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Mason Jar Gifts

Posted on Monday, December 18, 2023
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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Mason jar filled with marshmallows chocolate chips and sugar next to a gift

Mason jars provide attractive vessels for holiday food gifts. These semi-homemade presents are generally made by layering special ingredients inside reusable wide-mouthed glass lidded containers called mason jars. The gift giver must assemble the food ingredients and tightly close the lid. They must also provide recipients with directions on how to use the ingredients to create a recipe and store the unused product. Since it’s a food product, it’s also helpful to provide an expiration date.

What’s inside?

Mason jar gifts are easy to make. They can contain a multitude of ingredients that can be used to create appetizers, breakfast foods, soups, desserts and more. And, as a bonus, recipes can be chosen or tailored to the liking of the receiver. Thus, they are highly personalized gifts.

Here are our three favorites: 

Layered Hot Cocoa

(Makes 12 servings)

Food ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • ½ cup mini marshmallows
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

To assemble:

Using a funnel as needed, neatly layer all ingredients inside a 1-qt. mason jar. Tightly closed the mason jar lid to seal. Create a label containing the recipe name, ingredients, and directions for use. Attach it to the mason jar with twine. Also attach wrapped candy canes to the twine if desired to be used as stirrers.

Directions for recipient:

Thoroughly mix the ingredients. Measure 1/3 cup into each mug. Add 1 cup hot water to each mug. Top each cup with whipped cream and stir hot cocoa with a candy cane if desired. Serve hot.

Unused cocoa mix should be stored tightly sealed in a cool, dry place and used within several months.

Happy crowd layered bean soup

(Serves 15)

Food Ingredients:

¾ cup dried black beans

¾ cup dried great northern beans

¾ cup dried red beans

¾ cup dried split peas

¾ cup red lentils   

2 Tablespoons dried onion flakes

3 Tablespoons beef bouillon granules or chicken bouillon granules

2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes or Italian seasoning

2 Teaspoons dried basil or 1 Teaspoon dried basil plus 1 Teaspoon dried dill

(Optional to provide one 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes along with the mason jar)

To assemble:

Neatly and evenly layer each type of bean in the jar. In a small zipper-friendly plastic bag, add the onion flakes, bouillon granules, and the spices. Get the air out and tightly close the zipper bag. Place the seasoning packet on top of the beans before sealing the jar.

Directions for recipient:

Remove the seasoning packet. Set it aside. Meanwhile, thoroughly rinse the beans. Place them in a large microwave-safe dish. Cover the top of beans with 2-inches of water. Loosely cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid. Microwave beans on high for 15 minutes, carefully stirring midway through. Drain and rinse beans well. Put the beans in a large pot and add 8 cups of water. Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 7 minutes. Lower heat. Carefully add the crushed tomatoes and the seasoning packet. Return pot to a boil and cook for another 3 minutes. Then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot. Slowly simmer for approximately 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, and soup is fragrant.

Unused soup mixture should be stored tightly sealed in a cool, dry place and used within several months.

(Note that raw beans, particularly red kidney beans, contain toxins. Thus, it’s important to follow recipe directions and boil them long enough to ensure that the beans are safe for consumption.)   

Easy-breezy mason jar pancakes

(Makes approximately 4 cups pancake mix – but you can use what you need)

4 cups all-purpose flour

3 Tablespoons baking powder

1 ½ Tablespoons sugar

2 Teaspoons baking soda

1 Teaspoon salt                                                

½ cup mini chocolate chips or ½ cup colorful M&M Candy (to be placed in a mini mason jar)

(Optional to provide maple syrup)

To assemble:

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT for the chocolate chips or candy. Add the pancake mix to a one-quart mason jar. Wipe the rim before tightly lidding. In a separate zip tie bag or small mason jar, add the chips and seal. Give both to the recipient along with ingredients and directions for use.

Direction for recipients:

Remix the dry pancake mix. Add one cup pancake mix to a mixing bowl. Mix in one cup of milk and one beaten egg. Add 1/3 cup batter to a butter-coated griddle that is heated to about 375 degrees F. Cook pancakes approximately 2 to 3 minutes on each side, just until golden. Serve pancakes hot with maple syrup. Optional: add chocolate chips or M&Ms on top.

The unused pancake mix should be stored tightly sealed in a cool, dry place and used within several months.  

Best gifts ever!

Mason jar gifts are not only fun to make but they are semi-homemade gifts that will be cherished by the recipient. Hint: To make the mason jars look both festive and attractive, cut out a round circle of fabric with pinking shears. To adhere to the lid, the circle must be slightly larger than the diameter or the mason jar lid. Attach it to the top of the mason jar with twine.

Note: These make great teacher gifts. For more ideas, click here to access AMAC’s list featuring top teacher gifts.

Tip: Mason jars should be clean and have airtight seals.

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