Make it, Gift it, Bake it! – Home Made Shortbread Cookie Recipe in Reusable Jars – with either White Chocolate & Madagascan Vanilla or Milk Chocolate & Valencia Orange
Everyone likes to dip into the cookie jar every now and then (cup or tea or not). As someone who likes to make gifts for friends and family (they’re so much more personal), this easy to make idea is something I will give a huge HonieLikes to …. Home Made Cookie Recipes in re-useable jars as Gifts (what’s not to like).
I remember thinking up this idea and then a long time later seeing that it was obviously such a good idea, someone else had done the same, lol. They had listed themselves as an ‘Artisan Baker’ for the idea – I just think of myself as savvy, crafty and love to make and bake.
The idea was rejuvenated when a friend asked me to help her raise some money for MacMillan Nurses and I immediately thought of these as a good way to raise money, give out a good idea and share a great recipe of mine (genius, applause can be heard for miles). I made just 10, sold them within the hour and given that I had freshly baked cookies for tasters, – 10 happy faces and lots of enquiries. I knew that this was something I’d be very happy to do again.
I used 2 recipes: Madagascan vanilla & white chocolate cookies and Valencia orange & milk chocolate cookies. Both recipes are firm favourites in our house and they are so easy to bake – my kids can make them!
They look great, they taste heavenly (you can use your own recipe if you really want to), they make fantastic gifts, they are gratefully received (trust me), they are easy to make, easy to bake, cost very little, a bit fiddly (I have to be honest) but when you have made a few, it’s a knack you don’t forget.
Here’s the math – the jars are reusable and cost approx. £1.20 in discount stores; the ingredients cost approx. £1.00 (if you use low cost flour, sugar, chocolate). But I do use Valencia orange extract and Madagascan vanilla extract (which are store cupboard ingredients for me). I have seen these on sale for as much as £7.99, but we sold them for £4.99 to ensure that costs were covered, supporters were happy and the charity raised money. It’s entirely up to you, but you must cover costs.
I have the recipe for these and cookies with other toppings on my blog, but for the jars, I had to modify the ingredients to bake well and look good as gifts or even to sell. Personally, I think that small broken pieces of chocolate look a lot better than perfect looking chocolate chips and show that you have made an effort to make this recipe yourself. The picture above is with ready bought chips – I’ve since made and given them out with roughly chopped chips and the difference is worth the effort.
You will need (for each Cookie Jar):
- 1 sealable jar (like Kilner) approx. 500g in size
- 225g / 9oz plain flour
- 75g / 3oz soft brown Muscovado sugar
- 100g / 4oz chocolate broken into pieces (white for the Madagascan vanilla recipe / milk for the Valencia orange recipe
- 1 greaseproof paper disc (hand cut or available in shops)
Method of Preparing the Cookie Jars:
- Clean the jars with hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly.
- Carefully spoon in half of the flour mix with a spoon and tamp down with the back of the spoon to compress.
- Turning the jar, hold the spoon outwardly in the jar and press down to form a clean line on top of the flour where it meets the jar.
- Carefully spoon half of the Muscovado sugar into the jar, but allow the sugar to come up the side of the jar, forming a bowl shape with a rim (this will contain the bulk of the next batch of flour and allow for the layers to look even). Repeat the tamping and forming a clean line process. The rim will be pressed down also.
- Carefully spoon the remainder of the flour on top of the sugar, repeat the tamping and clean line process. The flour should be as level as possible on top.
- Put one teaspoon of the chosen extract into the centre of the mixture (it ail absorb into the flour).
- Carefully spoon the remainder of the Muscovado sugar, level, tamp down and form a clean line to the inside of the jar.
- Place the greaseproof paper ring on top of the layered mixture.
- Spoon the chocolate pieces into the jar.
- Seal and decorate the jar with the ingredients and method displayed.
It is important to list the ingredients (in case of allergies) if selling the jars and it is important to list the baking method (especially as there is one more ingredient to add) and so that the recipient can actually make the cookies. Remember to list which flavouring and chocolate you are using. The tags either side were printed on one card (details back to back) and a further folded card had the name of the cookies on the front and my details and the name of the charity supporting on the back – or just a message from you. Place the card with the ingredients/method in the centre of the folded card and using a hole punch, make a hole. Thread ribbon through to tie together and attach to the jar.
Method of Baking (to be included as instructions to the recipient):
Makes approximately 36 cookies
Set aside the chocolate chips. Put all other ingredients in bowl, adding 150g/6oz softened butter. Rub mixture between thumbs to form breadcrumbs. Add the chocolate chips & mix well. Squeeze mixture together to make a ball of dough. Roll into 36 ping pong balls. Place on a lined baking sheet leaving room to spread. Press with a fork. Bake at 170C/ Gas 3 for 15-20 mins. Leave to cool – Enjoy!