Friday, November 15, 2013


Well, the time is here....we are all starting to get geared up for the holidays and so I thought  I would take a few minutes today to make one of my hostess gifts for Thanksgiving.  Not fixing dinner this year but having company.  Our entire family will be together, so wonderful, does not happen very often since we live in different states, definitely a blessing. After I made this up today I pulled out the cookies and put in the freezer and they will be nice and fresh to put back in the jar on Thanksgiving day.

I chose to put Snickerdoodles in the jar as I think that so many of the classic cookies endure for one reason and that is because they are just good.  Like chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies, not that many ingredients and if you use the best ingredients you can find they are just simply delicious.

Snickerdoodle Recipe:


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Sugar Mixture

3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Heat oven to 400°F. Combine all cookie ingredients in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
Stir together 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Yield:  Depending on how big you make them, approximately 5 dozen cookies

A note about items that I find indispensable for making cookies -  first Silpat mats, the two in the photo I have had for over 20 years and they are still just fine.  I just leave them inside the cookie sheets in the cupboard and wash them in the dishwasher. The mats are made out of fiberglass and food grade silicone and can be used thousands of times and nothing sticks to them so they are good for making taffy, caramel, gooey batter, etc.  They are also kind to mother earth because you use them so many times.  Another merci beaucoup to our friends the French! The spring loaded scoop is another item that will be used over and over.  I have two sizes, this one and a larger one which is perfect for cupcakes.  Not only does it keep the food from sticking but you get uniformity and therefore everything cooks evenly.  Great for meatballs too.

Ready for the oven.  If you  have a convection oven cookies will go very fast as you can put in more than one sheet at a time and they cook perfectly.

Now let's take this ordinary storage jar and make it gift ready!
 First thing I did was find a Thanksgiving graphic and print out a label on clear sticker paper.  I would prefer to use waterslide decal paper but I was out, and besides if you have not used it, I must say it is tricky but having said that you get a much better product, it is permanently on the glass and the colors are much more intense and better looking.  With the sticker paper the recipient can just take it off after the cookies are gone and they have a nice glass storage jar.
Since I only needed one label I added some more graphics to the sheet so as not to waste the label paper.
Next I painted the lid with metallic oil rubbed bronze spray paint.  Be careful to only paint the top and the sides of the lid to make sure it is food safe.

Next I added ribbon around the jar then looped some more ribbon and tied a bow then added part of a fall pick that I took apart and voila you have a really cute, unique hostess gift that you designed.

After filling my hostess gift jar I had enough leftover cookies to fill a little round take-out carton to drop off at my local Staple's tomorrow.  I cannot thank the tech support crew there enough for the great job they did getting me back to work.  Having to reformat a hard drive is painful but I had their "Peace of Mind" program so they reinstalled my back-up, my software, etc. saving me hours of work.  Thank you Staple's tech support at the Staple's on Chinden and Eagle Road in Boise!  Created the label in Corel Draw and printed it out on a 8 1.2x 11 white full-page label and then cut around and applied to the top of the take out carton.


Silpat Mats link: Silpat Non-Stick Silicone Jelly Roll Pan Baking Mat, 14-1/2-Inch by 10-Inch
Scoop link: Norpro Stainless Steel Scoop, 1 Tablespoon, 35mm
Rust Oleum Spray Paint Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze, Home Depot
Avery Sticker Paper, Staple's, Walmart and other stores
Plaid Ribbon, Bazzill Basics
Acorn Pic on Jar, Hobby Lobby
Draw Program, Corel Draw x6
Thanksgiving Graphic, MarysMontage on Etsy

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