Gift Jars

One reader mentioned filling jars with ingredients for cookie or cake recipes to give as gifts, I have seen these in stores and yes they are expensive. I would like to make my own also, and decorate the jars and lids with material ribbon etc.  I would love to hear from other readers what recipes they suggest to put in the jars. Thanks and Have a Good Day! Dawn

Last year a friend and I made several of these gift jars.  We got several recipes from allrecipes.com for the mixes.  We topped them with material found in the "extras" bin at the fabric store and printed labels from the computer with directions.  Cost was about $1.75 each

Someone was wondering about cake mixes in jars, I copied and pasted the following from www.realfood4realpeople Kaylin Cherry has several great gift-in-a-jar type of ideas. She publishes an  e-zine, consisting of one of her original recipes and many more sent in by subscribers. It’s free and I for one have found it to be wonderful, as most of the’cooks’ are just like the rest of us, on a budget and always looking for good, easy, economical and nourishing food for our families! Check it out! Here is an excerpt! — "Our delicious ‘Cake Mixes in Jars’ are quick, easy, and also a great low-cost answer to your gift giving needs!  Give them to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, teachers, bus drivers & even your favorite delivery person!  She also has several collections of recipes that she has compiled for sale on her web site. –Linda

Here’s a link that I use for gifts in a jar. Enjoy!! Terri Smith

Cookie fixings and the recipe are always good, but how  about pasta and spices, a recipe for pasta salad, here are few suggestions:  seeds and fertilizer with a hand trowel, sea salt, essential oil and food coloring…to make your own bath salts, small bird  identification book, wild bird seed and a small pair of binoculars, stocking cap gloves and  hot chocolate or hot cider mix, soft socks , foot scrubber, foot lotion& foot soak or how about  crayons, paint brushes a small note book and a coloring book.    The possibilities are truly endless. Thank You for reading my letter.  –Sheree 

Here is one recipe — you could use any of your own recipes and leave out the wet ingredients for them to add later. I haven’t made these since last Christmas but I was thinking that when I went to make them it was more than would fit in a quart jar and I used a  gallon size ziplock bag to put the ingredients in and taped a bow to it and then they just added the other ingredients in the bag and kneeded it till it was mixed and poured it in the baking  pan.

Today’s recipe is a fun gift to make and give. When I make these as gifts, I always be sure to include the dry ingredient list on the directions card or label, for two reasons. First, in case the receiver really likes the mix, they can duplicate it. And second, they will know what is included in the jar, in case they have any food allergies.

Chocolate Chip Brownies in a Jar
Ingredients in Jar:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp  salt
2 1/4 cups white sugar
2/3  cup cocoa
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Ingredients needed to make brownies:

3/4 cup butter, melted
4 eggs, slightly beaten

Empty jar of brownie mix into mixing bowl, mix well. Add butter and eggs and mix until blended. Spread batter into a lightly greased 9" x 13" baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Cool in pan. Cut into 2" squares. Makes 2 doz.

Here are some recipes I use to give as Christmas presents.  They aren’t cookie mixes in a jar, but I have found these to be welcome gifts.

Herb Flavored Salt
1/4 C dried parsley flakes
2 Tablespoons dried basil leaves
1 Tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 C salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend just
enough to combine.  Store in an airtight jar.  (I
usually by small little jars at the dollar store for
this recipe)

Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix
1/3 C brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 C coca
2 1/2 C powdered milk

Combine and blend ingredients in a small bowl.  Store in airtight container.  (I put a tag on the jar with directions to make they are: Mix 3 Tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix with 8 ounces boiling water and stir until smooth) Love and Peace, Kathie

They have tons and tons of recipes for these in the archives at:
http://www.frugalhomemaker.com/giftsinajar.htm

This is for Dawn who was looking for recipes for jars to give as gifts.  I found a great website with recipes for jars.  www.geocities.com/giftsinajar   There are lots of good ideas and recipes for gift jars. Thanks, Janet

I belong to an ezine by Kaylin White called Real food for real people. She has a section on her website with many free recipes for mixes in a jar as well as info on how to order more if desired.  http://www.realfood4realpeople.com

This is my favorite because you can make up a single batch and divide it into 5 gifts.

COOKIE MIX
8 Cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 Cups granulated sugar
2 Cups brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda until well blended. With a pastry cutter or heavy duty mixer, cut in shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal in texture. Put in large airtight container. Label with contents and date. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 10-12 weeks. Makes about 16 Cups of COOKIE MIX.

If giving for a gift, place 3 cups COOKIE MIX in a 24 ounce jar, attach the following instructions and cover the lid as follows: Place lid on jar. Use scissors to cut a 9 inch-diameter circle from fabric of your choice. Center fabric circle over lid and secure with a rubber band. Tie on raffia or ribbon bow to cover the rubber band. Attach a card with the following directions:

Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 Cups COOKIE MIX
3 Tablespoons milk
2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 Cup nuts or coconut
1 Cups chocolate chips or chocolate candies

Preheat oven to 375F degrees (190C). Grease baking sheets. In a large bowl, combine  COOKIE MIX, milk, vanilla, and egg. Blend well. Stir in nuts or coconut and chocolate chips or candy. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Makes 24 cookies.

My other favorite is Cake in a Coffee Cup. My son gave these out last year to teachers, office staff at his school, the principal and counselors.

Cake in a Coffee Cup
1 box Cake Mix — (any flavor)
1 package Instant Pudding mix — (4 ounce) make sure flavor compliments cake flavor
8 – 12 ounce coffee mugs — (non-metallic)

Glaze Mix
1/3 cup Powdered Sugar
1 1/2teaspoons Dry flavoring — (see below)

Place dry cake mix and dry pudding mix into a large bowl and blend well with a wire whisk. This will be about 4 – 4 � cups of dry mix and will make 8-9 coffee cup cake mixes. Place � cup dry mix into a sandwich size zip baggie. Smooth baggie so as much air as possible is removed, then seal. Continue making packets until all your dry mix is used.

Flavors
Lemon cake mix- lemon pudding
Yellow cake mix- chocolate pudding
Devils food cake mix- chocolate pudding
Pineapple cake mix- coconut pudding
Butterscotch cake mix- butterscotch pudding

Select a large coffee cup. Check it to be sure it holds 1 1/2 cups of water. That way you will be sure you have chosen the size the recipe calls for. Your mug cannot have any metallic paint on it because it will be used in the microwave.

**Dry flavorings for glaze: powdered lemonade mix, powdered orange breakfast drink mix, cocoa powder or Vanilla powder.

Select the flavoring appropriate to the cake. For the pineapple coconut cake include flaked coconut in a separate bag with instructions to sprinkle it over the frosted cake. Place the glaze mix ingredients into a snack size zip baggie and remove as much air as possible before sealing. Label this bag "glaze mix" and attach it to the other bag with a twist tie. Place one baggie cake mix & one baggie glaze mix into each coffee cup.

Cut two 16 inch sections of clear or colored plastic wrap and lay them on top of each other forming an `X’ shape, then place mug in center and bring wrap up around them, bringing the top together with a ribbon. Now attach the following baking instructions to each coffee cup:

Bake a cake in a coffee cup! Generously spray inside of coffee cup with cooking spray. Empty contents of large packet into cup. Add 1 Egg White, 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil & 1 Tbsp. Water to dry mix. Mix 15 seconds, carefully mixing in all the dry mix. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes. (You may not get satisfactory results in a low wattage small microwave). While cake is cooking, place ingredients from "Glaze Mix" into a very small container and add 1 � tsp. Water. Mix well. When cake is done, pour glaze over cake in cup. Enjoy while warm. Mary

I have made quite a few of these jars to give away.   I started out using recipes just for gift jars, but then started just creating my own.   Find recipes that are a good basic recipe and cut the ingredients to make either a 9X9 cake, one quick bread, or one batch of muffins.   I set up the jars like an assembly line and add the dry ingredients with a canning funnel.   A 9" circle of fabric fits nicely over the top.  Secure it with a rubber band then a piece of ribbon with a note card for the directions.   Below are a couple of my favorites – watch out – the brownies are addictive!

Banana Bread Mix
Layer in a quart jar:
1 cup flour
1/3-1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup flour
1 cup dehydrated banana chips
1 cup sugar  

Mix the top layer of sugar with 1/3 cup butter or margarine. Add 2 eggs and mix. Add 2/3 cup water and the rest of the mix. Mix well. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 deg. for 55-60 min or until toothpick comes out clean. Let set 5 minutes, and remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing.  Note: for this, I use only my own dehdyrated bananas – they have not been ‘treated’ as the store bought kind.  

Crazy Cake Mix
Layer in a quart jar:
2 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/3 cup sugar  

This is a Crazy Cake because you mix the cake all together in the pan! Pour contents of the jar into a 9×13 inch baking pan, then add the following ingredients: 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 2 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 cups water.
  Stir together using a wire whisk or fork, making certain all the ingredients are completely mixed together. Bake at 350 deg for 35 minutes. Frost as desired or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

One thought on “Gift Jars

  1. Glynna Todd says:

    Do you happen to know the cost for one of these cookies in a jar gifts? I am doing an activity for my church where I will provide all of the ingredients and jars and all of the other sisters in the congregation will come to the activity and just pay me for each jar they want to make. But I do not know how to figure out the cost of just one Cookie in a Jar gift. Thank you for your help. Glynna

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