Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix in a Jar
Always a fun gift to receive, you can kick up the jars by replacing the chocolate chips with M&Ms, butterscotch chips, Heath Bar bits… the mind reels at the possibilities.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Place flour mixture in 1-quart jar or mason jar. Layer chocolate chips, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in order listed above, pressing firmly after each layer. Seal with lid and decorate with fabric and ribbon.
Attach the following recipe to the jar somehow:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 large egg
2 teaspoons teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 375° F. Beat 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter, 1 large egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract in large mixing bowl until blended. Add jar o’ cookie mix; mix well, breaking up any clumps. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto un-greased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks and cool. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
If you start with a pre-made soap base instead of lye, soap is easy to make and looks just as impressive!
- Goat’s milk melt and pour base (Google it)
- Silicone soap molds (local craft shop… or Google)
- Citrus essential oil (at most natural food markets. Also consider throwing in some CBD tincture.)
- Dried citrus slices (Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Thinly slice oranges or lemons. Lay on top of a wire rack on top of a pan and place in the oven until dry, about 2-3 hours. How long it takes depends on how thick your slices are and how wide. Remove the dried citrus and cool.)
- Break up your soap base into chunks and place in a microwave safe container. Microwave on 20-30 second intervals, stirring to make sure it’s smooth and melted. Add a few drops of essential oils and/or CBD tinctures to the melted soap base and stir.
- Decoratively lay out the citrus in the silicone molds. (You can also use dried flowers or other decorative elements.)
- Carefully pour warm soap mix into molds.
- Wait 2-3 hours until cool.
- Pop out and wrap decoratively!
Secret Stash Book
One thing we all have: old books and a smattering of valuables. Combine the two to make a hiding place that will allude even the snoopiest guest and the savviest thief… but don’t worry, you’ll never have a break-in.
What You'll Need:
- Old book
- Plastic wrap
- Sheet tray
- Parchment paper
- X-acto knife
- Small sealable container
- White glue
- Paint brush
- Select a hard cover book that's at least three inches thick, like an old text book or a novel you’ve tried to read 4 times but can’t get past the first page. Make sure it won’t be of interest to anyone, like the Farmer’s Almanac of 1943 or You Too Can Haiku so no one picks it up for a breezy skim. Wrap the cover in plastic wrap to keep it dry and protect it from the next step.
- Mix one tablespoon of glue with one tablespoon water in a small sealable container. Place the book on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper and coat the sides of the book, working slowly so the water and glue mixture seeps well into the paper. Wipe up any drips and place heavy items like books or bricks on top of the book overnight to press and dry the pages together.
- When completely dry, open the book and measure one inch from each side of the glued edges of the book and the center spine, creating a rectangle guide to work with for cutting out the secret stash spot. Slowly and carefully cut along the line with the X-acto knife, using the ruler as a guide. Pull the blade away from you to avoid cuts and do not press too hard (cut only a few pages at a time).
- Continue cutting until there is around one inch left at the base of the book. Clean up stray papers around the sides, corners, and edges as needed. Coat the top, sides, and base of the cutout rectangle with the glue mixture. You may wish to coat the sides of the book again, too. Close the cover and weigh down with heavy objects overnight.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the cover, touch up any spots that need a bit more glue, and your stash book is ready to stuff full of anything you don’t want visitors, family, or others to know you have.