This isn't the first time I gave a foodie gift in a jar. Once when asked of what she'd like for Christmas, an aunt of mine said that she always liked "consumables." I personally could not agree more but you could chalk that up to our small living space. Food can make a great gift and it is inarguable a consumable.
The first year I gave gifts of tasty goodies in a jar was Christmas 2008. Like many others, it was an economically tight year for us and I was re-evaluating our culture of consumerism. I thought a lot about all that had been bought and wasted in our lives and our society. I should mention also at this time Nick and I had just been married with yours truly as both bride and wedding planner. Which means we had a ton of leftover stuff from having bought everything we needed for the wedding a'la`carte. Things like card stock from home made invitations to silk flowers to alcohol and cocktail swizzle sticks. Four months later we had more vodka than we reasonable could (or should) consume. I started giving gifts of flavor infused vodka for the holidays. Than later pickles from the vegetables from our CSA share. I would like to think I am getting better at which kind of tasty jar is right for which kind of foodie friend.
On to the present. After all, there are no cranberry vodkas or pickled green beans in this post. But this year's news of my becoming an aunt has set my creative gift making gears in motion. Making things (food or other) has always been a way in which I show affection. So for my sister-in-law, Stacie's baby shower, I found those old party planning shoes in the back of the closet. The ones I wore when I decided to make my own invitations, table cards and wedding favors. The result? Fudge Brownie mix in a jar as favors for all the guests. I think most of us there had a fond memory of baking something sweet with a parent or grandparent. I hoped this helped keep that tradition going. If you don't want to make thirty they also make a nice gift for one.
Fudge Brownie Mix in a Jar
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Affix these directions to your jar:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour a 9x13inch baking pan.
2. Empty the jar of brownie mix into a large mixing bowl,
and stir to blend. In a small mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup
melted and cooled butter with 4 eggs, then add mixture to
brownie mix. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Spread batter
evenly into greased baking pan.
3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven.
Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.