Gifts in a Jar

Sand Castle Brownies 03

Sand Castle Brownie Mixture in a Jar

Last Christmas, I first discovered the joy of assembling and giving away glass jars filled with a beautifully layered cookie mixture.  For years, I’d admired the variations of this creative gift idea but had never attempted to make them. That is until last year. I had found a recipe for Cranberry Hootycreeks—festive and delicious white chocolate oatmeal and cranberry cookies—at All Recipes and decided to tackle the gift project.Sand Castle Brownies 01

I was pleasantly surprise at how easy it was to assemble the cookie mixture in the jars. When I delivered the jars to family, friends, and neighbors, their faces lit up with delight at receiving the homemade gift.

So this last weekend as I searched for gift ideas for teachers, my husband’s coworkers, and our neighbors, the gift in a jar idea came to the forefront. I selected a recipe from Taste of Home for my gift project—Sand Castle Brownies.

With the supplies gathered, I converted my dining table into an assembly line and for the next couple of hours I filled one jar after another with layers of nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, brown and white sugars, cocoa, and flour, all the while listening with intrigue to Jane Eyre on my Ipod.

Sand Castle Brownies 04When I finished, half my table was covered with 18 jars of Sand Castle Brownie mixture. To dress up the jars, I placed fabric squares on the lids and then attached recipes cards with bright green ribbon.

Of course, I couldn’t give away the jars without first trying the brownies myself. So I whipped up a batch. I simply added the dry mixture to a bowl and stirred in eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. I then spread the mixture in a greased 8-inch square pan and baked for 30 minutes at 350° F. (For the complete recipe, visit Taste of Home. )

These brownies are chewy, chocolatey, and chunky goodness! A keeper, for sure. :0)

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