Christmas Craft Gifts

White Christmas Bars in a Jar

What you need:

1/4 cup white chocolate or vanilla milk chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted* and cooled

1/2 cup sweetened dried cherries or cranberries

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed**

1 cup buttermilk biscuit baking mix

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed**

1 cup buttermilk biscuit baking mix

Directions to make Christmas Bars in a Jar:

In 1-quart wide-mouth glass jar, gently layer and pack ingredients in the order listed, beginning with the white chocolate or vanilla chips. If there is any space left after adding the last ingredient, add more white chocolate or vanilla chips to fill the jar. Place lid on top.  Cut an 8-inch circle of fabric to cover lid. Place fabric over lid; secure in place with ribbon or raffia. Decorate as desired.

Make a gift card to attach to your Christmas Bars Jar and include the following message:

“To make White Christmas Cherry Bars:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Empty contents of jar into medium bowl.

Stir in:  1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted

1 large egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Press into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until bars are light golden brown and center is almost set. Makes 16.”

TIPS: * To toast pecans, place in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring every minute.

** After measuring the brown sugar, crumble it between your fingers for uniform texture. Be sure to pack the brown sugar firmly in the jar to prevent the baking mix from sifting down through it.

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Chocolate Cakes in a Jar

What you need:

8 pint-size wide-mouth canning jars

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 cups granulated sugar, divided

4 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups unsweetened applesauce

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

How to make Chocolate Cakes in a jar:

1.        Pre-wash canning jars in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, then dry and let them come to room temperature. Grease insides of jars well.

2.        Beat together butter and half of the sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and remaining sugar, vanilla extract and applesauce.

3.        Sift dry ingredients together and add to the applesauce mixture a little at a time, beating well after each addition.

4.        Pour one cup batter into each jar and carefully remove any batter from the rims. Place jars in a preheated 325 degree F oven and bake for 40 minutes.

While cakes are baking, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and carefully add jar lids. Remove pan from heat and keep lids hot until ready to use. When the cakes have finished baking, remove jars from oven. Make sure jar rims are clean. If they are not, jars will not seal correctly. Place lids on jars, and screw rings on tightly. Jars will seal as they cool. Cakes will slide right out when ready to serve.

Unsealed jars should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 2 weeks. Sealed jars may be stored with other canned food or placed in a freezer. The cake is safe to eat as long as the jar remains vacuum sealed and free from mold.

Use all canned cakes within 6 months.

Special thanks to Josephine, who sent us the recipes for these simple Christmas crafts.

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