Holiday Treats in a Jar

Melissa Kossler Dutton

Wondering if your child's teacher would appreciate a batch of holiday cookies but not sure if you have the time to make them?

Perhaps you should skip the baking. Instead, give cookie fixings artfully arranged in a one-quart mason jar. It's a fun project for kids and caregivers to tackle together.

And it's not limited to cookies. We've given you recipes for M&Ms Cookie Mix and for Peppermint Stick Cocoa Mix. Clip the recipes, glue them onto an index card or piece of cardstock, and attach them to your gift jars!



1-1/4 cups of white sugar

1-1/4 cups of M&Ms candies

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder


1. Emptying the jar of cookie mix into a large mixing bowl and thoroughly blending.

2. Adding a 1/2 cup of softened margarine or butter. Mix in one slightly beaten egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

3. Mixing until completely blended. You may need to finish mixing with your hands.

4. Shaping into balls the size of walnuts and placing on a parchment-lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

5. Baking at 375° for 12 to 14 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Cooling on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, then removing to wire racks to finish cooling. Makes about 30 cookies.



1 cup of powdered milk

1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of miniature chocolate chips

1/4 cup of crushed peppermint candy

1/4 cup of miniature marshmallows


Thoroughly mixing the contents of jar in a large bowl.

Returning the mixture to the jar.

For each serving, place 1/3 cup of the cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup boiling water or hot milk.

ASSEMBLY TIPS (Here's what we learned the hard way!)

It matters what ingredient you start with. For the cookies, start with the sugar, then the M&M candies. Mix the flour, baking soda and baking powder together and then add them as the last layer. For the cocoa mix, start with the powdered milk, then cocoa powder, then the sugar and salt, then the chocolate chips, crushed peppermints and marshmallows.

Use a funnel or quarter-cup measuring cup to pour most of the ingredients into the jars!

Pour in little bits at a time - not the whole amount.

Pause after each ingredient to tap gently and level out the layer. Sometimes you have to gently tap the ingredients into the jar with your (clean) fingers to help them settle.

The jars look a little fancier if you create a 1/4-cup layer of miniature chocolate chips on either side of the sugar in the cocoa mix.


*The jars look festive when you place a circle of fabric between the ring of the lid and top of the jar. Cut a circle of fabric 2 to 3 inches wider than the lid. Place the round section of the lid on the jar, center the fabric on it and screw on the ring.

*Children also can add ribbons or labels they decorate themselves to the jars.

*Attach the directions to the jar with a ribbon or print them on adhesive-backed paper and stick them to the jar.


Local teachers told us to consider giving the jars with cookie cutters, pot holders or baking gadgets so they would have something permanent to remember the child by.