Gifts of food are some of my favourite presents to receive and, with Christmas not far away, I started thinking about the gifts I will be giving this year. In my local favourite deli this week, I noticed they were selling cookie mixes in jars cutely tied with red and green ribbons for christmas gifts. Even though the idea of cookies-in-a-jar has been popular for a couple of years now, the gift is still a good one and one that is certain to be used. Not only do they make a fabulous Christmas gift, they are also a great wedding favour gift. Just fill jars with layers of ingredients from a favourite recipe, tie with a ribbon, add a tag with baking instructions and you are done. It couldn't be any easier.
The ingredients in the cookie recipe shown can be varied depending on your tastes. For example, if you want a more colourful cookie you could use M&Ms instead of white chocolate chips or if you are on a budget, substitute sultanas for cranberries. No matter what, they are very easy to assemble, you can make them in advance and as the baking is left to others, there is no washing up.
Cranberry & Chocolate Clusters
1 litre glass preserving jar
1¼ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2/3 cup brown sugar
1¼ cups of rolled oats
1 cup of dried cranberries
2/3 cup of white chocolate chips
1. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.
2. Spoon the flour mixture into the jar tapping down as you go.
3. Top with a layer of brown sugar, then oats, then cranberries and finally chocolate chips. Tap down each layer as you go to show the clear divisions between the layers.
4. Seal the jar and add label, ribbons etc.
To make the cookies
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Empty the contents of the jar into a large bowl.
2. Melt 110g butter and let cool a little.
3. Mix the butter, two large eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla into the flour mixture.
4. Drop heaped teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking tray, leaving enough room for cookies to spread.
5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Please note: Preserving jars often have a lid that comes apart which you can decorate with fabric, paper or a label. For this demonstration I lined the lid with decorative paper before sealing the jar.
(Editor Modern Wedding DIY Magazine)