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Create a thoughtful and inexpensive gift with these DIY Christmas Cookies in a Jar. Equipped with recipes and printable stickers and tags, you can give the homemade gift of the season!

glass jar with ingredients for cookies decorated with ribbon and a recipe card

Welcome to day 3 in the 2018 Sally’s Cookie Palooza!

I launched the 6th annual Christmas cookie countdown this week. So far I’ve shared two Christmas cookie recipes including Peppermint Bark Cookies and Spritz Cookies. Today I’m sharing something different– a cookie recipe you can gift.

Let’s make Christmas Cookies in a Jar!

glass jar with ingredients for cookies decorated with ribbon and a recipe card

I have two cookies in a jar recipes for you today: Chocolate Peppermint Cookies and Christmas M&M Cookies. You can make one or both for everyone on your gift list. Depends how much he/she likes chocolate! I’ve always loved cookies in a jar as Christmas presents, especially if you gift a baked batch along with the jar. Then the gift recipient will know what the cookies will taste like. Cookies in a jar are a thoughtful and inexpensive DIY gift for anyone who enjoys cookies… which I can only assume is everyone on your gift list!!!

How to Make Cookies in a Jar

Using my recipes below, layer the dry ingredients into jars. The gift recipient is responsible for adding the wet ingredients. I like layering the dry ingredients into the jars in a thoughtful way so each layer stands out. Dark (cocoa powder), light (sugar), dark (brown sugar), light (flour + baking soda + salt), and so on. Use a spoon to layer or, if you’re particular like I am, use a funnel so the layers are extra neat.

The carefully formulated cookie recipes fit into 32 ounce mason jars. Top with the lid and decorate with festive ribbons, a candy cane, or even a small ornament. Go simple or go big. It doesn’t take much crafty talent to tie a ribbon around the jar, I promise. 🙂

Red and green Christmas M&Ms in a jar cookie kit

The jars would make zero sense to the gift recipient without instructions for actually baking the cookies. For allergen reasons, I think it’s important to share the ingredients inside the jar as well as directions for baking the cookies. I have you covered!

Free Printable Tag Options

  1. Click this link for the PDF of pictured Christmas tags: Sallys Baking Addiction Christmas Cookies in a Jar Printable
  2. Click this link for the PDF of Christmas tags that include gram/metric: Christmas Cookie Jar Printables Sally’s Baking
  3. Click this link for the PDF of regular tags (include gram/metric): Cookie Jar Printables Sally’s Baking

Aren’t the tags so much fun? My dear friend Jess, who has the cutest Etsy shop designed the pictured tags. And team member Trina designed the tags that include gram/metric ingredients. I recommend printing the rectangle recipe cards on thick white paper, like card stock, and the circles on sticker adhesive paper. The circle stickers look adorable on the front of the jars or even placed on the lid. It prints out a full sheet of stickers, so you can use extras for cards, envelopes, gift tags, etc.

glass jar with ingredients for cookies decorated with ribbon and a recipe card

So… what do the final baked cookies look like? Eat your heart out!

I like using the Ghirardelli peppermint bark squares for the Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. Red and green M&Ms are perfectly festive for the Christmas M&M Cookies.

I loved both versions, but the chocolate peppermint cookies were absolutely insane. Some friends came over for dinner the day that I tested the recipe and all 2 dozen cookies were gone within 1 hour. Pretty sure that’s a record in my house.

Chocolate peppermint bark cookies
Christmas M&M Cookies
glass jars with ingredients for cookies decorated with ribbon and a recipe card

Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes

Would love to know if you gift any cookies in a jar this holiday season! And if you’re looking for other gift ideas for the bakers in your life, be sure to check out my Holiday Baking Gift Guide.

Print
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glass jar with ingredients for cookies decorated with ribbon and a recipe card

Christmas Cookies in a Jar & Free Printable

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: each yields 1 jar 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Create a thoughtful and inexpensive gift with these DIY Christmas Cookies in a Jar. Equipped with recipes and printable stickers and tags, you can give the homemade gift of the season!


Ingredients

Scale

Christmas M&M Cookies in a Jar

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (219g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (90g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (100g) plain mini or regular size M&Ms
  • *gift recipient will add: 10 Tablespoons (145g) softened unsalted butter, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies in a Jar

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (90g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (90g) chopped peppermint bark*
  • *gift recipient will add: 10 Tablespoons (145g) softened unsalted butter, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

To make the jars: Whichever cookie jar recipe you’re making, combine the first 3 ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt). Now it’s time to layer the ingredients in 32 ounce mason jars. I suggest layering the dry ingredients into the jars in a thoughtful way so each layer stands out. Dark (cocoa powder), light (granulated sugar), dark (brown sugar), light (flour + baking soda + salt), dark (chocolate chips), then the peppermint bark or M&Ms. Use a spoon to layer or, if you’re particular like I am, use a funnel so the layers are extra neat. Seal the lids, decorate with ribbon, and gift with the free printable tags.

To bake the cookies: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, egg, and vanilla extract together on high speed until combined. Don’t worry if the egg isn’t fully combining with the butter; it’ll all come together with the dry ingredients. Add all of the jar ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Cookie dough does NOT require chilling. Drop by rounded Tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake in a 350°F (177°C) oven for about 10 minutes until the edges are set. Each recipe yields about 2 dozen cookies. Cookies stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough.


Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Jars can be prepped a few months or weeks ahead of time, though after a month the ingredients begin to settle down into one another, so the layers don’t stand out quite as much.
  2. Special Tools: 32-ounce Ball Mason Jars | Sticker Paper | Card Stock | Candy Canes | Funnel | Measuring Cups | Ribbon
  3. Jars: These recipes fit into 32 ounce mason jars.
  4. Peppermint Bark: I like using the Ghirardelli peppermint bark squares for the Chocolate Peppermint Cookies.

Keywords: Christmas cookies in a jar

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi, Just wondering what software you used to make your tags? And where did you find the light bulb boarder?

    1. Hi Natty, We had a graphic designer friend design these for us!

      1. Hi liked the receipe but still cannot find the metric version of printables

  2. Hi Sally! Did you use a round paper cutter for the labels (and if so, what size?). Thanks so much!

      1. Absolutely. It’s linked above and also here: https://www.amazon.com/Sticker-Paper-Sheets-Inkjet-Printer/dp/B01DJBMLV2/
        You can get it at most office supplies stores.

  3. Sally! Help! I wanted to try the recipe before I made the jars. My completed batter came out all sandy looking instead of a more stuck together batter. Is that right?

    1. Hi Judie, the batter shouldn’t be sandy. Did you spoon and level the flour? It sounds like there may be too much flour if it’s coming out sandy. Did you make any ingredient substitutes by chance?

  4. I am making these as gifts but it’s not filling up the whole jar. I’ve double checked the ingredients i measure by weight. I have 1L mason jars and havnt packed anything down and there is soooo mucb space. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi Natasha, I’m just seeing your question now so my apologies on the delay responding. The quantities given fill a 32 fluid ounce jar, which is about 2 ounces less than 1 liter. Are you sure the ones you are using are 1 liter?

  5. Hi Sally! I always read mutilpe recipesand reviews before i try something. Another recipe said that you really had to pack the flour down to make everything fit. I went with your recipe for the M&M cookies (love the printables! Thank you!). I really packed the flour down….and I have a ton of space left! Should i put something in the top to keep things in place?? Thanks!

    1. Hi Cherise, I’m guessing that reviewer used a slightly smaller jar. You can fill the top with extra M&Ms or just leave it as is.

  6. If I half the recipe into a 16 oz jar, but still instruct the receiver to use one egg in the recipe, will the texture and taste of the cookie be affected? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Emma, that will be too much egg for half of the dough. Instruct the gift recipient to use half of an egg. My general rule for halving an egg is to crack it open, beat the yolk and white together with a fork, measure the volume (should be a few Tbsp), then use half.

  7. Thanks Sally! These jars were the perfect Christmas present for teachers this year. They went to school today and it was reported back that all the teachers were very very pleased with the jars! The free printable sheet was very handy.

  8. Hi. What can I replace the M and Ms or peppermint bark with? Any recommended substitutes that work?

    1. Hi Bindu, You can use chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, any chopped candy you enjoy adding to cookies, etc. Enjoy!

  9. My niece is diabetic, and I wanted to include nutritional information so her parents can calculate her blood sugar if she eats one of the M&M cookies – do you have that?

    1. Hi Sandi, I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  10. Sally I am having a group of ladies over to make the peppermint cookies. About how many squares of the the Ghirardelli peppermint bark squares makes the 1/2 cup? Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Sue, We don’t have a bag in front of us to look but a 1/2 cup is 90 grams, so check out the serving size on your bag. Enjoy!

  11. Hi Sally,

    I was wondering if the tags could be edited to show grams instead of 10 tbsp butter, and also add a gas mark heat and fan assisted oven temperature? I’d love to make these but in the UK we use grams and people use gas and fan assisted ovens. I am more than happy to write them in myself but wanted it to look uniform.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Kait, you are one step ahead of us! My team and I are in the process of making those exact updates for the holiday season this year. This post will be updated when we have them ready.

      1. This is exactly what I was hoping for in Australia. Are you able to let us know when it’s ready?

      2. Hi Carlene & Kait! The post has been updated with new tag options. Thank you so much!

  12. Hi Sally! Just wanted to say that I made the peppermint cookies last year, and they were a hit! Looking forward to giving the m&m cookies this year. The jar cookie format has been a winner in the pandemic—would love to see more if you have time!

  13. How long are the cookie jars good for? (like how long do they have to make them)? Thanks!

    1. Hi Erika! Jars can be prepped a few months or weeks ahead of time, though after a month the ingredients begin to settle down into one another, so the layers don’t stand out quite as much.

      1. I made these last night to test the recipe ready for childcare teacher gifts – we loved them!! And the jar was perfectly filled (I used an 825ml preserve jar). I just wanted to find out if the tags would be available with the grams? Also is the round sticker available for free too? I’d love to print my own labels too. I saw a comment suggesting new ‘gram’ versions were being developed – any word on when they’ll be available?

  14. Hi! I’ve made both of these cookies in the past and they have been a huge hit with my coworkers. I was wondering if you can make either of them gluten free? I have a coworker who follows a gluten-free diet and I was hoping I could adapt one of them to accomodate her. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kat, we don’t have much experience using gluten free flour so we don’t have a cookie in a jar recipe for it. Please let us know if you try one!

  15. Is the link for the printable tags still good? I keep clicking the link, but nothing happens and I already have the jars prepared 🙁

    1. Hi Cheyenne, the link is working for me – it should open in a new window as a printable PDF. Here’s the link again: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Sallys-Baking-Addiction-Christmas-Cookies-in-a-Jar-Printable.pdf

  16. Hi! I made these last year for neighbors and they were great. Any chance you can update the tags to “Happy Holidays” or “Holiday cookies” so I can gift to colleagues who don’t celebrate Christmas? Thank you!

    1. Hi Kelsey! Yes! We are working on additional tag/sticker designs and will update the post when they are ready. 🙂
      Added 11/19: They are now included in the post above!

      1. Hi, I came to the comments section to ask for the same thing: tags that said holidays instead of Christmas. I don’t see the new links anywhere and I clicked on all of the ones I did see. Is it located somewhere different than the section where the original links are? Thanks for always being so responsive!

      2. Hi Georgette, In the section in the post above called “Free Printable Tag Options” see #3 “Click this link for the PDF of regular tags (include gram/metric): and click the words: “Cookie Jar Printables Blue”. Enjoy!

      3. Just tried clicking on printable #3 (the one that says holidays as opposed to Christmas) and it just says 404 not found. Is there an updated link? Thanks.

      4. Georgette, it looks like there was a glitch. Try again now and let me know if you still have any trouble.

      5. Looking forward to making these, but was also hoping for a “Happy Holidays” label option – or even if you are willing to share the font or a Word document so we can edit it?

  17. Hi Sally! Can I use crushed peppermint candy canes instead of the Ghirardelli peppermint bark? Also, I think a gingerbread cookie recipe would be nice to add too!

    1. Hi Ruby! Peppermint candies will add a different texture to the cookies that may not be the best. We suggest sticking with a peppermint bark for best results but let us know if you try crushed peppermints!

    1. Hi Debora, our best advice is to use fresh brown sugar and make sure the jars are sealed tightly. Many people make them soon after receiving so the hardening does not become an issue! A little hardening may take place over time, but bakers can help break it up once it’s removed from the jar if it has happened.

  18. This looks awesome! Is it possible to use Dutch processed / alkalized cocoa in place of the natural cocoa in the chocolate peppermint cookies?

    1. Hi Michelle, because of the baking soda in the mix, it’s best to use natural cocoa here. You can read more about the differences and when to use natural vs. Dutch process here if you’re interested!

  19. I love this idea so much!! I’ve made the M&M jars and printed the tags(they look amazing)….I was just wondering why the recipe on the tags for the M&M cookies says that there is cocoa in the jar when the actual recipe on the website does not….I am either missing something or losing my mind trying to find cocoa in that recipe! Haha!

    1. Hi Lauren, thank you so much for catching that – We’ll get it fixed and updated ASAP!

      1. No problem! I already printed it out with the cocoa powder on the MM tag…I don’t think anyone I have given the jars to have even noticed!!

        The recipe is awesome!

  20. I don’t think we get Ghirardelli here, but we do have mint M&Ms, would those be OK? They are larger than regular M&Ms, but I would love to include the mint.

      1. Thanks Stephanie! Then would I use the M&Ms recipe or the peppermint recipe? I noticed slight differences between them, but I don’t know what effect that would have.

      2. You can use them in either! Just make sure to follow the ingredients listed in the recipes above for whichever cookie you choose 🙂

  21. Just experimented with the M&M cookies and they’re delicious! I think maybe I made them a bit tooo big as they didn’t completely cook in the middle but they were super yummy 🙂

    For anyone making a 1L jar, 1.5 times the original recipe is perfect if you settle and pat ingredients down into the jar 🙂

  22. These turned out great! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes. I baked up both types for the family to try out before making jars to gift. Both recipes were so simple to make and delicious–we were split on which were our favorites! My dough was quite firm, and I found they baked better if I flattened them a bit before putting them in the oven. The jars look great, and will make awesome gifts. Thanks again!

  23. Have you ever made Valentines Day cookie jars? I’m thinking of teachers gifts.

    Thanks, Cherie

  24. the sticker template is just a little bit off for the pre cut circle labels i bought on Amazon! Shoot!!! Does anyone know a brand that the circle matches to perfectly?

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