Handmade Christmas: Desserts in Jars (Recipe + Giveaway!)

Handmade Christmas Idea: Cookie Mix in a Jar #Recipe + Free Printable Gift Tags

Time’s Up! The winner of the Desserts in Jars Giveaway is:

#558 dixie: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies w/ walnuts :) my FAVE!!

Congrats Dixie! I’ve sent you an email! :)


I have a sweet giveaway to share today. :) Hands down, one of my favorite weekends ever was when my friend Shaina came and stayed at my house while she was writing her delicious book Desserts in Jars. We spent two days baking, photographing, and totally indulging in 11 ridiculously fabulous desserts that went straight into this fun book. Shaina’s book not only includes a multitude of decadent desserts made and displayed in jars, but she also has many ideas and recipes for jar mixes made for gifting. Cookie mixes, like this Monster Cookie Mix pictured above, are the perfect gift for any occasion, but they’re especially fun at Christmas! If you’re looking for a unique stocking stuffer or special gift for someone who’s hard to buy for, check out all the fun jar mixes in Shaina’s book. You can now conveniently find Deserts in Jars at Target! The Espresso Brownies, White Chocolate Spice Cookies, or the Spiced Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon Marshmallows Mix are sure to wow! The cookie mix alone would be perfect for a stocking stuffer, or for a great gift tuck this cookie mix in a basket with a baking sheet (or a muffin top pan), a fun decorative spatula, (Target has the cutest Christmas spatulas right now!) a cookie scoop, and some decorative teaspoons along with a copy of Desserts in Jars. Perfect! And they obviously travel well if you need to ship any gifts this year. Shaina shipped me this cookie mix above and as you can see, it looks flawless!

Handmade Christmas Idea: Cookie Mix in a Jar #Recipe + Free Printable Gift Tags

Shaina even has free printable gift tags with instructions for topping your cookie mix jars on her Desserts in Jars site. So convenient!

Handmade Christmas Idea: Cookie Mix in a Jar #Recipe + Free Printable Gift Tags

Ya’ll know as soon as I pulled the gorgeous jar out of the box I had to make these cookies immediately! :) Just whip up a little peanut butter, butter, eggs and vanilla…

Handmade Christmas Idea: Cookie Mix in a Jar #Recipe + Free Printable Gift Tags

Then take your fabulous cookie mix…

Handmade Christmas Idea: Cookie Mix in a Jar #Recipe + Free Printable Gift Tags

And dump it right in.

Handmade Christmas Idea: Cookie Mix in a Jar #Recipe + Free Printable Gift Tags

You can bake on any standard cookie sheet, but I wanted to make these in a muffin top pan today.

Handmade Christmas Idea: Cookie Mix in a Jar #Recipe + Free Printable Gift Tags

I love how HUGE they turn out in a muffin top pan! Look at that gorgeous deep-dish crust! These Monster Cookies definitely live up to their name. :)

Handmade Christmas Idea: Cookie Mix in a Jar #Recipe + Free Printable Gift Tags

Peanut Butter and M&Ms… These are the cookies Santa wants on his plate! :)


Monster Cookies In a Jar Mix

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup M&Ms or chocolate chips
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or broken pretzel pieces

1. Whisk together the sugar, baking soda, and salt and pour into the bottom of a 1-quart Mason jar.

2. Top with the oats, M&M’s, brown sugar, and chopped walnuts or pretzels. Seal with lid and attach a label with the following instructions for the recipient:

To Make Monster Cookies

3/4 cup peanut butter (not natural)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl until well combined. Add the contents of this jar and stir until just combined. Form the dough into 2-inch balls and set on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the top sof the cookies begin to brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from Desserts in Jars.


Handmade Christmas Idea: Cookie Mix in a Jar #Recipe + Free Printable Gift Tags


Desserts in Jars Giveaway!

I’m so excited to share a fun gift basket of sweets and treats with one lucky Kevin & Amanda reader, celebrating Desserts in Jars. Here’s what all you’ll get!


How CUTE is that necklace?? I love it!! :)


How to Enter

To enter the Desserts in Jars giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. What’s your favorite dessert?? :)

Contest ends Saturday, December 15 at 8 am CST. One entry per person, please. Winner will be chosen at random and notified by email.

If you’re on Facebook, come check us out here! :)


Stay sweet… and good luck!!! :)

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961 Responses
  1. Linda S.

    My very favorite dessert is called “Raspberry Chews”. Crust on bottom – raspberry preserves in middle and merengue/coconut on top. Yum!

  2. Trine Secher

    You just saved my final “Can’t-find-a-proper-gift” problem. It’s a wonderful idea.

    XOXO & A Merry Christmas,

  3. Kathy L.

    My favorite is Almond Bars….and….Shortbread Cookies. You can always add Almonds, Pecans, Hershey Kisses, M&M’s, and Sprinkles to top them off. Hmmm, I might be baking this week end.

  4. Stephanie DeArco

    I would say lava crunch cake from dominos. Makes a bad day go away and I just put all the stress on hold! :)

  5. Krissa

    Favorite dessert, by far, is Flan! I’ve never been bold enough to try and make it, but my mom does a superb job, so I leave it to her!

  6. Erin

    It’s hard to choose a favorite dessert….so one of my favorites is a treat my mom makes, Buckeyes. They are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. We always make them around the holidays and it wouldn’t be the same without them! Yum :)

  7. Minnie

    I’m a southern girl so my favorite dessert is pound cake. Pair that with a good cup of coffee and it’s the perfect breakfast!

  8. Rachael

    My favorite dessert right now has to be Andes Mint Cake Balls! Mmm…anything with mint this time of year is perfect!

  9. JoAnn

    With a sweet tooth like mine it is difficult to choose just one as my favorite but I suppose it would have to be berry cobbler

  10. Sarah.P

    I absolutely love your Brownie Batter Fudge Cupcakes… I made them a few months ago and have ABSOLUTELY fell in love with them! I crave the frosting and the Batter filled Cupcakes!! Happy Holidays!

  11. Susan Ellmer

    I am a cookies girl, you name it I love it, my newest favorite is pecan pie cookies (thank you pinterest!)

  12. Tay

    I have many favorites but there is something about a chocolate chip cookie. It is comfort food at its best and good any time of the year. :)

  13. Kate

    My favorite treat is dark chocolate! You can add some mint in the mix but I usually just like it plain and bitter.

  14. Kristina A

    For my office holiday party I baked chocolate chip cookie dough brownie bars…so yummy!

    Thanks for a chance to win!

  15. Makeup Morsels

    ohh this is tough, I’m gonna go with creme brulee. Can’t beat that crackly sugar crust. Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Kelly

    banana cream cheesecake…and snickers bar cheesecake…mango key lime cheesecake… ok so pretty much any cheesecake.

  17. Melinda Shapro

    My favorite dessert are spritzer cookies that my grandmother used to make. She put the dough in an antique meat grinder and push it out through a star attachment. When she passed away I got the grinder and it’s my job to make these for everyone in the family for Christmas! It’s a labour of love :)

  18. Pam

    My favorite dessert is Coconut Cake. I’ve made jar coookies for gifts & they turned out great. What a fun giveaway!

  19. Juli Jones

    Cheesecake……oh no, it’s Creme Brulee….no, no I think it’s Red Velvet Cake. Oh crud I don’t know! I love it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Lisa

    My now famous cream puffs, people at my husband’s work ask the entire year when they are coming. I took 3 recipes and put them together. They are awesome, if I do say so myself.

  21. Erin

    Who can pick a favorite dessert? I have such a sweet tooth, it would be unfair to all the desserts of the world to just pick one. However, since my hand is being forced, I’ll say chocolate cake. Or maybe chip and mint ice cream.

  22. Heather

    I’ve always thought the IDEA of a cookie in a jar sounded nice–surprisingly I’ve never received one. :) I would loooove to receive one!

  23. Monica Newman

    My favorite dessert, has to be my moms strussel cheese cake she makes for my birthday…oh my gosh there are no words to describe that would do it justice.

  24. Kristi @ CherryJasmine

    My favorite dessert is called “Miracle Bowl” served at the Sunset Grill. It’s a brownie with marshmallow, peanut butter and many other ingredients that make it a warm, ooey gooey goodness. I plan to make it it home, but never have the patience to make the brownies first, then throw everything else together and wait! It’s much easier to just go buy it and indulge immediately! YUM!

  25. Elizabeth

    Love me some chocolate heaven. Graham cracker crust, chocolate pudding type mixture with whipped cream on the top.

  26. Christy Harrison

    My favorite dessert is a cake that my mom makes- we call it the Suzie Q cake. It’s just a simple chocolate cake mix, but it’s the icing that makes it unbelievable! It’s a simple, old fashioned white icing that is like homemade whip cream! I have nodoubt that I could make it- but it is so much better when mom does!

  27. rebecca

    any dessert could be my favorite dessert. i am a sweetaholic, what can i say. depends on my mood. but if i had to only choose one, you know, like a dying wish, it would have to be a croquembouche.

  28. Amy Tong

    My favorite dessert is Lemon Meringue Pie. hm…I think they’ll taste wonderful in a jar too. :)

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  29. Kristyn

    Awesome giveaway!! I love deserts baked in jars. Love them!! But, my favorite desert has to be chocolate-cherry cake. Not only is it easy (just three ingredients), but it’s moist, chocolaty and delicious.

  30. Janice

    We’re Portuguese and my grandma used to always make Pasteis de Nata, which are little custard filled tarts. They’re so delicious! As a mother I plan on making these for my kids to enjoy.

  31. Cynthia

    My absolute favorite dessert is Japanese Fruit Cake – a wonderful 4-layer Southern cake with coconut, pecans, and pineapple.

  32. Greg

    So many to choose from. But if I have to pick one I’d say Red Velvet cake with cream cheese icing (at home). Best one if I’m out is the Mile High Mudd Pie at Red Robin.

  33. Melissa K

    Oh my gosh…I have to actually pick one favorite?? Impossible :) I love all desserts but cookies & chocolate rank pretty high ;)

  34. Marlo Dunlop

    I guess I would say my favourite dessert would be a chocolate cake made with miracle whip dressing. It is so good with a rich creamy icing!

  35. Jada

    Hands down has to be my homemade Tiramisu but I love making cookies from mixes like this. I make bagged biscuit mixes and give them with homemade Jelly for Christmas. Love this!!

  36. Jennie G

    Frosting – oh is that not a dessert! Anything with frosting on it… cake, cupcakes, texas sheet cake – you name it!

  37. Gena@BakeAllTheThings!

    As of Friday night it’s sticky toffee pudding in a pool of caramel sauce with salted caramel whipped cream!

  38. Karen Thompson

    Of course my favorite dessert is one of the most fattening! But at Christmas time, I could not care less – its good ole’ southern PECAN PIE!

  39. Laurie W.--MA

    My favorite dessert depends on the season. I’ve satisfied my apple pie/pumpkin pie fall cravings. Now, I’m looking forward to lots of Christmas cookies and gingerbread!

  40. Laura D

    Even though I love to bake and make tasty treats, I am simple when it comes to what I love for dessert. I love plain, vanilla bean ice cream!

  41. Althea

    It’s hard to choose a favorite dessert…but I’ll have to go with Leche Flan. Not only is it delicious, but also a family tradition to make at Christmas time.

  42. Dalia

    My favorite dessert is an Italian cake called “The baby Jesus Cake”, I know, but that is what it’s called at the restaurant that I had it. It is truly amazing and I wish I had the recipe. It’s from a small lovely Italian restaurant in NYC and it is so delicious!

  43. Cyndi Solis

    I have 2 favorite things, caramel corn-I have a recipe that a neighbor used when I was a kid. When I moved away I asked my mom to call and get me that recipe and I make it every year! My second favorite thing is sweet and salty nuts; I found a recipe years ago from Better Homes and Garden and they are so popular that I pretty much make triple batches-delish!!!!

  44. Jessica

    I LOVE deserts, but my favorite comes from a local diner in my hometown. It’s called “Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Lava Cake”. It has moose tracks ice cream, peanut butter and hot fudge, a yummy brownie type cake, whip cream and a reese cup to top it off. Total HEAVEN!

  45. Dianne

    I LOVE anything chocolate…..but today, I’d have to say it’s the Snickerdoodle Blondies I just took out of the oven!

  46. Holly Moser

    My favorite dessert would be a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. Just warm out of the oven is when they are best!

  47. Lynne

    White chocolate chip & macadamia nut cookies!! Fresh baked oatmeal raisin cookies!! Hard to choose – love all cookies!

  48. KathleenD

    Our favorite dessert these days are homemade cannolis. I’ve been eyeing this recipe book for awhile now and would love to win it! Such fun prizes. . . thanks for chance to win.

  49. Maria B

    My favorite dessert?? That’s such a hard question as I have an incredible sweet tooth! I’d have to say that right now it’s probably White Chocolate Pomegranate Oatmeal cookies. Yum!

    Thank you!

  50. Tina

    Favorite dessert….a tough question…..anything chocolate! This time of year though, it would have to be Pecan Tassies which I make for every cookie exchange. They always disappear!
    Thanks for the change to win! Happy Holidays and good luck to everyone.
    Love you website!

  51. Heather

    So many favorites, though my current one would have to be red velvet cupcakes.

    Thanks for the fun and yummy giveaway!

  52. Sheila

    I love creme brulee! My 12 yr old made that 2 yrs ago for a cooking contest – we gobbled up the test kitchen products every time!!

  53. April Murray

    Hi Amanda. I <3 Brownies the most, but I also wanted to say that I love the "in a jar" twist on these cookies… I make "MOM-ster" Cookies every Christmas for friends.

  54. Teresa G.

    My favorite dessert would have to be a shake! I know.. it’s not cake or brownies or cookies, but I can add pieces of those things to my shake! It’s a faster way to get icecream in I suppose!

  55. Nicole | Baking it on My Own

    My favorite dessert is anything that involves almond paste! I’ve been known to never turn down dark chocolate anything either ;)

  56. Kel

    I love monster cookies – your recipe looks similar above actually. thanks!! Love your blog too. Your bokeh was great in the photo above!

  57. Crystal

    Wow! That’s a hard choice, but if I could only have 1 dessert again, I think I would have to choose brownies!

  58. Chelle Chapman

    YUM!! Love the look of those cookies. Bet they were Delish! My favorite dessert is my homemade PB cups! They are so yummy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  59. Jennifer P.

    So hard to decide on a favorite dessert! One of them is definatly Creme Brulee…and german chocolate cake….

  60. Patti

    If I had to pick one dessert, it would probably be brownies with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and slivered almonds.

  61. Tami Rodriguez

    By far, warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream with caramel drizzled on top! Thanks for the fun give-away!

  62. Joyce Y

    My all time favorite dessert is a chocolate chip cookie with lots of pecans, fresh from the oven so the chips are still melty. I used to love them with a glass of cold milk but as an adult, a cup of hot coffee works. :)

  63. Ken Molina

    Your photos are amazing. What are your settings? I love the one with the ingredients pouring out of the bottle with the diffused lights in the background. Slow shutter speed?

  64. mariela

    hmmm I would say cheesecake because I used to LOVE it soooo much but lately I’m thinking sugar cookies or Chocolate cake is my favorite :)

  65. Melissa Foust

    My favorite dessert right now is… coconut cream pie with chocolate crust! I made it for Thanksgiving and it was so good! No jello pudding packs, you use coconut milk and make your own pudding. Very decadent!

  66. Teresa

    My favorite dessert if anything Chocolatey! Love chocolate and won’t be picky if someone else makes it! But love to bake!

  67. Deborah

    My all time favorite is angel food cake topped with fresh strawberries, cool whip and top it off with evaporated milk !!!! yum yum yum

  68. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    What a lovely giveaway! Thanks so much! My favorite dessert would have to be a salted caramel cheesecake or tiramisu…. It is so hard to choose one!

  69. Holly

    One of my favorite desserts would have to be homemade chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven. So soft, warm, and chewy–and with a glass of cold milk, of course!

  70. Heather Whyte

    My favorite would have to be Ina Garten’s Ultimate Brownies. Espresso and chocolate combined…winner!!

  71. Travis S.

    Many, many, many. But my absolute favorite dessert is my grandma Dot’s Banana Bars w/ Cream Cheese frosting. It is delicious to eat freshly made – but I love to eat it after it’s been in the fridge cooled down. That 9×13 sheet cake – with a nice cold glass of milk – doesn’t last long. It’s always a favorite when I get to go back home – as she always has it ready to eat.

  72. Rosann (aka Rea' )

    Going through thing with this cheese cake ( don’t know actual name of it… someone gave me a slice from Von’s ) layered chocolate mousse/ cheese cake/ chocolate crust with caramel topping… so sinfully delicious… can’t wait to go check out the name ( don’t have car right now), some time at bakery/bread give away at corner they have a slice… yum going to go look for it !!

  73. Gina Myers

    I think my very favorite desert has to be New York style cheesecake. Though I’m usually quite happy with a small square of dark chocolate.

  74. Kim Swenson

    Oh I LOVE homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting, but I think I will say Homemade Chocolate Chips cookies still warm and gooey out of the oven.

  75. Susan

    Love making any kind of dessert, but baking brownies with my kids during the holidays are my favorite memories!!!

  76. Katie

    Yum those cookies look delicious! And in all honesty my favorite dessert is your Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar! I’ve never tasted anything more amazing :)

  77. Betsy B.

    I need to get a couple of those muffin top pans ~ I’ve never seen them before!!
    My favorite dessert is …. a tie between cookies and ice cream. I guess I’ll just have both!!

  78. Leilah

    What a great giveaway and a truly gifted photographer to capture such radiant photos of dry mix in jars and make it seem so tantalizing!!
    my all time fave dessert is …..

    drum rollllllllll…..

    Baked Alaska!! YUM!

  79. Meghan

    oh my gosh, how do i choose? let’s go classic and say a big, warm chocolate chip cookie under cookie dough ice cream. YUM!

  80. danielle

    Really???!!! A favorite dessert???? It depends on the season….and the day….and the availability….and the mood….cherry pie…..or vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce….or cookies (mmmmm, homemade snickerdoodles! or peanut butter!) a coconut cake…….get the theme??? Anything and everything that isnt slimey (no puddings please!) LOL

  81. Mary Ann K.

    I have lots of favorites but if I had to pick it would be Red Velvet Cake during the holiday’s. It is moist and so festive. My favorite change up on it is adding chocolate chips to the cake mix.

  82. Kaytlin

    I LOVE THIS. This year because things are difficult, I’m doing mason jar gifts! what excellent timing!

    My favorite dessert is an upside down apple pie that my MIL makes (and I learned how to make) – i love it because it has TWO crusts. Mmmm, pie crust.

  83. Jenny