Sweet Gifts from Your Kitchen

Q: What’s better at Christmastime than a homemade gift? 

A:  A homemade gift that doubles as a fun family activity and a sweet treat for the person who receives it! 

I love the idea of giving cookies as gifts around the holidays, but REALLY love the idea of giving a homemade cookie mix.  By putting together the dry ingredients for cookies and layering them in a jar, typing up instructions on a cute card, and attaching a cookie cutter, you create a pretty, fun gift anyone would love  (plus you save TONS of time by not having to bake everything!).

All you need to do is buy all the dry ingredients (listed below for gingerbread cookies), get some wide-mouthed mason jars (like those used for canning–available at any hardware store or discount store like Target), buy cookie cutters (I love these handcrafted ones with little handles from Vermont, www.annclark.com), and cut some squares of a pretty fabric and some ribbon to tie around the lid and you’re ready to create your fun gift.

In keeping with the season, I love gingerbread cookie mix and a gingerbread man cookie cutter.  Simply follow the instructions below and you have a great gift for teachers, friends, hostess gifts, or your mail carrier!   Note:  This and lots of other recipes for jar cookies can be found at Allrecipes.com.







Gingerbread Cookies in a Jar

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    1. Mix 2 cups of the flour with the baking soda and baking powder. Mix the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour with the ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. In a 1 quart, wide mouth canning jar, layer the ingredients starting with the flour and baking powder mixture, then the brown sugar, and finally the flour and spice mixture. Pack firmly between layers.
    2. Attach a card to the jar with the following directions: Gingerbread Cookies 1. Empty contents of jar into a large mixing bowl. Stir to blend together. Mix in 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine, 3/4 cup molasses, and 1 slightly beaten egg. Dough will be very stiff, so you may need to use your hands. Cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour. 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 3. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. 4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven. Decorate as desired.

    Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.


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