Let me begin by saying I love to give presents to people. I love to wrap them and get out all the ribbons and make tags and generally junk it up. Lots of us don't, however, and that's okay. It seems like today's economic atmosphere has made it okay to give a small simple present just to say you care and it will be appreciated. Hallelujah! I've really tried to make these inexpensive and easily created, because sometimes December gets away from us and we need to get something done fast and cheap. Where possible I will try to tell you where I found the artwork or downloads for tags, or if I handmake them I'll try to give simple instructions. I've tried to choose things that I not only could make several of easily, but also things I wouldn't mind receiving, because let's face it, we celiacs love our food. Here are some ideas for people who may deserve one of these gifts:
*Your child's schoolteacher
*Your best friend
*Your church buddies
*The lady who lives next door
*Your best friend's celiac husband
*Your aunt who also has celiac's
*Your boss or underling*Your child's gastroenterologist, therapist, doctor or other helpful person
*Your celiac child care helper
*Your favorite food blogger (!)
So, on to post #1: M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar. I basically hacked this from Bakerella, who is my new secret bloggy crush. I made some of these cookies, known as Cowgirl Cookies, for Maggie's birthday party in August, so I know they're good. Check out the recipe here, but here's the basic order of things.
1. Make things easy on yourself and purchase WIDE MOUTH Mason jars for this project. You will thank me later.
2. Make sure you really pack down the flour and sugars, etc, because if you don't they won't fit. I found tapping the jar on the counter on top of Kronk's New Groove DVD really worked to get the air out and then I pushed it down with my fingers.
3. Assembly line is best, you can crank out several of these while you have the mess and ingredients handy.
4. Find some super cute fabric and cut 6" squares for the top. I cheated and used one of my daughters 21 billion clear plastic ponytail holders to hold the fabric neatly on top so I could tie the bakers twine around it. I felt so smart.
5. I found these cute tags that come in three different colors at OrganizedChristmas.com and found that my extra large (2 5/16, I think) punch was still to small to punch them out, so I just punched out the important part and used some scrapbook stickies to adhere it to the jar. If I was really fancy I would have printed it out on sticker paper and stuck them on that way, but I think it's just fine like this. I think the tags are designed to be cut out and folded like a little card, and if you wanted to do that, just punch a little hole in the top and thread it through the twine or ribbon.
6. Because I am a computer retard, I didn't change the document at all to resize the baking instructions. I simply cut them out and placed them tricky like under the fabric. If I were JoLayna, I would have designed my own labels on Publisher that worked some tricky gluten free phrase into the design, but these are just fine for me.
Here's the order of what goes into the jar:
First, Grandpa's Kitchen flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
Second, Gluten free oats
Third, Christmas color M&Ms
Fourth, semisweet chocolate chips
Fifth, brown sugar
Sixth, white sugar
Seventh, chopped pecans
This is what my neighbors, home teachers, and my kids' Primary teachers will be getting this year. My one disclaimer? I'll only be making about 5 of these mixes gluten free, for the people I know eat that way. The rest I'll do with regular flour and oats, simply because of cost. The cost for one jar of cookie mix is about $3 per jar, depending on how much you pay for the M&Ms and what type of gluten free flour you use.