Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cranberry Drop Christmas Cookies - DIY Christmas Part 1

Every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember has been spent celebrating with my Mom's side of the family c/o food, presents and lots of spontaneous singing. The food and singing are a constant, although throughout the years a new song or two is thrown into the mix along with a new favorite recipe; the gift giving tradition changed a few years back. With such a large family, and so many youngsters, we used to draw names from a hat. Each kid pulled from the list of their cousins and each adult pulled from a list of their siblings and those sibling's spouses. As the children grew up and the rules regarding this gifting method became increasingly blurred it was decided that we would now give one gift to each family unit rather than to individuals. This change came about the year my husband an I were married and so I spent countless hours covered in hot glue and flour attempting to solidify our standing a new singular family unit via mason jars filled with beautifully layered ingredients to the most amazing cookies I had ever tasted, hand written baking instruction tags and personally decorated gift bags.

As is often the case I made the process much more difficult than it needed to be, but was proud of the results and therefore do not regret the effort expelled. So if you are looking for DIY Christmas gifts to give out in bulk (co-workers, party favors, or just extremely large extended families such as mine) read on.

You will need an airtight jar that holds around 1 quart. I used (and highly recommend for their awesomeness factor) Mason jars.

Layer the following ingredients in your jar (note there are multiple layers of flour which for easy reference add up to be 1 and 1/8 cup):

5/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Note: I use slivered Almonds when making these cookies for myself

Tag Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet or line
with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1
egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until fluffy. Add the entire jar of ingredients, and
mix together by hand until well blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the
prepared baking sheets.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges start to brown.
Cool on baking sheets, or remove to cool on wire racks. Makes 18 cookies

It is rather unfortunate in my opinion (and my arms, if they had an opinion, I'm sure would agree) that my favorite cookies cannot be prepared using my most favorite of appliances, my red Kitchenaid stand mixer. Trust me though, it is worth it!

The gift bags are a matter of personal preference, you can buy ready-to-go ones from your local shop or you can do what I did and cover your floor, yourself and maybe a pet or two in hot glue adding buttons, fake poinsettias, and other holiday paraphernalia to green paper bags (from Walgreens). I used a hole punch and some raffia to thread the top edge of the bags with a festive-type bow and filled the empty space inside with that pretty, but really annoying colored paper-shredding stuff! (my crafting tutorials are bound to be very technical and specific as you can see)

The final step is the most important of them all... use your leftover ingredients to bake as many cookies for yourself as possible and pig out in the name of Christmas Cheer!

Happy Gifting!
Stay tuned for the next installment of DIY Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. I have been meaning to ask for this. I wanna do it next year for my coworkers.


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