Welcome to Day 4 of the Florida Dairy Farmers’ “12 Days of Christmas Cookies & Milk.” Today we’re celebrating with special gift from the kitchen, one that can add a personal touch to holiday presents. This year, how about sharing a recipe in progress? Cookies in a jar, for example, are attractive combinations that look like edible sand sculptures when artfully layered. The dry ingredients of basic ingredients make up the layers.
Best of all, you can buy the ingredients during a regular grocery shopping trip. Then make any number of jars in assembly-line fashion.
Busy households will enjoy receiving these jars because you’ve purchased and measured the messy ingredients. The jar contents are simply dumped into a bowl with the appropriate liquid additions such as butter, egg, and a flavoring extract.
Inexpensive quart canning jars can be used to make these gifts. With a colorful cloth and ribbon to cap off the presentation, you have a festive present for an open house, teacher gift or cookie exchange. Just don’t forget the preparation instructions!
Holiday gift-giving emergency tip: Keep a few extra jars under the Christmas tree. When someone drops by unexpectedly with a gift, you have a great present ready to go.
At the end of the recipe you will find another treat: A chance to win a KitchenAid Mixer and a $250 Visa Gift Card. I think Santa is a farmer.
Crunchy Chocolate-Toffee Cookies
Yield: 1 gift from the kitchen
2/3 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup toffee chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted and completely cooled
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 cups buttermilk biscuit and baking mix, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1. In a quart jar, layer (think sand sculptures) in this order 1 cup biscuit and baking mix, dark brown sugar, 1 cup biscuit and baking mix, light brown sugar, chocolate chips, and toffee chips or bits. The order is not critical, but this gives you an idea of how the elements can be layered for a pleasing appearance.
2. Add lid and decorate top of jar as desired
3. Tie instructions to the top: Attach these instructions to each dry-mix jar: Empty contents into a large mixing bowl. Stir in 1 stick softened butter, 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla until well-combined. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on baking sheet coated covered with parchment paper. Bake at 375F for 10 minutes or until cookies are golden. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
- Baking mixes are sold in a variety of brands and stocked near flour in the supermarket. A mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder and other ingredients, this convenience product great mainstay for pantries because they can be used in sweet and savory dishes.
- If a cookie recipe calls for butter, you could make the finished treats crisper by replacing the butter with shortening or using a mix of butter and shortening.