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NORTHWOODS COOKS: Cookie and cocoa mix jars make good Christmas gifts

Christmas gift jars filled with a baking mix, topped with burlap or fabric and tied with a ribbon or string is a "make at home" project the whole family can participate in together.

Making cookie and cocoa mixes in a jar is a way to share your love of baking with family and friends. With a few simple ingredients, some jars, fabric circles, tags and ribbons you will create a personal gift that the receiver can enjoy during the holidays. Children can help measure and pour ingredients into the jars to make this a family project. Here are a few samples to get started. Search online to find many more varieties. Many recipes also have free printable tags to attach to the jars.

This recipe received five stars from those who reviewed it on allrecipes.com

Special Butterscotch Chip Cookies

1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup flaked coconut

1 cup high protein crisp rice and wheat cereal

3/4 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Layer ingredients in the order given in a one quart wide mouth canning jar. Firmly pack each ingredient in place. It will be a tight fit, but all ingredients will fit in the jar. Use pinking shears to cut an 8- or 9-inch circle from gingham, calico, or a seasonal fabric. Place the fabric over the wide-mouth lid and rim and secure with a rubber band. Tie on a raffia or ribbon bow to cover the rubber band. Attach a card to the ribbon or raffia with the following mixing and baking directions:

Empty jar of cookie mix into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of butter or margarine, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Use hands to mix the wet and dry ingredients together. When completely blended, roll into large walnut sized balls. Place on unprepared cookie sheets and use the palm of your hand to flatten each cookie ball. Bake at 350 in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.

This recipe from thehappierhomemaker.com comes with a printable gift tag.

Chocolate chip cookies

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips.

1 quart size mason jar

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Place mixture in 1-quart jar. A tip to getting the mix to look pretty is using the back of a spoon to pack the flour mixture down around the outside of the jar. Add the brown sugar next using the same method to pack it down in the jar. Then add the remaining ingredients, ending with the chocolate chips on top.

Chocolate chip recipe gift tag for making cookies above:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) softened butter or margarine, 1 large egg and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until blended. Add cookie mix; mix well, breaking up any clumps. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

This jar gift from allrecipes.com has only six ingredients and can be paired with a cookie jar.

Hot cocoa mix

6-1/2 cups powdered milk

1 (5 oz.) package non-instant chocolate pudding mix

1 cup powdered chocolate drink mix

1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

In a large bowl, combine powdered milk, chocolate pudding mix, chocolate drink mix powder, creamer, confectioners' sugar, and cocoa. Divide the mixture between two one-quart jars.

Attach a tag with the following instructions: Hot Cocoa: Dissolve 1/3 cup cocoa mix in 1 cup boiling water.

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