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I have been sharing handmade gift ideas with you lately. I've been pretty busy and productive making these and these for family, neighbors and friends as I prepare for Christmas this year. Making things myself really helps to put me in the Christmas Spirit!
Another very popular gift I'm working on this year are a couple of recipes for gifts in a jar. With grocery prices being so high this year, I feel like some food gifts will be appreciated by many and I have found and come up with some great recipes! Plus, I've found efficient, quick ways to pack and seal them so that making up a bunch of these gifts is a snap!
First, I'll start with a couple of recipes! One uses a quart jar and one uses pint jars.
Oatmeal Yeast Bread
I wanted to find a yeast bread mix that I could give in a jar. Most of the recipes that I found required instant fast rising yeast. I have regular yeast and wanted to use it. So, I had to improvise and tweak some things to come up with this delicious bread recipe that takes no time to bake! This jar mix isn't necessarily gorgeous in a jar, you mostly see just flour and oatmeal. But, you can dress it up with a cute label or tag or some cute scrapbook paper on the lid. The resulting bread is terrific! When I made it to test it out, I mixed it and kneaded it in my Kitchen Aide and then formed it into a loaf and only needed to let it rise once.
Here is the recipe card that you can print, and also a tag to put with the mix, telling how to make it. As usual, click on the recipe and a printable pdf will come up for you. Be sure to adjust the paper size to the size you want it to be. I printed mine in a 6 x 4 size on regular paper and mounted them on festive cardstock. Or you can print them right onto cardstock.
Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Pint Jar
This mix is perfect for the small family who wants a treat, maybe for Family Night, but doesn't want a bunch of sweets around afterwards. Or, this size of gift mix would be perfect to give to a couple rather than a family. I had some pint jars to use, so I loved this idea of a mix that makes 10-12 cookies. I found the recipe for the mix @ PJs and Paint. She provides a free printable download. The only thing I did differently was to sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on the very top of the mix just for fun!
Here is how mine turned out!
Making the Mixes Without Making a Mess, And Sealing Them to Keep on the Shelf!
Tip #1: If you are a canner like I am, then you will already have the best tool for filling your jars. It is this canning funnel! Trust me, you don't want to pour all of the flour and sugar into those jars without one! If you aren't a canner and don't have one, they are very inexpensive. (Under $5) Then, I just line up my jars and fill them one ingredient at a time along the line!
Tip #2: To seal your jars and to give them the best shelf life, you need this jar sealer along with a pump like this. This system is so easy to use! There is no need to have a ring on every jar because the lid is sealed in place by a vacuum! Don't misunderstand and think that vacuum sealing takes the place of canning, it does not. But, for dry ingredients like these mixes, it is perfect! Your ingredients will stay fresher up to 5x longer that it would unsealed and taste much fresher as well.
Last year I purchased a food saver that also sealed jars. I wrote about it here. Unfortunately, due to user error, I broke the jar sealing mechanism! I was so sad! But, for Christmas, my son and daughter-in-law gifted me a new portable one like the one I've linked to! If you don't want the entire food saver machine, this is a more affordable option!
Tip #3: I love to give my jar mixes with cute labels or tags on them that tell how to prepare the mix. The best place to design these is on Canva or Avery. Wherever you design them or print them, be sure to write the date that you put them into the jar on the tag so the recipient will be able to know the age of the product when they go to use it, (and hopefully use it before very long for a fresher experience!)
I hope these recipes and prep ideas come in handy for you! What are you making for gifts this year? I'd love to hear about your plans!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!