Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Fun and Thrifty Gift

Happy Saturday friends!

Hope your out celebrating the start of the weekend—if not, maybe your home watching Christmas shows and baking like me? I can’t get enough of the holiday spirit this year!!

Speaking of which, doesn’t it always happen to you this time of year when you think you have all your gifts ready to go, but then you think of a handful of other people that you’d like to give something to? Well don’t run off to the nearest store just may have everything you need at home to make a gift guaranteed to please!

Layered Gift Jars


Every year I whip up a bunch of these to give to friends and family. What is a layered gift jar you ask? Basically it’s a half-ready recipe—the jar has all the dry ingredients of a recipe layered into it and then you attach a tag with the wet ingredients needed and instructions for baking. So in other words, when the gift recipient opens the jar, they just pour it in a bowl, add the butter, eggs, etc., form into cookies and bake! It’s basically a homemade cookie that didn’t take much effort on their part, which is perfect for this hectic time of year. Plus you can personalize them to suite your recipients tastes!

  • First, I buy these pretty glass jars every year at our local Dollar Tree and then get started.
  • I will set up an assembly line of sorts, and put the first ingredients in all of the jars, press it flat with a long handled spatula, and move on to the next ingredient.
  • You then want to attach the ribbon around the neck of that jar and make a tag with the name of the recipe, ingredients, and instructions.
  • You can then finish by wrapping up the jar with a bow on top, or just putting it into a gift bag with some tissue paper.

Four easy steps to a stunning gift. I figured I’d share what recipe I used for this years cookies.

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Mint Chocolate Chews

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies


For the jar layered in order:

  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c Andes Peppermint Crunch baking bits
  • 1/2 c semi-sweet chips OR 1/2 c holiday colored M&M’s

Ingredients the recipient will need to add:

  • 1 jar Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Chews
  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  • Place contents of jar in large bowl. Using fingers, work butter into flour mixture. Combine eggs and vanilla in small bowl. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until dough forms.
  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls, place balls 3’ apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Enjoy!

And don’t just stop with a cookie’s some other fun ideas!!

  • Tea and biscuits mixes
  • Soup and side dish mixes
  • Puddings, sweets, candies and yogurts.
  • Jam, chutney, pickles, and preserves.
  • Condiments, herbal vinegars, and oil.
  • And for furry friends—dog treats and biscuits!

Head here for a GREAT collection of gift jar recipes and ideas.

By the way, glad you all were drooling over the PB Chocolate pie—I made new version, so I thought I’d share! It’s easy to make this stunner into a Chocolate PB Banana Pie—just swap the cheesecake pudding for banana flavored pudding instead—I actually like this rendition better :-)



Have a great weekend—stay warm!


Nicole M., MS, RD, LD said...

What a wonderful gift idea! I will book mark this post in case I need a gift idea! Now or in the future!

Anonymous said...

Great gift ideas.


The Healthy Hostess said...

Love your ideas!!

Jenny said...

homemade gifts are the best :) I love this idea!

Stacey said...

Cute! The pie looks amazing - PB, banana, and chocolate is one of my favorite combos!

Paula said...

Yes, homemade gift are much better. It's just finding ideas. Thanks for some good ones.

Krista said...

I've gotten gifts like that before and enjoy them!! Thanks for the recipe!!

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of making gifts, too! But I'll be shipping them over the country, so I need something kind of lighter...
I was thinking homemade granola or marshmallows!

Erica said...

I LOVE jar mixes!!! I think its a fantastic gift. Love your recipe- sounds very tasty :) Hope you're having a nice weekend girl