I hope the first few weeks of fall have been treating you well. Spoiler alert: this is my favorite season (if you couldn’t tell be all my fall recipes lately), so that means I am extra excited to share these cranberry walnut jar cookies with you today!
Prepping homemade jar cookies is particularly simple, and can even make for a fun activity with young ones! Jar cookie gifts like this are comprised of a decorated mason jar and all the dry ingredients needed for a batch of cookies. Then, you add a cute gift tag for the recipient with a list of wet ingredients and baking instructions.
The cooler weather just seems to gather people together – think: bonfires, family dinners, football tailgate parties. (In fact, spending time with family and friends is one of the things I love most about autumn; see my post here about throwing a fall party!)
So these cookies in a jar make for the perfect host/hostess gift, housewarming present, or party favor for whatever other social events to which the season leads. It’s also a great way to cheer someone up or simply let them know they are in your thoughts!
Not to mention, these cookies are so tasty that you just might have to snag the recipe (I’ve included it below) and make yourself a batch, too!
Alright, that’s enough talking; let’s begin! Scroll for a video tutorial, or continue reading for a list of materials and instructions.
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Dry Ingredients for Jar Cookies:
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- sprinkle of salt
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (these are my favorite, found at Whole Foods or on Amazon)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (if nut allergy, substitute for 1/4 cup more cranberries and chips, each)
Materials for Jar Cookies:
- Quart-sized mason jar (buy the ones with a wide-mouth like these; it makes filling so much easier)
- Spoon (not recommended) or Muddler (this is the one we have in our bar set and it works great in this recipe, too)
- Clingwrap (I use this brand)
- Decorative/wrapping paper (I bought mine in-store at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and cannot find it on their website. Here is a similar pack on Amazon! Tip: Look for thinner paper, or even wrapping paper. Stay away from thicker, cardstock-like sheets.)
- Stamp and Inkpad (I used this color and this “Made With Love” stamp)
- Twine (you can find this at any local craft store, or buy some here)
- Scrap paper towel roll, paper, and tape to make a funnel (optional, but helpful)
- Gift tags (I bought these in-store at Jo-Ann Fabrics, but you can also use these or these)
- Instructions sheet printable
- On the back of the gift tag, you will need to attach the instructions for your jar cookies recipient. You can print out a pre-sized instruction sheet here to glue onto the back. More notes on this later.
- Alternatively, you may choose to handwrite the instructions. Just a warning: the gift tags are petite, so writing on them may be tricky!
Where my visual learners at?! (My almost-OCD, grammar-obsessed-self had a difficult time leaving that sentence written in such a manner… but it’s all for fun, right?! And, maybe I’ve had one too many cups of coffee today. LOL. Moving on…)
Take a peek at this quick video tutorial for assembling your jar cookies:
Assembling The Jar Cookies:
To begin, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Using a funnel, pour this mixture into the bottom of your jar. Then, with the back of a spoon or muddler, carefully smooth out this first layer. If you apply too much pressure the flour tends to “poof” out around the muddler; instead, gently try to nudge the edges to be as even and smooth as possible.
Next, add into the jar a half-cup of brown sugar. Use the muddler again to tamp down this layer. The brown sugar packs together nicely, so you can create a really pleasing, flat top!
Then you will pour in one cup of dried cranberries. This layer creates a pretty “pop” of color right in the middle of your jar. Smooth this layer out gently, and then add a half-cup of white chocolate chips.
After leveling your layer of chips, pour a half-cup of chopped walnuts into the jar. One last time, gently smooth out the layer. At this point, if you used a quart-sized mason jar, your ingredients will almost reach the top.
Finally, we come to the white sugar. (No, I didn’t forget about it!) It’s important to put the sugar at the top of the jar, as this is the first ingredient to be beaten in with the butter when prepping the cookie batter. Most cookie recipes beat butter with sugar first, before adding other ingredients, in order to incorporate air into the mixture. This helps the cookies rise, later on.
To keep the fine sugar from falling through the thick, chopped nuts, lay a piece of cling wrap across the mouth of the mason jar, and press it down and in, making a small, bowl-like shape. Pour the sugar into the “cling-wrap bowl”. Then, lift the edges of the wrap upwards, and twist them together to seal the sugar.
You can trim any major excess, and then tuck the twisted knot into the side of the jar. This won’t be visible, so you don’t have to worry too much about making it tidy.
Decorating The Mason Jar:
Roughly sketch a large circle on the back of your decorative piece of paper, and cut it out. Place the seal (the flat piece of the lid) on the mason jar, and then center your piece of paper over it. Press the paper down gently over the sides of the jar, and, using some force, begin to screw the lid on over the paper.
It may take a bit of effort, but soon the lid will screw on with ease. Take a look around the “skirt” and make any necessary adjustments. You can unscrew the lid and trim the paper as many times as needed!
Next, finish your gift tag. Liberally apply ink to the stamp, and then press it down carefully (but firmly) onto the front of the tag. Let it dry for a few minutes.
Then, using a glue stick, apply the baking instructions to the back of the tag. If you are using 1.5″ x 2.5″ tags or slightly larger, print this template at “full size” or “100% scale” (if you don’t know what that means, that’s okay – your printer generally will print at full size unless you’ve previously changed that setting).
If your tags are smaller than above, reduce the scale before printing. (Unsure where to begin? I would start by reducing to 90%. Print a sample, compare it to your tag, and then readjust if necessary.)
You can also choose to handwrite the instructions, or print your own tags! Here is the information to include on the tag:
Cream 4 tbsp room-temperature butter with white sugar (top of the jar) until fluffy. Add 2 tbsp milk, 1 egg, and 1 tsp vanilla; mix again. Stir contents of jar into wet mixture. Roll in tsp-sized balls, flatten slightly and place onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375* for 12-14 minutes.
Next, cut a piece of twine approximately three arms-lengths long. Fold it in half once, and loop through the gift tag. Then, wrap the twine around the lid of the mason jar a few times, and tie it off with a cute bow. Trim away any excess twine.
And, it’s as simple as that! In less than fifteen minutes, you have adorable jar cookies to gift this autumn season! 🙂
Cranberry Walnut Cookie Recipe (For Yourself!)
Cranberry Walnut Jar Cookies
- 1.25 cups flour
- .5 tsp baking powder
- .5 tsp cinnamon
- .125 tsp baking soda (1/8 tsp)
- dash of salt
- .5 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- .5 cup white chocolate chips
- .5 cup chopped walnuts
- .5 cup white sugar
- 4 tbsp room temp butter
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Cream together the butter and white sugar until very fluffy.
- Next, add the milk, vanilla, egg and combine with mixer.
- Then, with a large spoon, thoroughly mix the dry contents into the wet.
- Drop or roll large teaspoon-fulls of dough onto a greased (or parchment papered) baking sheet. If your batter is very thick, flatten the cookies slightly.
- Bake at 375* for 12-16 minutes, or until the color has tanned a bit on top and browned around the bottoms.
Jar Cookies – A Sucess?!
Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think of this tutorial! I’d love to hear how your jar cookies turn out!
I need your advice: what type of cookie recipe would you like to see next?! Give me your ideas and you just might see it in the next post!
As always, thanks for reading! If you’re in the mood for more fall dessert, check out my Chai Spiced Shortbread Cookies (or at least Pin them for later – you’ll thank me!)
And, if you’re having a fall get together, be sure to create these super easy and cheap pumpkin platters – literally, the compliments on this 15-minute (if that) project won’t stop. Be warned. 🙂
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