Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Sweet Christmas Gift!

I have been wanting to blog about this little gem for a while but couldn't as didn't know if the recipients would be reading my blog. Would have spoiled the surprise! I love finding new little gifts for Christmas and this one suited my new found love of baking (I have been a 'cook' in the past and not a 'baker') perfectly!

I would love to take credit for this idea but like most fabulous ideas, someone else thought of them first! I found this little gem in "The Very Useful Christmas Book" by which came free when you purchases 1of 6 other cooking magazines.

The recipe is called "Abby's Cookies in a Jar" Basically you put all the dry ingredients in a jar (the ones below are Decor 1L screw top jars from Big W), layered up all nicely like in my picture below....
Attach the gift tag with the cooking instructions which you can print off from and tizzy it up a bit. I found the clear Christmas bags from K-mart ($2 for 20!), the Ho Ho Ho ribbon and red bows from Big W. I think they look pretty cool and I had most of the ingredients in my pantry anyway....

Every year we get together with 3 other couples and their kids and have a Christmas lunch, we give small pressies to the kids and basically have a nice little catch up before Christmas. We did that today and I gave each family a jar of my cookie mix above. They LOVED the idea. But to sweeten the deal even more I made a batch of the cookies for them to try so they knew what to expect. My picture below of said made cookie....they were delish if I do say so myself!! is the recipe straight from the book if you can't be bothered going to the links above:

Abby's Cookies In a Jar

Makes 24
Equipment - You'll need a 1L glass jar with a lid

Jar ingredients
3/4 cup (110g) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (75g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
3/4 cup (65g) rolled oats
100g craisins (dried cranberries), see variation (I used sultanas, dark & white chocolate in the ones I made above as I ran out of craisins for the gifts, m&ms would be cool too)
130g white chocolate chips

Extra ingredients for making cookies
125g butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Spoon the flour mixture into a 1L (4-cup) capacity glass jar. Top with brown sugar, then caster sugar. Top with oats, then craisins, then chocolate chips. Seal jar. Give as gift.

To make cookies, preheat oven to 190˚C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Empty jar into a large bowl. Add butter, egg and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Shape tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on baking trays approximately 5cm apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, swapping trays halfway during cooking, or until edges are lightly browned. Turn biscuits onto a wire rack to cool. Serve.

Notes & tips
For double choc chip biscuits, substitute craisins for dark or milk chocolate chips.
Download and print out the gift tag, complete with cooking instructions here

I understand this is quite a common idea in the USA so any of my readers from across the pond have any different variations to share please let me know!


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