Cookie & French Vanilla Hot Cocoa In-a-Jar Mixes w/Recipes

Unlike the seasoning mixes I posted a few hours ago, these were not in fact last minute gifts. I actually made 12 cookie mixes and 5 jars of French Vanilla hot cocoa mix back in mid-November, to have something done ahead of the holiday rush.

Here’s all the jars lined up so pretty in rows. Of course I neglected to do the very last step of printing and attaching the directions to the jars, until they each needed to go out in the intervening time. But they do make a great last minute gift if you need one, and are easy to customize or embellish. Especially because you totally can make just one if you want!

This set went out much earlier this month for the first night of Hanukkah, and was paired with machine embroidered kids aprons. The son loves red and the daughter loves teal, so I gave each kitty a corresponding yarmulke and text on their aprons, and used scraps of red fabric and teal ribbon on the jars. (The kitty was embroidered to look as much like their cat as possible.)

This set went to another family, with 4 kiddos, with an embroidered apron for each, with the kids names. Since the family is so big, they got 2 cookie mixes, and cocoa and extra potholders for extra hands in the kitchen over winter break.

There are tons of these jar mix recipes on the internet, but in case you need a last minute gift for someone, I’m including the recipes and directions below, along with some pointers because they never seem to want to fit in the jar…

First thing to know is that whatever picture the website shows you of neat jars, with perfect layers of separate ingredients, your jars will NOT look like that. Every single one of these sites I’ve seen, has shown the ingredients in one order in the jars in photos, but then explicitly tells you to layer the ingredients in a different order when you make them. My theory is that the jars look better with the nuts or chocolate chips all clean and neat at the top, BUT the only way to get them all in is to put them in below the flour, so that the flour falls down into the teeny crevices. Which doesn’t look great in the photos. Do the order written in the directions.

Second thing to know is that you want wide-mouth canning jars, and you’re going to need to get your hands dirty. (Don’t try to use regular mouth jars that you have in the cupboard.) Most have you start by adding the brown sugar to the bottom of the jar, and friends, you really, really need to pack it in there. I suggest using a canning funnel to get it in the jar, then using some cling wrap and your fist to pack it down as tight as you can. Here’s the sugar unpacked…

After the first pack down attempt…

And how much further you can pack it if you do a second go-round, really pushing it down. It might not look like a huge difference, but trust me, it’s the difference between getting the nuts in completely, or not at all. After the brown sugar, with each layer you’ll want to tap the jar on the counter to help the contents settle (I like to do this on a thick tea towel), and then again use your cling wrap and your knuckles to pack it down as tight and flat as possible. When you get to the top, final layer, I recommend using the flat bottom of a measuring cup or glass to keep packing and smoothing it.

Next thing to know is that if you do manage to pack everything in, tapping and settling and packing all along the way, you will just fit it in, packed up to the tippy top. That’s normal. You didn’t do it wrong.

(Personal note: If you attempt to make it look like the pictures on another website, and rearrange the order of the ingredients, you won’t be able to fit everything in. You will then need to give the recipient a random ziploc bag of 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. You will feel utterly ridiculous about this when their kids open the gift, and immediately open and dump said bag of chips out into a shag rug, and begin picking them out of the rug and eating them. Right before dinner. Ask me how I know… :roll_eyes:)

Final thing to know is iff you wish to top the jars with fabric, cut 6" squares. You can using pinking sheers if you want, but I just used my rotary cutter. I also used up some Christmas & winter themed novelty plastic buttons that someone gave me and scraps of ribbon.

Here are the three cookie recipes and the hot cocoa recipe I used…

:cookie: :cowboy_hat_face: :cookie:
Cowboy Cookies

  • 1 ⅓ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

-Layer the ingredients in a 1-quart jar in the order given. Press each layer firmly in place before adding the next layer.

-Attach the following instructions — Cowboy Cookie Mix in a Jar:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Stir in the entire contents of the jar. You may need to use your hands to finish mixing. Shape into walnut-sized balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven. Transfer from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

:cookie: :running_woman: :cookie:
Gingerbread Cookies

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

-Mix together 2 cups flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

-Mix together remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice in a separate bowl.

-Layer flour-baking powder mixture, brown sugar, and flour-spice mixture into a 1-quart wide mouth canning jar, in that order. Pack firmly after adding each layer.

-Attach the following instructions:

  1. Empty the jar of gingerbread cookie mix into a large mixing bowl; stir to blend. Mix in 1/2 cup softened butter, 3/4 cup molasses, 1 T vinegar, and a beaten egg to form a stiff dough. Cover dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  3. Roll out dough on a floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter and place on the prepared cookie sheet spacing them 1 inch apart.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until just firm, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely, then decorate as desired.

:chocolate_bar: :cookie: :chocolate_bar:
Double Chocolate Cookies (Or Chocolate Heath Bar Cookies variation)

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or swap for 1 cup Heath Bar bits)

-Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

-Layer dark brown sugar, white sugar, cocoa, pecans, and chocolate chips in a 1-quart wide-mouth canning jar; pack down firmly after each layer. Top with flour mixture; it will be a snug fit.

-Attach a tag with the following instructions: Double Chocolate Cookie Mix in a Jar: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 2. Empty cookie mix into a large bowl. Thoroughly blend mixture with your hands. Mix in 3/4 cup softened butter or margarine, 1 slightly beaten egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Shape into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 3. Bake in the preheated oven for 11 to 13 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then move to wire racks to cool completely.

:coffee: :chocolate_bar: :coffee:
French Vanilla Hot Cocoa
(Note: I had a 15 oz jar of French Vanilla Creamer. Because I didn’t want to have any leftover, I calculated how many Tablespoons I had, and scaled up all the rest of my ingredients accordingly. I believe it was about 6.4 times the regular recipe. That gave me 5 pint jars of cocoa mix.)

  • 7 1/2 tbsp French Vanilla Coffee Creamer Powder
  • 7 tbsp Hershey’s Cocoa Powder {natural, unsweetened 100% cacao}
  • 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt

-Add all ingredients to medium mixing bowl, and whisk until well combined.

-Attach a tag with the following instructions: To make 1 serving, fill a mug with 1 cup hot milk of choice, then add 4 tbsp. French Vanilla Cocoa Mix into mug. Stir well until mix dissolves, top with whip cream, and enjoy!


What a great family gift for those with kiddos! I love giving an activity gift for kids of all ages and by including an apron, it’s also a longer term item which is all the better.


I love that by adding the aprons your inviting the kids to help. The jars look great. Thanks for including the recipes. They sound delicious!


Love the aprons for the kiddos. They’ll make some great holiday memories with these gifts!

Thank you for the recipes and the tips!

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Really cute gifts! I appreciate that your instructions focus on function (actually fitting everything into the jar!)


One of my all time favorite cookie recipes in a cookie in a jar mix. Excellent tips!

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