Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DIY gifts: Cookies-in-a-jar mix

I’ve always been fascinated with cookie mixes in jars. I love the idea of giving – or receiving – a gift that you just mix with a few easy ingredients to get a whole batch of cookies to eat, each bite reminding you that someone loves you enough to give you something like this. And of course, these are particularly nice if you’re looking to give someone a Christmas gift from the heart.
I love Bakerella’s Cowgirl Cookie mix in a jar, and of course, her photographs are absolutely gorgeous.
One Saturday morning, Zach and I and Suchita took a break from studying, nagging and skulking around the house (respectively) to make a cookies-in-a-jar gift. We used an empty Baggry Oats plastic bottle (one litre capacity, confirmed by emptying one litre of water into it), though a 750ml bottle would work better, since we had space left at the top – which is not good if your jar has to travel. Also, the slimmer and taller your bottle, the better your ingredients will look in it in all their layers.
So here are the ingredients in the order they need to go into the jar (tamp each one down neatly before adding the next layer...
  • 1 1/3 cup flour + 1 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp baking soda + ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup oats
  • ¾ cup Gems or M&Ms (we bought several packets and separated the colours, using pink, purple and red in this mix)
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed down to measure
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
Push everything down neatly into the jar, screw on the lid and tie on a decorative trimming and bow. Your gift is ready. Mine looks nothing as nice as Bakerella’s, but I can think of a lot of people who would like to receive it anyway.
If you are actually giving this away... On a little card, in your best handwriting, write the method for the giftee:
“Empty all the dry ingredients of your cookie-in-a-jar gift into a large mixing bowl.
Add one lightly beaten egg, ½ cup melted butter and 1 tsp vanilla.
Mix with your hands.
Roll into small balls, flatten slightly and place a little apart on lined cookie trays. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.”  
We made these twice; once they turned out wonderfully chewy, the other crisp (I added a little milk to make the dough a little easier to work with). Adjust baking time to get the texture you like.


  1. Hey Prima,
    Great idea with the cookie jar. Do not nag to much, it does not become you. Does Suchita know that you are saying that she is skulking around the house? Let her go for a good movie (her choice) to Strand Cinema for Christmas.

  2. Hey Mario,
    Nagging is my default setting, but I do it nicely! Strand Cinema has not been a theatre for many years, it is now a glass-clad building but no one knows what happens there! She is going for a movie on Christmas morning...


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