On food: Make a mix in a jar to give as gift

A few Christmases ago, our granddaughter started making gifts in jars — jars containing dry ingredients with recipe cards telling how to use the mixes and what other ingredients need to be added.

There were soups, hot drinks, snacks and dry spice mixes, cookies, bars, cakes and even smoothie mixes. She hints that those jars will appear this year and we’re ready!

You can get as elaborate as you want or keep them simple as the recipes I have in this column.

Carry this idea a little further by adding the can of whatever needs to be added or a supermarket gift certificate.

What would be really nice is to prepare the dish, then give it to the lucky receiver along with the mix in the jar and recipe so they can to fix it another time.

The Ball Brand people started this idea many years ago. Check out the Ball Idea Book for Layered Mixes at http://www.canningpantry.com or other websites. It’s a keeper!

Try these quick and easy recipes, which are great for the kids to help put together.

Candy Cane Hot Chocolate

Mix for jar:

1 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk

1/4 cup instant hot cocoa mix

2 tablespoons powdered Swiss chocolate coffee

1/4 cup crushed candy canes

Using canning funnel, pour dry milk into Ball pint jar. Use tamper or bulb of baster to pat down milk. Add cocoa mix and Swiss chocolate powder, pack firmly as with the milk. Layer crushed candy canes last. Place lid on jar.

Tie a candy cane and instructions to the jar with bow.

Instructions to attach to the jar: Measure 1/3 cup Candy Cane Hot Chocolate mix into mug, pour 1 cup hot water over mixture. Stir until well mixed and cane bits melted.

Dixie note: Could add small size peppermint marshmallows in small bag.

Blizzard Bites

1 Ball pint jar

Mix for jar:

1/3 cup bite-size rice cereal squares

1/4 cup mini pretzel twists

1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried pineapple

1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Put cereal, pretzels and nuts into jar on the order listed. Combine dried pineapple/ dried cranberries in small bowl. Pat fruit mixture in jar. White chocolate chips are top layer.

Instructions to attach to the jar: Remove white chocolate chips — place rest of jar ingredients in bowl, mix well. Melt white chocolate chips on low heat, stirring constantly. Pour melted chocolate over snack mixture, toss until evenly coated. Spread mixture in single layer on waxed paper. Cool; break into bite sized pieces.

Sunrise Muffins (Christmas Morning Muffins)

These are good and the mix is colorful for the holidays! Add one of the drink mixes or some gourmet coffee and mugs for a great gift.

Mix for wide mouth quart jar.

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of each: salt, nutmeg, cinnamon

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup dried pineapple

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup slice almonds

Layering for dry mix: Combine flours, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Put in wide mouth quart jar. Firmly pack flour mixture in jar; next, light brown sugar into jar. Combine golden raisins and dried pineapple; layer into jar. Combine coconut and almonds; layer into jar. Adjust cap.

To prepare muffins add:

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg, slightly beaten

Brush muffin tins with oiled pastry brush. Combine milk, vegetable oil/egg in bowl. Add muffin mix. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fill muffin cups half full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20–25 minutes.

Gift idea: Place in a new mixing bowl surround by Clementines.


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