A few more “Gifts in a Jar” recipes

Well, the main topic of conversation this week has been the snowfall! Everyone was so very excited and had so much fun. According to a couple of friends, the teachers even allowed the children time to play in the snow. It had not snowed in Yoakum since 2004, so lots of the children had never seen snow unless they had been to another state to visit. I had never seen snow in Yoakum, because when I lived in Victoria and it snowed in January or February, I was not able to drive to Yoakum because I couldn’t get here and was busy having fun in the Victoria snow. One of my daughters told me she thought we had been here one time when it snowed in the late 60s or early 70s, I told her we were here during a sleet storm. Her reply was; “Well, I wondered why we didn’t get to play in it!” Everything was beautiful; the trees are what had me fascinated, mostly because they looked as if they had been flocked like Christmas trees. One of the trees in my yard is an Anaqua or Knockaway, the leaves are rounded and over an inch in diameter, each leaf on the tree looked as if it had a cotton ball glued to it! Once I realized it was really snowing, I more or less moved from room to room watching out the windows. The best views were where my security light shines in the yard and once I realized that, I also turned on a light that is on the corner of my house and gave myself another great view.
Saturday morning found me up at an early hour, and I decided it would be a good idea to mix up cookies. My first three batches are in bowls in the fridge, needing only to be scooped onto cookie sheets and baked. My next batch is going to be a new recipe that was served at a meeting on Friday evening. The hostess had used a recipe that is on a container of glace cherries and it contains the cherries as well as chocolate chips and is truly a tasty treat.
The following recipe for Bess’s Messes is from a very dear lady who used to live in Devine, she always brought us samples of these to the office and named them herself as it was a combination of several recipes and she was making them healthy!
Bess’s Messes
2/3 cup canola oil
1½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk, (skim is OK)
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ teaspoon salt
1/ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2½ cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant, nor old-fashioned)
¼ cup dry, oat bran, high fiber hot cereal (use dry)
1 cup raisins
Heat oven to 350ºF. combine oil and brown sugar in large bowl; stir to mix. Lightly beat eggs, milk and vanilla, and add to first mixture. Stir together to mix well. Stir together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon and add to above. Mix well until all dry ingredients are incorporated into mixture. Stir in oatmeal, oat bran and raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto lightly sprayed baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned, tops will not brown. Allow to cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Remove from pan, place on rack and cool thoroughly.
This recipe is a very old one that was in a Wesson Oil® cook book that I had when my children were small, it was handy because you could make them quickly.
Stir and Drop Cookies
2 eggs
2/3 cup cooking oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400ºF Beat eggs with fork until well blended. Stir in oil, vanilla and lemon rind. Blend in sugar until mixture thickens. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; add to egg mixture. Dough will be soft. Drop by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie slightly by pressing lightly with a glass dipped in sugar. (Lightly spray or oil glass, dip in sugar, flatten a couple of cookies, continue dipping in sugar as you do each cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet immediately. Cool completely.
Delicious Oatmeal Cookies
¾ cup butter or margarine
½ cup granulated sugar
1½ cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup pecans
1 cup coconut (optional)
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Cream butter and sugars thoroughly; add eggs and vanilla. Sift together the dry ingredients and stir in until well mixed. Add the oatmeal, pecans and coconut (if used). Drop dough by spoonfuls on lightly greased or sprayed baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool thoroughly, store in tightly covered container.
Mix together and set aside: 2 Tbs. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup shortening
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Thoroughly cream together the shortening, sugar and eggs. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and gradually mix into the shortening mixture. Mix well and chill dough overnight. Shape into balls the size of small walnuts in their shell; roll each one in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350ºF until lightly browned, but still soft. They will puff up and then flatten out.
Now, here are a couple more “gifts in a jar” for you to try. Sometimes, these recipes call for a 1 quart canning jar and the ingredients turn out to be more. You might want to see if you have any type of decorative jar or container that you can use. In the following chocolate chip cookies, the measurements amount to about 4½ cups.
Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1½ cups oatmeal
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Spoon into 1-quart wide-mouth canning jar. Layer remaining ingredients in order given, making sure to pack down each layer firmly and clean inside of jar with paper towels after each layer. Decorate as desired.
Attach the following instructions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large mixing bowl, cream together ½ cup softened butter or margarine, 1 egg, and 2 teaspoons vanilla until everything is well mixed. Slowly add contents of jar and mix well. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten cookies with glass dipped in sugar*. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until very lightly browned. Makes 3 to 4 dozen.
*Lightly grease or spray bottom of glass, wipe off excess. Dip glass in sugar and flatten cookie. Repeat dipping glass until all cookies are finished.
Sugar Cookies in a Jar
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1½ cups sugar
Combine the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In a clean glass jar, with a wide mouth, layer the sugar, followed by the flour mixture. Press firmly in place and seal. You will not be able to use a canning jar for this, you will need some type of jar, (i.e. think storage jar, canister type with rubber seal and flip-lock seal, or apothecary type jar), with a really tight-fitting lid that holds more than five cups as you have over 5½ cups of ingredients. Attach a card with the following instructions:
Gift card: In a large bowl, beat 1 egg, with 1 cup softened butter until light and fluffy. At low speed of an electric mixer, in same bowl, add ½ cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla and jar contents. Mix until well combined, using hands if necessary. Cover dough and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove dough from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Roll chilled dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.