The weather is getting colder, and we have a handmade holiday on our minds! Handmade gifts have heart, are better for the environment, and, if you opt to buy, it supports independent artists! Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be posting about recycled gifts you can make yourself and great handmade finds for sale.
A mason jar full of cookie mix is a pretty traditional handmade Christmas gift. This project gives the idea a green face lift using a delicious vegan cookie recipe. Cutting back on eggs and dairy can help folks lower their carbon footprints by avoiding these animal products. The recipe in this project is based on my favorite chocolate chip cookies: Happy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies. These things are foolproof, and no one ever suspects that they’re vegan. It’s a great way to help folks see that vegan baking can have delicious results!
Here’s what you need to make one gift jar:
- quart-sized mason jar
- 2c flour
- 2t baking powder
- 1/2t salt
- 1t cinnamon
- generous 1/2c dried cranberries
- 1c sugar
- generous 1/2c vegan dark chocolate chips
- hole punch
- gift tag big enough for the recipe and directions
- yarn, ribbon, string, or twine
You’ll want to decorate the jar before you start, so that it stays pretty much upright after it’s packed. Too much jostling will mix up the dry ingredients and you’ll lose those pretty layers of ingredients! Decorate however you like – maybe wrap the jar with a handmade label?
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Pour this into the bottom of the mason jar and tap the jar on the counter until everything is level. It’s important to get things packed in nicely, so you maintain the colorful layers! Add the dried cranberries, pressing them gently. Pour in the sugar, using your wooden spoon to smooth the top out a bit. Top the jar off with chocolate chips. If there’s any extra room in the jar, you can add more chocolate chips. No one has ever complained about chocolate chip cookies being too chocolatey! Close off the top of the mason jar.
Make your recipe card. You get bonus points here for using reclaimed paper or cardboard. A paper grocery bag or old cereal box works great! Punch a hole in the corner, so you can tie it to the bag, and write on your recipe:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all of the ingredients from this jar in a large bowl, stirring well.
- In a small bowl, combine: 1/2c vegetable oil and 1t vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix until there are no lumps remaining. If the dough seems dry, add the water one teaspoon at a time until it forms a nice ball.
- Drop 2 tablespoons at a time onto a baking sheet, flattening each ball of dough slightly, and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are golden brown.
- Yield: about 24 cookies
Use your ribbon, twine, or yarn to attach the recipe to the jar, and you’re ready to gift! If you’re trying to be a bit thriftier this year, you can even cut the recipe in half and make cute little pint-sized jars of mix!