Home made gifts – cookie mix in a jar

Cooking with children is a lot of fun so the ready-made mixes you can get in boxes from the supermarket are often a lifesaver when you need a rainy day activity.

I saw a posh version of these mixes while browsing around the foodie mecca that is the Selfridges Food Hall a while back. Basically they’d used pretty glass storage jars and layered up the individual dry ingredients. I was struck by how simple it seemed, yet how effective the layers looked.

However as you’d expect, buying a cookie mix in a jar from the Selfridges Food Hall is an expensive affair and one that you can quite easily achieve at home. I banked the idea and have now brought it out to play in my mission to make the majority of my family and friends’ Christmas presents this year.

You need some large glass storage jars – you can either buy them from kitchen shops, have a rummage at car boot sales or like me raid your mum’s stash as she has a habit of keeping anything she can fill with jams and chutneys!

Another great place to look is the supermarket. Instant coffee sometimes comes in big fancy jars, as do things like preserved fruits. I’m definitely going to keep a closer eye on packaging from now on!

Instruction label

It was my friend’s little boy’s birthday recently so I thought I’d try the gift out on him as four-year-olds tend to love a spot of baking.

I chose a yum sounding cookie recipe I found in an American magazine as it had quite a lot of different dried ingredients, therefore making more layers and more interesting to look at!

You could do any recipe you like – I imagine things with brightly coloured dried fruits like candied orange peel or glace cherries would look cracking! Different textures like nuts and chocolate chips look great too.

I made my first ever trip to Hobbycraft to find stuff to decorate the jar with and subsequently lost myself in the aisles packed with the most amazing stuff. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to find the place.

I’m now kitted out for a home-made Christmas!

Coconut Crunch Cookie Mix (makes 36)

120g granulated sugar
60g chopped pecans
100g dessicated coconut
25g crushed cornflakes
150g soft dark brown sugar
50g rolled oats
120g plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

A lidded storage jar with a capacity of 2 pints/1 litre

To make the cookie mix:
1. Layer the granulated sugar, nuts, coconut, crushed cornflakes, brown sugar and oats.
2. In a bowl sieve the flour, bicarb of soda, baking powder and salt and combine. Then add this mixture as the final layer in your jar.
3. Place the lid on your jar and then decorate, label and write out the instructions to the recipe on a piece of card and tie it to the outside of the container.

To make the cookies:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180’C. In a mixing bowl, stir together the contents of the jar. Add 110g of softened butter, 1 lightly beaten egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
2. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are light brown. Cool for 2 minutes on sheet and then transfer onto wire rack to fully cool.

I used a revision card to write the recipe instructions on and tied it to the jar with some gold twine.

This kit-in-a-bag approach to cooking is obviously in vogue as Delia’s put together a Christmas Cake mix in a bag for Waitrose this season – great minds Delia, great minds!

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About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog www.feedingboys.co.uk is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families thatโ€™ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
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14 Responses to Home made gifts – cookie mix in a jar

  1. Brilliant idea! I always mean to make my own stuff at Christmas but I get in a bit of a Martha Stewart like state. I had my first visit to a hobbycraft in Tamworth recently, my nearest one is probably Harlow and I want to go again to buy long sticks for gingerbread biscuits that I can wrap in packets.

  2. looks great. love the other receipes. Good to find your blog (via BMB blog hop). I will be back.

  3. Ah, the wonderful, blissful world of Hobbycraft! It’s the one thing I really miss about Milton Keynes, thank God for on-line shopping. Love the cookie-in-a-jar idea, I’ve seen them about and it looks really pretty and effective. I’m on the home-made pressie track this year too, lots of fun ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Michelle says:

    I love the home made present idea and this is a nice simple one that will keep well. I’ve made cookies as gifts before, so this could be a nice change.

  5. Rosemary Hamilton says:

    Glad to see you’ve found a good use for my jars!It is always a good idea to save anything that might come in useful!I’m sure the youngsters will enjoy their cooking sessions.

  6. Anna says:

    These sound really tasty and I love the homemade pressie idea. Will have a go at making them some time soon – it just so happens that I have all the ingredients in my cupboard, apart from the dessicated coconut. Found you on the BMB newbie blog hop.

  7. Thanks for this.
    I’m off to raid my cupboards for ingredients as my girls school want a jam jar gift for the christmas fayre… again!

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