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3 incredible Christmas gift jars

baking and tea mixes in gift jars

Gift jars are the perfect homemade present for friends, colleagues and family.

These festive gift jars contain dry ingredients for making a delicious treat. All your lucky gift recipient has to do is add the wet ingredients and follow the instructions you write on the label. In no time their house will fill with the joyful aromas of Christmas.

Tips on creating gift jars

How to sterilise jars

1 Wash jars thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinse and drain.

2 Place jars on an oven rack and heat at 120C for 10 to 15 minutes.

3 They are now sterilised and ready for filling.

Filling jars

  • For ease filling jars, use ones with a wider opening so ingredients can be layered nicely without spillage.
  • Tapping the jar after adding each layer will create more defined layers.
  • Labelling and decorations
  • In addition to the labels for the jars with the recipe, they can be decorated with festive ribbons, tinsel and cinnamon sticks

Festive cherry and chocolate chip bread

This is a quick soda bread mix with dried cherries, almonds and chocolate chips and flavoured with cinnamon and mixed spice.

Serves 10
Time to make gift 45 minutes
Cost to make $3.20

You will need:

  • 1 sterilised 4-cup capacity jar with a lid and an opening 10cm wide, so the ingredients can be added easily
  • label for instructions.

Dry ingredients for the jar

1¹/³ cups plain flour
²/³ cup rolled oats
¹/³ cup soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon mixed spice
¼ teaspoon salt
¹/³ cup almond flakes/slices
¹/³ cup dried cherries and cranberries
¹/³ cup dark chocolate chips

1 Add the ingredients to the jar in the order listed, tapping the jar after adding each ingredient to form even layers. Once all the ingredients have been added. Seal jar.

2 Label with simple instructions.

Instructions for label

Wet ingredients

1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup reduced-fat spread, melted and cooled

Method

1 Preheat oven to 180C. Line a loaf pan with baking paper.

2 Tip jar ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well.

3 In a separate bowl, beat egg, milk and spread together. Add to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Spoon into loaf pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until firm to touch, golden brown and lightly risen.

4 Cool for 5 minutes before turning out of the pan. Cut into even slices and enjoy!

Cinnamon and spice blackcurrant pancake mix

This cinnamon and spice pancake mix is flavoured with dried blackcurrants and will bring festive cheer to someone special.

Serves 8
Time to make gift 45 minutes
Cost to make $6.20

You will need:

  • 1 sterilised 4-cup capacity jar with a lid and an opening 10cm wide, so the ingredients can be added easily
  • Labels for the recipe name and method.

Dry ingredients for the jar

½ cup wholemeal flour
½ cup plain flour
½ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
²/³ cup dried blackcurrants, or you could use dried blueberries
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon mixed spice

1 Add the ingredients to the jar in the order listed, shaking the jar after adding each ingredient to form layers. Once all the ingredients have been added, seal the jar.

2 Label with simple instructions.

Instructions to go on label to make the pancakes

Wet ingredients

1¼ cups trim milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons reduced-fat spread
few drops vanilla essence, optional

Method

1 Empty jar contents into a bowl. Whisk ingredients together lightly.

2 In a separate bowl, beat milk, egg, spread and essence, if using. Add wet mix to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

2 Spray a non-stick pan with a little oil and set over a medium heat. Cook spoonfuls of mixture until bubbles form on top of the pancakes. Flip and cook for a further minute until they are light and golden brown.

3 Serve pancakes with your favourite toppings.

Lavender and chamomile tea blend

This is a calming homemade tea blend using lavender buds and chamomile leaves with some subtle flavour from lemons. It makes a lovely gift for anyone who likes relaxing with a cuppa.

Serves 8
Time to make gift 20 minutes, plus 5 hours drying lemons
Cost to make $5 for 2 jars

You will need:

  • 2 approximately ¾-cup capacity sterilised jars for 2 gifts
  • label for instructions.

Dry ingredients for the jar

1 lemon, thinly sliced and dried by baking at lowest temperature in the oven for 4 to 5 hours, or until completely dried.
¹/³ cup lavender leaves/buds
²/³ cup chamomile leaves
1 stick cinnamon, optional

To decorate
dried lemon slices
cinnamon sticks
lavender flowers

1 Mix the lavender and chamomile leaves together in a small bowl.

2 Place in a jar, top with dried lemon slices and seal. Label and attach a cinnamon stick or dried lemon slice to the jar.

Instructions for the label

1 Place 1 tablespoon of the tea mix in a tea infuser or teapot.
2 Pour over 1½ to 1¾ cups of boiling water.
3 Steep for 3 minutes or until brewed to your liking.
4 Pour a cup and enjoy!

First published: Dec 2019

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