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During these roller-coaster economic times, we find that people are always looking for ways to give thoughtful, creative gifts without spending a fortune.
Along those lines, we love to give sweets-related holiday presents. First, we encourage our loved ones to create in the kitchen. Second, they are fun projects and the end result always brings a smile.
One of our favorites is the Do-It-Yourself Cookie Jar. All you have to do is layer the dry ingredients in the jar (we've suggested an order below), and cover with decorative paper and a ribbon. Tie on the additional ingredient list and instructions on a handmade card and you’re done!
Get creative with the jars you use, as they can double as a cookie jar for the finished product when your recipient pulls their fresh baked, homemade cookies straight out of the oven.
Blend flour, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. Place this blended “dry” layer in the bottom of your gift jar. Make sure it is relatively level in the jar before adding next layer.
Measure your brown sugar and place that in the jar on top of the flour layer. Then, pour your granulated sugar on top of your brown sugar layer.
Top with chocolate chips (or whatever inclusions you’d like). Seal the jar tightly and decorate with gift wrap and instructions provided below.
Instructions to include with Cookie Jar:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray non-stick release spray and set aside.
Place the butter egg and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and blend. Pour in the contents of the jar and mix until the dry ingredients are moistened. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold in any additional inclusions (see Sass it Up! below).
Use a teaspoon or a small ice cream scooper to extract a mound of dough in the shape of a ball. Place the balls on the parchment-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove when cookies are slightly browned on the edges. Soft centers are quite delightful. Move to a cooling rack. Eat as soon as you can stand the temperature.
SASS IT UP!
Why stop at chocolate chips? We suggest trying different variations according to your preference for a unique cookie concoction!
Chips: Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter.
Fruit: Dried cranberries, cherries, apricots or raisins.
Other: Caramel bits, Heath bar bits
The Sugar Mommas