Christmas Cookies in a Jar

How to make Christmas cookies in a jar

Christmas Cookies in a jar make a great gift for teachers, coaches, or anyone who deserves a little Christmas cheer!

It’s that time of year again, time to start thinking about holiday gifts for the special people in our lives. In our home, my girls have always wanted to contribute to holiday giving, so that means coming up with easy craft ideas for Christmas gifts. These Christmas cookies in a jar are a wonderful solution. They are pretty, easy to make, and taste great! I got this recipe years ago from a friend, but I think it originated in Family Fun magazine. Here is how to make these festive holiday cookies in a jar:

christmas-lights-dividerHere is what you need for each jar of cookies:

  • 1 quart glass wide mouthed jar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate covered candy (such as holiday M&Ms)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cocoa-crisped rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • Ribbon and decorative tag

To Make the Cookies in a Jar:

  1. Add the ingredients to the jar in the order listed above, packing down each layer with the back of a spoon as you go.
  2. Screw on the jar’s lid, using a pretty ribbon to attach a decorative tag with the important baking directions (see below).

Here is what the baking directions say:

Happy Holidays!

To make your holiday cookies, cream together 1/2 cup of butter or margarine, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 egg in a large bowl. Add the contents of the jar and stir until well blended. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

**If the cookies were going to a teacher, we also attached a picture of the girls to make it a little more special.

directions for making Christmas cookies in a jar

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 For some more great Christmas cookie party ideas, be sure to take a look at the Christmas party themes on our website, Creative Party Themes!

Turkey Cheeseball

Turkey CheeseballThanksgiving in our family means lots of people, lots of children of every age, and lots of food! Although we take turns hosting the dinner, everyone always brings some different recipes to share. I am always in charge of potatoes, but I usually bring some extra treats to add to the start or end of the meal. Last year I happened to come across this adorably goofy turkey cheeseball idea on a great website called Crafts a la Mode and I thought it would be a fun addition to the appetizer portion of our Thanksgiving dinner. It definitely made everyone chuckle, and the kids loved it! We almost hated to cut into the poor turkey because he was so dang cute.

A turkey cheeseball is ridiculously easy to make. If you are ambitious, you can make your own actual cheeseball and roll it in chopped nuts (you can find directions for this at the Crafts a la Mode website).  I found a pre-made port wine and cheddar cheese ball in the better cheese section of our local grocery store and it worked perfectly.

Here is what you need to make your own turkey cheeseball:

turkey cheeseball

My daughter Emily helped me put together our turkey

INGREDIENTS:

  • One pre-made nut covered cheeseball
  • One Slim Jim jerky stick (cut to the right length for the turkey’s neck)
  • One chocolate candy for the head, such as a Whopper or large malt ball
  • Two candy eyeballs
  • One piece of candy corn
  • Frosting to hold the face together
  • Pretzel sticks for the tail feathers
  • Crackers (we used Ritz Crackers) to arrange around your turkey as a nest

Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, assemble them to look like a turkey! Stick the Slim Jim into the cheeseball for a neck, add the chocolate candy on top for the head, and add the candy eyes and beak to finish the look. You can use frosting, melted chocolate, or a little soft cheese to hold things together. Upright pretzel sticks form the tail feathers, and crackers surround the turkey’s body to resemble a nest. It is best to let your turkey sit in the refrigerator for a bit before serving so that he stays put together.

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Yummy Pumpkin Cake and Moist Pumpkin Cookies

pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting

Looking for a new pumpkin recipe? Here are two that we love. The first is for some totally delicious pumpkin cake with a cream cheese frosting. The second is for my kids’ absolute favorite — super moist pumpkin cookies. My mom used to make these when I was growing up, and now my girls look forward to them every fall. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 slightly beaten eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups pumpkin (1 16 oz. can)
  • nuts (if desired)

Sift dry ingredients together. Mix in wet ingredients. Bake in a 9 x 13 or a 9 x 9 inch pan for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 small cream cheese
  • 1/4 stick of margarine (2 tbsp.)
  • 1 tsp vamnilla
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Spread frosting onto cooled bars.





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Super Moist Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 4 eggspumpkin cookie recipe
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups of boiled pumpkin (1 16 oz. can)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp clove

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl into there are no clumps. Chill the dough for 1 hour. Drop on a greased cookie sheet using a tablespoon (so that cookies are about 2 inches in diameter). Bake at 4oo degrees for about 10 minutes. This should make about 30 cookies.

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Pumpkin Recipes

Use the flavors of the season to make these yummy treats. Here are a few of our favorite fall pumpkin recipes.

pumpkin cupcake recipe

Pumpkin Cupcakes

 

Pumpkin Cupcakes


Halloween Costumes All Year at Halloween Express
Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sift before measuring
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten until frothy
  • 1 cup mashed cooked or canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions:

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl.
  2.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs.
  3. Blend in mashed pumpkin.
  4. Stir in the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk, blending until batter is smooth after each addition; stir in chopped walnuts or pecans.
  5. Spoon batter into well-greased and floured or paper-lined muffin pan cups. Fill about 2/3 full. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Frost with cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, or leave plain.

** Mix yellow and red food coloring together to make orange frosting.  Add coloring to your icing until you get the shade you want. More yellow will lighten the color and more red will darken the color.

** Top with orange sprinkles.
Makes about 24 cupcakes.

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pumpkin bread recipe

Pumpkin Bread

 

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups shredded fresh pumpkin
  • 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and fold in the shredded pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. Once the ingredients are all incorporated pour into a non- stick 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan. If your pan is not non- stick coat it with butter and flour.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. At this point a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.

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pumpkin scone recipe

Pumpkin Scones

 

Pumpkin Scones

Ingredients:

  • About 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • About 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine, cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup plus one tablespoon milk
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Preparation:

1. In a bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and salt.  Add 1/2 cup of butter, and use your fingers to mix until pea size crumbs form.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk pumpkin and 1/2 cup of milk until well blended. Add to flour mixture and stir until dough is evenly moistened.

3. Scrape onto a lightly floured board, turn over to coat, and gently knead until dough comes together, 5 or 6 turns. Pat dough into a 6 inch round, 1 1/2 inches thick; cut into 6 equal wedges.

4. Separate wedges and place on a lightly buttered  12 x 15 inch baking sheet. In a small bowl, beat egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of milk to blend; brush lightly over the tops of the scones (discard any unused egg wash.) In another small bowl, mix granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the scones.

5. Bake in a 375 degree oven until scones are golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a rack, serve warm or cool.

(from Sunset Magazine, 2001)

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