When you think about the gifts you received over the last couple of years, which made the biggest impression, the ones that were purchased and packaged in a store, or the ones that somebody took time and effort to create themselves? Last year my favorite gift was a beautiful berry bowl that my friend Carrie Witkop made for me in her pottery class. I use it all the time to wash and store berries and I treasure it and think of her each time.

This year, how about making some of your holiday gifts?  Your friends and relatives will never want to re-gift your edible holiday treats, whether you make chili and cornbread, molded chocolates, jams and sauces, or cookies and cakes. What’s more, it’s a great way to involve your kids in gift giving, as they can help make and decorate the gifts (and these cookie jars make excellent teacher gifts).

Here are some more ideas for edible gifts to create and give this year, including tamari almonds.

Tamari almonds from Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen

I’m not sure anyone knows the origin of this delightful cookie recipe, which has many variations floating around the ‘net, but it is a wonderful one to layer in a mason jar, adorned with fabric, doilies or ribbons, because the mixture has plenty of texture and colors. It’s a memorable, delicious and useful gift to give and receive. Once you’re making a jar, you might as well make 5 or 10, as there is great efficiency in the process.

Embellish the top of the jar with a doily or round piece of fabric cut about 3 inches larger than the top of the jar.  Ribbons and a pretty card or label add to the festive effect.

What is your favorite homemade gift to give and receive?

Recipe: White Chocolate Cranberry Crisp Cookies In a Jar (Hootycreeks)

  • Prep Time: 10 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 10 min(s)
  • Total Time: 20 min(s)

A sweet homemade holiday gift


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup crisp rice cereal


  1. Layer the ingredients in a 1 quart or 1 liter jar, in the order listed.
  2. Attach a decorative label or tag with the following instructions:
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line it with a silicone mat.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until fluffy. Add the entire jar of ingredients, and mix together by hand until well blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto a prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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