The best gifts come from the heart… That’s an idea that I’m embracing this holiday season. Between buying our first home (yeah!) and unexpectedly having to replace a car (boo!) this year we entered the Christmas shopping tizzy with the tightest budget we’ve seen since before our son was born. In an effort to give our little guy a good Christmas, and out of the desire to not cut anyone off of our Christmas gift list, I decided to embrace the idea of homemade gifts. I made 12 jars of Cherry Almond Jam which were such a hit last year that I’m planning on making them a yearly tradition. I also made 13 of these jarred Chocolate Cherry and Oat Scones, which are so scrumptious with tea or coffee that it’s hard to eat just one!
While making my homemade gifts, I was surprised by the delight I found in making something that’s a labor of love rather than picking out a gift at the store. As I packed each jar I made a point to take a moment and think about what I appreciated about each person that they were intended for. I literally packed them with love. I’m thinking I should write some of these thoughts on the back of the recipe tags for the gift recipients.
Part of the charm of giving a homemade gift like this one is taking the time to decorate the container it comes in. Ball canning jars have their own sort of charm, but I wanted make them more festive. The challenge was doing this on a budget. I got the gingham fabric and yarn at a local material store off of the sale rack. Cutting the material with pinking shears made it extra adorable and prevented fraying. The tags were printed on my home printer and then quickly glued with a couple of dots of hot glue onto an up-cycled grocery bag.
Now, on to how to assemble the jars. For simplicity I’ve made a slideshow. Check it out below.
After you’re done packing jars for your loved ones, be sure to bake a batch for yourself and snuggle up with a hot cup of tea or coffee on a chilly winter day!
- 1 quart canning jar with a lid and ring
- 1¼ C all-purpose flour
- 1¼ C old-fashioned oats
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ C dried, finely chopped cherries
- ¼ C sugar
- 1 C mini chocolate chips
- ½ C (1 stick) melted butter
- ⅓ C buttermilk or milk
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- Add 1¼ C all-purpose flour to the jar.
- Then 1 Tbsp of baking powder.
- And ¼ tsp salt.
- Quickly slide the jar back and forth on the table to pat down the ingredients with vibration. Going forward you’ll continue to do this after you add each ingredient.
- Add 1¼ C old-fashioned oats to the jar and then quickly slide the jar back and forth on the table.
- Sprinkle in ¾ C finely chopped dried cherries, and then vibrate the jar again.
- Add ¼ C sugar, and then shake the jar back and forth on the table.
- Finally, add the chocolate chips.
- Using a spoon or a small mallet, gently pat down the ingredients.
- Fill any of the remaining headspace with a ball of plastic wrap so that it's a tight fit in the jar.
- Cut-out a 5”x5” swatch of a favorite material and close it between the jar’s lid and ring.
- Using ribbon or yarn, tie the directions card to the jar.
- Combine jarred ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, breaking apart cherries with your fingers as needed.
- Stir in ½ C (1 stick) melted butter, ⅓ C milk or buttermilk, and 1 egg beaten.
- Spread the dough out into a rectangle that is about ⅓ inch thick and then cut into 12 triangle shapes. Spread the triangles out on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350ºF oven for 16-18 minutes.
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