circles, tear out recipe tags and raffia for bows. It’s great, but I wouldn’t have bought it on my own, since the same information can be gotten for free from library books and the good ol’ web.

Anyway, I do want to share a few recipes and pics I found to get you started so you can see how easy and cute these are.

Courtesy of
Holiday Cookies

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate-covered candy (such as holiday M&M's or Hershey's Holiday Candy Coated Bits)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup cocoa crisped-rice cereal (or regular flavor)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
In a 1-quart wide mouthed jar, add the ingredients in the order listed. Pack them down firmly after each addition (use the blunt end of a table knife or a wooden spoon to level and tamp down each layer). Screw on the cover and prepare a gift tag with the following instructions:
"To make your holiday cookies, cream together 1/2 cup of butter or margarine, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 egg in a large bowl. Add the contents of the jar and stir until well blended. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 4 dozen."

Courtesy of
Classic Cocoa

Makes 1 quart mix or 12 servings hot cocoa
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
Layer sugar, cocoa powder, powdered milk, salt, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.
On the back of the tag, write: "Mix contents in a large bowl. For each serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup boiling water. Store remaining mix in airtight container."

Courtesy of
Spiced Mocha Mix

1/2 cup powdered coffee cream
1/2 cup cocoa mix
1/3 cup instant coffee
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add mixture to pint sized jelly jars and add a Gift Tag.
Directions for Use: Add 2 Tablespoons of Mixture for every 1 cup of hot water.

Courtesy of
Friendship Soup Mix

1/2 cup dry split peas
1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup dried onion flakes
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup uncooked alphabet pasta
In a 1 1/2 pint jar, layer the split peas, bouillon, barley, lentils, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, rice, and bay leaves. Wrap the pasta in plastic wrap, and place in the jar. Seal tightly.
Attach a label to the jar with the following instructions: Friendship Soup ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS: 1 pound ground beef, black pepper to taste, garlic powder to taste, 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes - undrained, 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste, and 3 quarts water. TO PREPARE SOUP: Remove pasta from top of jar, and set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef with pepper and garlic; drain excess fat. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and soup mix. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in the pasta, cover, and simmer 15 to 20minutes, or until the pasta, peas, lentils and barley are tender.

Courtesy of
Bath Salts

This recipe will make one 4 ounce jar, it is easy to double, triple etc., to make a larger batch.
4 ounces Salt - either Epsom Salt or Sea Salt or a blend of the two, both found at grocery & drugstores.
1-2 drops of either Lavender (relaxing), Orange or Lemon (both uplifting) Essential Oil, found at natural/health food stores, herb shops and spa/massage therapy establishments
In a mixing bowl (not plastic), add the salts and essential oils, combining them well and mashing with the bottom of the spoon to press out any lumps.
First add salts to a heavy duty large Ziploc freezer bag, add the essential oil to the salts and close the bag. Mush the ingredients around with your hands, gently squeezing the outside of the bag until well mixed.
Carefully fill a clean and well dried container with the mixture, cap and attach gift tag/product instructions.
Product Instructions:
Use a few handfuls for each warm bath, soak and relax.

Let me know if you try any of these or if you have any recipes of your own. I would love to see some pics!


Abby said...

That's awsome, thank you so much...I was looking for neat non everyday teachers gifts and this is it...I wish I had that book!!!! LOL. Happy Holidays!!!


Jami said...

Thanks, Abby! They can really be done up cute, or even themed. I'm going to make some at the first of the week, for teachers, of course, and I'll try to get pics of mine up. Have a Merry Christmas!