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Gifts from the Oven
Part 2: Giving Dessert Making Ingredients in Jars and Containers
More of this Feature
Part 1: Presentation Ideas
Part 3: Dessert Recipe
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"Cookies in a Jar"

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How about helping your friends do a little baking on their own? Give them the dry ingredients and the baking instructions to one of your favorite dessert recipes. This is an excellent gift idea for the holiday season. These also make lovely housewarming gifts. There are three simple steps to this gift.

The first step is to pick a recipe that doesn't need much more than your dry ingredients. The gift recipient should have the "wet" ingredients on hand. Although it's not totally necessary, I like to separate the sugars from the flours in a regular cookie recipe. It makes it easier to make your cookies when you can "cream your butter and sugars" like it says in most recipes.

The second step is to select a container and how to decorate it. There are so many containers to choose from for your ingredients. I like glass because it comes in so many shapes and sizes. There are mason jars with hinged-lids, which have rubber seals for an extra tight fit. There are also wood-topped, glass cookie jars, and glass stackers, which are cube-ish with tight fitting lids. A glass pitcher that fits in the door of a refrigerator would also work.

Two other choices for containers are plastic and metal. Storage containers, such as Rubbermaid or Tupperware, would keep the ingredients fresher. Decorative and/or collectable tins could also be used. I would put the dessert ingredients in resealable, plastic bags so that your they don't leak out.

The chosen container would determine what type of decorations might be necessary to "wrap" the gift. Decorative tins are already decorated and may only need a ribbon or raffia tied around. This would be a good place to attach the recipe. Perhaps punching a hole in the recipe card and threading the ribbon through.

If you want the gift recipient to be able to reuse the plastic containers, decorating may be limited. All the decorations would have to withstand dishwashing. There are some paints that would be able to do that. Decorating with dried or silk flowers tied on with ribbon makes a nice impression.

Glass leaves the most room for decorating. There are relatively new products on the market that will allow you to actually etch the glass. All it takes is some chemicals and a stencil. There are also paints that are dishwasher resistant.

The final step is putting it all together. Fill the container with your dry ingredients. Decorate the container and attach your recipe. Viola!! A gift for that special someone.

I hope the below recipes give you some ideas of what recipes you might want to give away. Enjoy!

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