This post is a DIY and a recipe! One of my favorite things to give for gifts are homemade pre-baked goods. It’s an almost foolproof gift idea: they will definitely be delicious, they will not break your bank account, and there is no way the receiver will want to return them for a trendier sweater or store credit and risk ruining a great relationship because you don’t know what the appropriate monetary equivalent of your friendship is!! This is also a great gift for a friend who is far away, which was my reason for making this particular Almost-Cookie Jar. The Almost-Cookie Jar contains all the dry ingredients one would need to make cookies; it’s the jar receiver’s job to add all the wet ingredients, spoon the cookies out, bake, and eat! Just make sure, jar makers, to include full ingredient list and baking instructions. Recipe adapted from The Cookie Book. —Rebecca Firkser
1 quart mason jar's worth of almost-cookie dough
Mason Jar, with a lid
1 1/3 cups
all purpose flour
old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups
60% chocolate chips
packed brown sugar
chopped almond, pecans, or walnuts (optional)
To assemble: Carefully measure out all ingredients and layer them in the following order in the jar, making sure to pack everything in.
First: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
Third: chocolate chips
Fifth: brown sugar
Sixth: granulated sugar
Seventh: cinnamon, chopped nuts
Put the top on the jar and cover it with a square of cute fabric and tie with ribbon or string.
Attach the following instructions along with the ingredient list: Stir the contents of this jar together in a large mixing bowl. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Roll the cookies into balls and bake on a parchment covered cookie sheet for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Yum!
Rebecca Firkser is a freelance food writer and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, among them Food52, TASTE, Edible Manhattan, Extra Crispy, The Strategist, and Bon Appetit's Healthyish and Basically. She contributed recipes and words to the book "Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day." Once upon a time, she studied theatre design and art history at Smith College, so if you need a last-minute avocado costume or want to talk about Wayne Thiebaud's cakes, she's your girl.