There are 29 of us.
This has always been difficult for me. What can you get for 29 people that a) won't make you take out a second mortgage and b) won't get thrown away the moment one gets home?
Seriously, if you have ideas, I want to hear them.
The past few years, I've tried to make things. Last year (or the year before?) I knit washcloths and made hard candy for the adults and stalked the dollar section at Michael's and Target for the kids. This year, I decided the "jar gifts" that have the ingredients for a recipe inside the glass jar and instructions for how to bake attached would be a great idea.
Most of those recipes are for quart jars, fyi. I wanted to do pint jars, and because I love you I am going to include the three recipes I used in this post. If you ever want to make pint jar gifts, I am here for you.
'Cause the Internet really is not. The Internet thinks you should make quart jar gifts. The Internet cares not for your holiday budget and large families. Stupid Internet.
Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies
- Mix 3/4 c. flour, 3/4 t. baking powder, 1/4 t. salt, and 1/2 t. cinnamon together and put in bottom of clean pint jar. Add the following layers:
- 1/2 c. rolled oats
- 1/2 c. peanut butter chips
- 1/4 light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 granulated sugar
"Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the contents of the jar into a large mixing bowl and mix with 1/3 c. melted butter, 1 egg, and 1/2 t. vanilla extract. Roll cookie dough into 1” balls, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes."
- a smidgen over 3/4 c. flour (The recipe was for a quart and called for 1 2/3 c. Don't freak out about it. Just estimate. It's flour, not liquid nitrogen.)
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1 c. chocolate chips
- 1/4 brown sugar, packed
"Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Empty contents in a large bowl. In separate bowl, combine 1/3 c. butter, 1 egg, and 1/2 t. vanilla extract. Beat until creamy. Add to dry mixture. Drop by tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes."
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- 1/2 c. powdered milk
- 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 c. miniature chocolate chips
- 2 candy canes, broken into pieces
Tightly lid jar and attach instruction card with a ribbon to the jar.
"Mix contents in a large bowl. For each serving, place 1/3 c. cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 c. boiling water. Store remaining mix in airtight container."
There are a couple diabetics in the crowd, and I made them the peppermint hot chocolate mix with Splenda instead of sugar. They're still getting sugar from the chocolate and candy canes, but at least they're getting less sugar. Andrew also has a cousin with Celiac, and the Spanger brand candy canes and Trader Joe's chocolate chips are gluten-free, as are the other hot chocolate ingredients.
I really anticipated these being nice, inexpensive gifts. They are nice. I feel that some real thought and effort went into them, and I hope people enjoy them. Inexpensive? Not so much. I bought the pint jars off eBay, which is where I found the best price, and all the ingredients were basic grocery staples. Still, they were not cheap. I think making anything for more than twenty people is going to be expensive, so I'm going to claim this as a victory.