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Simple and Delicious Homemade Gift Idea

I don’t know about you but for me baking and holidays go hand in glove. I recall my mother baking loaf after loaf of her delicious cheddar cheese bread to give family, friends and neighbors. The smell of that bread baking was as irresistible as the bread itself. Everyone looked forward to that holiday tradition, and my mother enjoyed the baking as much as any recipient did the bread. Not all of us bake; some of us can barely boil water, as the saying goes. Here’s a recipe for creating a lovely gift from the kitchen without being a baker.

The basis for this recipe came from a word search puzzle my mother worked, then saved for us to try. We’ve adapted the original to suit ourselves and recommend it without reservation. Everyone-and I mean everyone-who has eaten one of these cookies has liked it. One is rarely enough. If you like to bake, by all means bake batches and give as gifts. Otherwise create a kit and invite the recipients to bake their own.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated cane sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a one-quart canning jar, layer ingredients in the order listed, pressing each layer firmly before adding the next ingredient. Tightly screw lid on jar and use festive ribbon to attach a gift tag with these instructions:

To prepare cookies, preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper for easier clean up.
In a mixing bowl, mix 1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
Add contents of jar and stir to blend. Chill dough to make forming into balls easier.
Shape dough into walnut-sized balls, place two inches apart on prepared cookie sheets, and bake 11 to 13 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool on pan until firm, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely
before storing.
Yields 30+ cookies.

Unless you’re making gift jars of cookie mix, you’ll find this recipe invites “playing around” with the ingredients. Learn more at Baking Our Holiday Gifts, then assemble your ingredients and fill your home with the irresistible fragrance of freshly baking cookies.

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