PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Prospecting

Foothill gourmet: Good gifting

By From page B2 | June 09, 2014

Donna BrownGifts in a jar range from soup options to brownies and bars. It is a colorful eye-catching gift, because as you layer each ingredient you and your recipient will see a range of different colors.

Today’s column focus on brownies and bars. An additional advantage to preparing a gift in a jar is that as you layer many of the ingredients needed to make the recipe, your recipient will only need a few fresh ingredients to complete the recipe. It’s a win-win situation.

You have the opportunity to make a unique gift and your recipient can easily finish the recipe with ingredients easily available in a supermarket.

Each following recipe is to be layered into a wide mouth 1-quart canning jar. If you wish to further decorate the jar, cut fabric in 9-inch diameter circles. Screw down the jar lid to hold fabric in place, or secure the fabric with a rubber band then tie the fabric with a ribbon, raffia, twine, yarn, lace or string. Punch a hole in a corner of the gift tag and tie the gift tag to the ribbon, etc.

These gifts should keep for up to six months. If the mix contains nuts, refrigerate the mix so the oil in the nuts doesn’t go rancid and use within three months.

Brownie mix: Layer the ingredients for brownie mix in the order given into the quart jar specified above: 2 1/4 cups sugar, 2/3 cup cocoa powder, (since cocoa powder can create dust, you may need to clean the inside of jar with a paper towel after this layer), 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 c chopped nuts, optional. 1 teaspoon each baking powder and salt. Pack each layer in place, (we used a glass with a flat bottom to tamp down the ingredient), before adding the next ingredient. Attach a gift tag with the mixing and baking directions that your recipient will need for preparing the basic brownie mix.

Gift tag — 1 jar brownie mix, 3/4 cup butter softened, 4 eggs slightly beaten. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter and eggs. Add the brownie mix and stir until the mixture is well blended. Spread batter into a lightly greased or sprayed 9 x 12 inch pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Double fudge brownie mix: Layer the ingredients in the order given into a wide-mouth 1-quart canning jar. Pack each layer in place before adding the next ingredient: 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, (clean inside of jar with a paper towel) 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional. Attach a gift tag with the mixing and baking directions.

Gift tag — 1 jar double fudge brownie mix, 3/4 cup butter softened, 3 eggs slightly beaten. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter and eggs. Add the double fudge brownie mix and stir until the mixture is well blended. Spread batter into a lightly greased or sprayed 9 x 12 inch pan. Bake 30-40 minutes. Cool in pan. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Butterscotch brownie mix: Layer the ingredients in the order given into a wide-mouth 1-quart canning jar. Pack each layer in place before adding the next ingredient: 1/2 cup flaked coconut, 3/4 cup chopped pecans, 1 3/4 cups brown sugar, 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Attach a gift tag with the mixing and baking directions.

Gift tag — 1 jar butterscotch brownie mix, 3/4 cup butter softened, 2 eggs slightly beaten, 2 teaspoons vanilla. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter, eggs and vanilla. Add the butterscotch brownie mix and stir until the mixture is well blended. Spread batter into a lightly greased or sprayed 9 x 12 inch pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Have fun creating gifts in a jar for family and friends.

Donna Brown

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