Tips for Cookie and Brownie Mix In a Jar Article - Allrecipes.com
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Cookie and Brownie Mix In a Jar

Nothing says “I love you” like the gift of cookies




Layers or All Mixed Up

In some recipes, the ingredients are all layered in a clear glass jar so that each layer is distinct, giving it the look of "sand art." If you're going for this layered look, the ingredients need to have different colors and textures. A sugar cookie mix made with white sugar and white flour is not going to show up well as layers!


Packing 'em In

Most of the cookie and brownie varieties of mix-in-a-jar recipes will fit into a 1-quart or 1-liter wide-mouth canning jar, as long as you pack the ingredients in as tightly as possible.

  • After placing one ingredient in the jar, press it down with a utensil with a fairly wide flat bottom (a long-handled tart tamper works especially well). Do this after each ingredient, especially after adding things like brown sugar, flour, oats, nuts, confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, and dried fruits.
  • White sugar will seep down into layered items like colored candies, chocolate chips, nuts, etc. It's better to put white sugar below these ingredients.
  • All-purpose flour and confectioners' sugar also have the same seeping problem, so put them on the bottom, too.
  • The layers will stand out most if you pack the highly contrasting items next to each other.


Fun-Filled Containers

There are other options besides glass jars, like heavy-duty plastic freezer bags. Once you've filled the plastic bags with the mix, there are a variety of ways you can fancy 'em up for gift-giving:

  • Place them in a decorative tin or cookie jar
  • Package them in a cloth-lined basket
  • Have your kids paint pictures on lightweight cardboard gift containers (available at craft stores) or use leftover oatmeal containers
  • Place them in a beautiful mixing bowl, and if you want to be extra nice, include a good-quality wooden spoon
  • Make it a whole baking kit: include a cookie sheet, measuring spoons, cups, and a timer. College students love to receive this package in the mail!


    Steps to Give

    Remember to include a card listing the recipe's ingredients and instructions.

    • Hint: many of the recipes call for half an egg. How does one measure that? Simply beat the egg and place it in a glass measuring cup and divide that amount in half.
    • Or you can use a whole egg--this will just cause the cookies to rise a little higher while baking and be a little more cake-like.
    • If you include the recipe, your recipient can make the gift again and again!


      Shelve It

      If stored in a cool, dry, and dark place, your gift can last for up to 6 months, as long as all of the ingredients used to make it were fresh. (Make sure your baking powder and baking soda aren't going to expire anytime soon.) If the mix contains nuts, it should be used within 3 months.

      Comments
      Aug. 5, 2009 11:31 am
      Thank you for this great tips! I'm thinking of doing this for the holidays. I love to bake, but baking for all my family members can be too much work, so I'll just do this and they can bake them! Love it!
       
      Aug. 23, 2009 11:08 am
      Thank you! I've been looking for an article like this everywhere. :)
       
      Maria 
      Sep. 17, 2009 8:23 am
      Thanks- this is exactly what I was looking for. :)
       
      darlene 
      Sep. 20, 2009 11:11 am
      I think I have found what to give for christmas gifts. Thanks!
       
      Julie Drey 
      Oct. 8, 2009 8:56 pm
      Our church group did this for new visitors. They loved it.JD
       
      Sherry 
      Oct. 17, 2009 9:06 am
      How do you keep the brown sugar in these mixes from getting hard? I like to use 2 ml plastic stand up bags instead of jars because it is much cheaper and I make a lot of these, but the brown sugar gets hard no matter where I place it in order.
       
      Oct. 18, 2009 7:24 am
      Thank you for these instructions, I know what I'm giving for Xmas.
       
      Ron Dipple 
      Oct. 20, 2009 7:54 am
      Good idea, kiss system, Keep --It ---Simple---Silly
       
      Oct. 20, 2009 7:58 pm
      Does anyone know if you can put honey in one of these jar mixes? I know honey doesn't have to be refrigerated I just wonder if it would mess up the layering or other ingredients.
       
      browneyegirl 
      Oct. 22, 2009 11:06 am
      thanks for the tips..i thought of doing these for my kids teachers and e.a;s this year..and maybe a few others..
       
      Alice 
      Nov. 1, 2009 5:27 pm
      I want to make some of the jar cookies this yr. I have a question if you don't mind? (I'm just new today) I have 16 oz. Mayo jars. Will most of these recepies fit in this type of jar? Thanks for the tips on these kind of cookie jars. I want to start making mine, as I have quite a few to make and I hope I bought the right type of jars. Thanks so much!
       
      Nov. 9, 2009 5:33 pm
      Thanks for the idea of a fundraiser. I have been put in charge of our church's fundraising committee and when I saw this, I thought what a great idea!
       
      Roxie 
      Nov. 10, 2009 11:26 am
      Just wondering how early I can make these for Christmas without the brown sugar getting hard??
       
      Cooknteacher 
      Nov. 11, 2009 4:55 pm
      Thank you SO MUCH!! I've been looking for cookies in a jar recipes, found them, then lost them in a move. It's great that this site features some of them!
       
      Nov. 15, 2009 1:24 pm
      Thanks a TON!!! I'm always on the lookout for good gift ideas!!! Cookie's in a jar are great gifts to give and receive!!!
       
      Nov. 30, 2009 6:43 pm
      I'm tying a Christmas cookie cutter to mine for that added touch.
       
      Christie 
      Dec. 1, 2009 9:00 pm
      I was planning on making cookies in the jar for my neighbors. Thanks so much for the great tips.
       
      Janet Hayton 
      Dec. 2, 2009 2:38 am
      I make cookie or soup jars for all the ladies in my boyfriend's family. I'm always looking for new recipes. Are there alot somewhere on this site?? The older ladies especially like the soup because they are alone. I got fancy Christmas jars at Syracuse China when they went out of business so I don't even have to paint them this year. Have to start looking for recipes. Merry Christmas everyone!
       
      Brenda 
      Dec. 2, 2009 5:12 am
      I've given these jars at Christmas before and the recipients just love them especially kids.
       
      Nelda 
      Dec. 2, 2009 7:43 am
      To Alice. A quart is 32 ounces so your 16 ounce jars would hold half a recipe only.
       
      Cherubaby 
      Dec. 5, 2009 7:08 am
      I never tried these before but i imagine if u can put the brown sugar on top..alst layer then put a piece of apple peel on top..sugar won't harden at all...that's how i keep mine soft in the bag at all timees..
       
      Dec. 5, 2009 10:08 am
      I usually use the large yankee candle jars. They look so pretty and I hate to waste the jars!
       
      Dec. 7, 2009 9:11 pm
      I'm looking forward to creating these cookie jars this year for Christmas gifts. I will be making the chocolate chip oat jars for co-workers; I know they will be very happy with them. :o) I will put a review about them on the layering process after creating them. :o)
       
      Dec. 10, 2009 4:51 am
      This year I am giving the Brownie Mix in a Jar. I am enthusiaticly looking forward to my family's reaction because they all like to cook and eat...:)!
       
      mkpkoivu 
      Dec. 12, 2009 2:51 pm
      I love this too! I have been looking for something like this too for family & friends! Now I can make and even for my daughter who is old enough to have a boyfriend and want to make things for him and his family along with with myself.
       
      jamienewbee 
      Dec. 20, 2009 3:54 am
      i love you for making me more confident and excited to getting started on these.. i'm so greatful to come across this idea on here..this christmas i'm sooo short on money for christmas gifts for my fam,who of course will be having a great gift to hand me, and now i know i'll be able to have a great gift for ALL of my family now to give them back!! thank you sharing with others honestly can turn out to sumones blessing. i am so greatful thank you greatly!! yay!!! erry christmas!!
       
      patty 
      Jan. 1, 2010 5:49 am
      Thanks, I didn't know what size jar I needed. I also didn't realize the importance of packing down the ingredients. Thanks for the tips!
       
      sharon gray 
      Feb. 9, 2010 11:57 pm
      hattie90278@yahoo.com
       
      Grace 
      Mar. 15, 2010 8:16 am
      I also have a problem with brown sugar getting hard. One suggestion was to put the brown sugar in the microwave after you take it out of the jar and before you mix it with the other ingredients. Any other suggestions. I've been told it was as hard as concrete.
       
      Robin K. 
      May 7, 2010 5:30 pm
      Not sure if it will work, but I always store brown sugar in the fridge and it stays soft for a very long time. Perhaps tell the recipient to store the jar in the fridge?
       
      Rosie 
      May 14, 2010 12:17 pm
      This is in reply to Sherry who asked about the brown sugar staying soft. I always dig it out of the container and then microwave it for a couple of seconds if needed, it always comes right back to new. Hope that helps.
       
      Rosie 
      May 14, 2010 12:25 pm
      This is just an add on about the brown sugar thing. I use the sharp end of a wooden spoon to get it out of jars and lots of times you'll find that once blended with the other ingredients it's great. When I store it at home I use one of those clay thingies that you moisten and add to the brown sugar to keep it soft. I buy them at the bulk food store. Remember to wet it every once in a while, and put it back the in sugar container. Hope that helps also. Jar gifts are the greatest thing since sliced bread.
       
      laurie 
      Aug. 15, 2010 6:03 am
      Now how bout' some recipes for these containers? I'd like some suggestions for sending flat in a ziploc!
       
      Goldie 
      Oct. 17, 2010 4:36 pm
      I used this cookie in a jar for decorating the tables at my daughters wedding shower. We did a kitchen theme and raffled off the jars for the guests near the end of the shower. They loved it!
       
      Oct. 27, 2010 11:36 pm
      i have been making these for years upon years. i'm quite sure everyone's sick of them by now. i make baskets with a wooden spoon, kitchen towel, assorted chocolates all around the jar that is topped with a square of gingham fabric and decorated with ribbon bow and a heart shaped fabric yoyo finished with a button. i then wrap the baskets in festive cellophane and finish with wired ribbon.
       
      carla 
      Dec. 5, 2010 5:58 pm
      thanks so much !!
       
      Carol 
      Dec. 6, 2010 1:59 pm
      Does any one have a cookie receipe that you mix all the ingredients together. Then put it in an air tight container.(Making a large batch) And when you're ready to make cookies all you had to do was add peanut butter or choc. chips. I had this receipe a couple of years ago but missed placed it. I use this receipe to make gift with, by putting the mix in jars and adding choc. chip, or M&M's
       
      Dec. 7, 2010 5:46 pm
      How about the fact that usually you have to combine the butter and sugar, then mix in the egg? How do people account for this problem. I have heard about it curdling when they mix the egg and butter together. Any suggestions?
       
      marge 
      Dec. 15, 2010 12:46 pm
      This is a wonderful way of giving that perfect gift to someone who has everything.To the above question I make a label that states what they must add.
       
      saragallimore 
      Dec. 20, 2010 8:28 am
      Brown sugar is good up to one month from the time you put it in the jar.
       
      AnnC 
      Dec. 23, 2010 5:57 pm
      These are great for more thing than already mentioned. They are perfect for teaching the little ones measurements. My four kids range from 3 1/2 to 8. Each one was able to participate in making these. We did three types of cookies and two types of brownies. Great for families!!!
       
      carolyns 
      Mar. 11, 2011 6:50 pm
      I freeze my brown sugar, (left in original pkg.)and then placed inside a gallon freezer bag. When I need it, it only takes a few minutes out of freezer to "soften" enough to measure. So why not put in freezer? I believe canning jars are also freezer safe, so this recipe would be fine stored in freezer.
       
      Mar. 25, 2011 7:37 pm
      This will be a perfect Christmas present for our family. I always wondered how people put these together. :)
       
      Shell 
      Jun. 11, 2011 5:50 pm
      I have a rediculous amout of "jar recipes"! If anyone is looking for something specific, email me with "jar recipes" in the subject box. I'll do my best to get the recipe you're looking for.
       
      Smeefy 
      Jun. 16, 2011 12:46 pm
      Regarding freezing these mixes -- chocolate chips will develop that chalky white look if they are frozen and then thawed. The jar presentation won't look as good.
       
      doreen 
      Jul. 6, 2011 3:56 pm
      good gift ideas!
       
      doreen 
      Jul. 6, 2011 3:57 pm
      yummo - Great gift ideas!
       
      Shell 
      Sep. 15, 2011 12:31 am
      Hi, I offered to give jar recipes with my email (above). I'm happy to do it & I've had a few people ask me. However, I know I haven't gotten back to one lady & I feel terrible but I have been in & out of the hospital a lot this summer & it takes some time to look through the recipes as I have so many plus to type them out. I want to help, I've just had a few set backs health-wise. I hope to continue to respond to your emails. Note; I cannot type out (for example) 10 to 15 recipes for one person. I'm happy to give you quite a long list of choices or please tell me what type of recipe you're looking for & I'm happy to send 5 or 6 recipes. I say that now because as the Holidays roll around, I want to help but I want time to respond to all who ask. Looking forward to hearing from you :)
       
      katrina9 
      Sep. 18, 2011 5:35 pm
      I think this would be a good fundraiser how much would you sell them for though to make a profit? and will they ship ok?
       
      eniemanCIA 
      Nov. 7, 2011 2:30 pm
      Hi, In response to the problem with the brown sugar... when storing at hope keep in a seal tight conatainer like from rubbermade there inexpensive at like Kmart or Walmart. And for the jars if you mannually seal the jar (push down the lid when you screw on ring). Or you can heat the jars quickly layer them and just put the ring and lid on and they should seal themselves and will be shelf stable for a year or so... Hope this helps
       
      Nov. 14, 2011 9:57 am
      Excited about doing this this year. Wanted to in the past, but never got around to it. With left over canning jars, there is no excuse not to, and my 5 year old who loves to help cook will now have gifts this christmas that fit his personality! Super excited. As for brown sugar problems... sometimes people place a piece of bread in cookie jars to keep them moist, maybe if there's room, you could try it, and just discard the bread before mixing.
       
      Trish 
      Nov. 18, 2011 11:58 am
      I will be doing this this Christmas. I am on a tight budget for gift giving, and this is so easy, convenient and economical. Since I have most of the ingredients on hand already, I can fit this great gift giving idea into my budget. Thanks so much for this inspiration. And it harkens back to 'Christmas Past' when homemade was the norm. And thanks eniemanCIA for the idea of heating the jar first to seal in the ingredients for freshness.
       
      MrsA 
      Dec. 2, 2011 3:21 pm
      You can find LOTS of really cute containers at the DOLLAR STORE for your jar recipes...They have great plastic containers that seal tight! Who says that you have to spend a lot of money on expensive jars!!!???
       
      kiddingme 
      Dec. 5, 2011 11:24 am
      We made these a few years ago and sent them to families along with a game (board/card game). Besides shipping, it was fairly inexpensive, a bit of work (with kiddos), and a huge hit! We liked the idea of giving a gift that would help families spend time together.
       
      Shell 
      Dec. 10, 2011 6:35 am
      Hi again... Please feel free to contact me for Jar Recipes (email above). All I have to do now is copy & paste as I have most of my recipes saved to my computer. Happy Holidays :)
       
      gwashington1961 
      Jan. 27, 2012 12:24 pm
      I am so happy to come across the many & varied ideas for packing these recipes in 1 qt. jars [glass or plastic], or layered in plastic bags. Attaching a copy of the recipe packed in the container will gain a sincerely joyous reaction from the recipient of the gift. Those of you who are worried about the brown sugar should feel free to make the brown sugar the last ingredient in the jar-packed well. Purchase a clay disc designed to keep your brown sugar soft, and include one in the jar [with its' instructions]. Do not drown the disc, you only want it to work for a short while. If you make it too wet it will wreck the rest of your mix with too much moisture in the container. Enjoy the many options opening for you with these recipes!
       
      wolfette 
      Jan. 31, 2012 9:51 pm
      Hi..To all..I am so excited in finding all these great recipes..With Christmas over and now heading towards Valentines day..I was hoping someone has any great recipes for cookie mixes for the jars..
       
      May 31, 2012 11:07 am
      If you are making these for Valentines; use a recipe that has Chocolate chips and substitute pink, white and red M&M's. If you a container and there is extra room at the top; crumple waxed paper the fill in the gap. This way the layers are less likely to get mixed together if the container tips or gets shaken up.
       
      itsjusttracey 
      Oct. 23, 2012 8:20 am
      This message is for SHELL...hopefully you will get this. I do not know how to get in touch with you through this site....I would like to get some of the jarred recipes from you. tracey_bratton@yahoo.com
       
      Nov. 9, 2012 7:03 pm
      can you put dried cranberries
       
      Nov. 9, 2012 7:05 pm
      i have a tops magazines
       
      Nov. 9, 2012 7:05 pm
      i belong to tops
       
      Dec. 13, 2012 4:38 pm
      Dried cranberries work just fine in the jar mixes.
       
       
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