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Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Posted by ZOMT

For Christmas this year we moved into a beautiful new apartment 5 minutes from the beach. Apart from the amazing holiday lifestyle and finally feeling settled with my man in a home (rather than the old bonsai sized Kings Cross apartment); it also meant that I got a brand new kitchen for me to play in! So how could I possibly resist baking everyone's Christmas presents this year?!

Whilst the kitchen is not huge by any means, it has ample storage, a gas cooktop and good oven, space for a large fridge (heaven) and a microwave - something I forgot about the convenience of. It is also just generally much more pleasant to be in and I am feeling inspired to bake and cook again...well once my body sculpting meal plan becomes a bit more flexible anyway! Nothing like eating exactly the same six meals every day made from only chicken, red meat, fish, rice vermicelli, green beans, eggs and mountains of salad, to put a stop to any creative kitchen thoughts! Still it's been fantastic for getting results and my overall health as well. BUT...I can still bake for everyone else luckily, because the holiday season seems to bring out my baking urges!

So for two of my very best friends in Melbourne, (you know who you are) I made them delicious cookies and blondies in a jar. (Since I have to bring these down on the plane, I found plastic containers instead of heavier glass.) These are a simple yet fun gift I think as you can customise the recipes to suit individuals....just change the additions for whatever nuts, dried fruit or chocolate that you wish!

I made some cute labels and printed them off on a card paper (see recipe below for the label text that you can use,) and found lots of pretty ribbons and paper at the 2 dollar shop - these places are a gold mine for art and craft supplies! Since my jars were a little big and I have to pack these in my luggage, I scrunched up some baking paper to fill the excess space at the top to make sure the ingredients didn't move around.

Chocolate Caramel Peanut Blondies
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
printable recipe

Ingredients (to go in the jar)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup panela sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Milk Duds
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed peanuts (or finely chopped)

Ingredients (to make blondies)
8 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg


Layer the ingredients starting with the flour & baking powder, sugars, Milk Duds, peanuts and then finally the dark chocolate chips. Try to level out the ingredients so you get nice clear lines. Seal the jar or container and make a label with the following information:

Prep 10 minutes Cooking 25 minutes Makes 15 bars

Extra ingredients for making blondies
8 tbsp melted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make blondies, preheat oven to 180°C. Line deep baking tray (8 x 8 x 2”) with baking paper or spray with oil. In a large bowl, whisk melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir in jar contents until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared baking tray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until set and edges begin to pull away from the tray. Allow to cool in tray. Cut into squares. Serve. 


Smartie Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from taste.com.au
printable recipe

Ingredients (to go in the jar)
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
100g dark chocolate chip
180g Smarties

Ingredients (to make the cookies)
125g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

Layer the ingredients starting with the flour & baking powder, sugars, rolled oats, chocolate chips and then finally the Smarties. Seal the jar or container and make a label with the following information:

Prep 10 minutes Cooking 15 minutes Makes 24 cookies

Extra ingredients for making cookies

125g butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make cookies, preheat oven to 190°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Empty jar into a large bowl. Add butter, egg and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Shape tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on baking trays approximately 5cm apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, swapping trays halfway during cooking, or until edges are lightly browned. Turn biscuits onto a wire rack to cool. Serve.



Lexx said...

What a great idea! I dont think i have ever seen ingredients in a jar like that. Its cute! a great present for the kids too! they'd love it

Michelle said...

I've only seen these done in glass, I love the plastic idea! great job!

Zoe Tattersall said...

Lexx - have a google of cookie-in-a-jar and you should find lots of different recipes! It's a fantastic idea for kids definitely, a few hours of entertainment for them to bake something :)
Michelle - I was so happy when I found those plastic containers, took me a while but makes it much easier to transport :)

Jenn said...

Lucky girl - 5 minutes from the beach! I'm gonna make these next year. What a great idea for all my friends that aren't bakers, because they hate measuring everything out and taking the time. They would love this, just throw in a few things and bake and you're done. Perfect.

Zoe Tattersall said...

Jenn - ahh the beach is total bliss! I feel so spoilt! These are great for the lazy baker...I'm actually going to make up a few recipes for myself and store them in tupperware so I have ready-to-bake treats on hand for unexpected visitors :)

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