Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Create: Brownies in a Jar

Brownies or cookies in a jar? Do I see a big question mark on your face? Yes, this is absolutely do-able, and fun as well! Adorable jars with decorative instructions are sure to be a huge hit. The secret behind it: mixing the dry brownie (or cookie) ingredients together and layering them alternately so their structures, colors and textures show beautifully in a glass jar, close the lid, add baking instructions and you have a truly lovely gift. You can get your child involved in measuring and packing each ingredient layer into the jar and choosing decorative fabric. Your kids will love putting these brownies in a jar together and giving them out as gifts! They make great thank you gifts for your kids’ teachers.

As a special treat for you, we are adding various different colored labels and tags for you to choose from so you can make these for many different occasions. Or go for a colorful mix-and-match of the different tags and labels. You can find the label and tag PDFs on our MHC Download page where they are available for free download.

Note: the pictures you see here show a pint size jar whereas the recipe is for a quart size jar. The pint size jar holds ca. a half recipe.

What you’ll need:
1 quart size mason jar, wide mouth
Fabric cut into 7 ¼ inch squares
Ribbon or twine, 18 inches

To fill each jar, you will need:
1¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white sugar
⅔ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup white chocolate chips
¼ cup butterscotch chips

1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl.

2. Take 1½ cups of this mixture and put it in the bottom of the mason jar. Be sure to firmly pack down this layer before adding the next layer.

3. Layer the white chocolate chips and then the butterscotch chips. Get most of the chips on the outside, touching the glass. Don’t worry about the middle because you won’t see that when the jars are finished.

4. Now, add the cocoa powder to the remaining flour-sugar mixture that is in your bowl. This is your final layer.

5. If you have space at the top of your jar, add more chocolate chips.

6. Screw the lid on your jar, cover with fabric and tie the fabric around the lid with ribbon or twine. Finally, attach tag or add label with the baking instructions so whoever receives these brownies in a jar, knows what to do with the mixture. To download or print the free Brownie Mix in Jar Labels and Tags, go to our MHC Download page.

Helpful tips:

  • Make sure you pack all the layers down really tight otherwise you may not fit all the ingredients. Press it down firmly with a utensil that has a wide flat bottom or use your fingers.
  • You can mix up the recipe: use your favorite nuts or use colored candies (such as M&Ms) instead of the chocolate and butterscotch chips. Remember that the more contrast you have with regards to the ingredients’ color and texture, the more each layer will stand out.
  • If you have space at the top of your jar, you can fill it with chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts or add extra chocolate chips!
  • Make sure your ingredients are not reaching their expiration date any time soon and these jars can be kept for up to 6 months. If you have nuts in the jars, then they need to be used within 3 months.
  • White sugar and flour seeps down into the other layers so it is best to keep these at the bottom and put candies and nuts above.
  • You can adapt this concept and use your favorite cookie or brownie recipe, just remember to include detailed instructions so the recipient knows how to put this special treat together.
  • If you pack the cocoa mixture into your jar in the bottom or the middle, be sure to carefully wipe out the inside of the jar above it with a dry paper towel so that the rest of the layers will show through the glass.
  • You can also give away the mixture along with a couple of squares of the baked product.

- Tali

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