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Friday, December 19, 2008

Frugal holiday gift. . . .

Several people in my office regularly exchange small gifts around the holidays---I work in a fairly large office, and the idea of giving each person even a small, store-bought gift makes me wince. This year, I simply baked some cookies and wrapped them up for gifts. A couple of years ago however, I gave pre-made 'cookie in a bag' gifts. Not only was it much less expensive than purchasing something for everyone, it was nice to give a gift that would enable families to spend an afternoon baking cookies.

The recipe for Cranberry Hootycreeks (which I'd never heard of before), came from the Allrecipes site. Rather than purchasing jars to put the ingredients in (see photo from the Allrecipes site above), I bought low-cost clear plastic bags from Michael's Crafts, and tied them up with a big red bow. I created pretty labels with additional ingredient requirements (such as butter and eggs) as well as baking instructions.


  • 5/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Layer the ingredients in a 1 quart or 1 liter jar, in the order listed.
  2. Attach a tag with the following instructions: Cranberry Hootycreeks 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. 2. In a medium 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 the prepared baking sheets. 3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets, or remove to cool on wire racks.
Allrecipes has an entire section devoted to cookie-in-a-jar recipes. This is a fun, less-expensive way to remember the important people in your life during the holidays, without breaking the bank! Plus, sometimes people will bring the cookies into the office afterwards. . . .

1 comment:

momstheword said...

This is a very nice gift idea. My husband used to work in an office that exchanged gifts at Christmas and was always pooling money together for birthday gifts to people he worked with.

After our son was born (and I had quit my job) he finally said no thank you, he couldn't afford it anymore. He was surprised at how many people also opted out of the gift exchange.

It does add up. Your idea is a very reasonable alternative!

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