I love to receive (hint, hint) and I also love to give gifts of food.  Barefoot Contessa once said that any gift for an adult should be consumable….food, gift card, tickets, liquor….and I tend to agree.   NOTE TO HUSBANDS: By “adult”, I mean friends/neighbors/teachers/hostesses, NOT SPOUSES.

Here’s what I made last year for our teachers and friends: Cowboy Cookie Mix.  If you’re already behind with all the present wrapping and Christmas parties going on and you don’t have anything yet for your kids’ teachers, this is quick and cute. Oh, and cheap, too.  And the cookies, once they are baked, are really good.

Christmas Jar Cookie Mix


1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup; leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooking oats
3/4 cup m&ms
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar


Basically, you just layer the ingredients in a jar.  But there are a few secrets to making it look perfect.


1) Start with a 1 quart mason jar. I found these at Walmart. Cheap. Maybe $15 for 12 jars.  You also need a wide mouth canning funnel.  I found a plastic one right next to the mason jars for 50 cents. It’s worth the investment to get the stuff into the jar!


2) Layer the ingredients in this order.


First: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
Second: oats
Third: m&m’s
Fourth: chocolate chips
Fifth: brown sugar
Sixth: white sugar


3)  After each layer, PACK down the ingredients with a wooden spoon.  Really pack it down, or else everything wont fit.


4) Screw on the lid to the jar, add cute fabric to the top, and tie with a pretty ribbon.  Cut the fabric into 6 inch squares and the ribbon into 25 inch pieces. Place the fabric on top and tie ribbons around the lid to hold it in place.


5) Attach a tag with the baking instructions.  I just printed them out in a small font and taped it to the back of my gift tags with double sided tape.


1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 cup butter (melted slightly in the microwave)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 in balls and bake about 10 minutes.