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Canning Day Quilt

Cookies in a Jar for Santa


During the Holidays, I love gifts that either make my life easier or are a fun activity for my family.  Today’s Make it Do gift idea does both.

Several months ago the fabulously talented Bakerella had a post about cookies in a jar- Cowgirl Cookies.  And my first thought was what a perfect gift for the Holidays.  Most kids love to leave a plate of cookies for Santa.  But having time to bake on Christmas Eve can be a challenge.  This gift makes it easy to throw together a batch of cookies in a hurry.

“Cookies for Santa” makes a great gift for friends or teachers as well.


Of course I had to make a batch to “test” the recipe.  And I can vouch that Santa will love these cookies.

To make this wonderful cookie mix click here to go to Bakerella for the recipe.

And here’s a few additional tips:  I found it best to make the cookie mix in a Wide Mouth Quart jar.  I didn’t buy the special craft jars that Bakerella used, because they are more expensive and I don’t mind the embossing.  I used my wide mouth canning funnel to pour the ingredients in the jar, which really reduced the mess.  One batch made about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.  I used regular Christmas M & M’s, but I was tempted to try the Mint Christmas M & M’s, I think that would be really yummy.


For the recipe instructions I created a document with both the front and back labels.  I printed it out on scrapbook paper and cut them out using a 2 inch circle punch.  I adhered the labels to the bottle using double stick tape, just like Bakerella.  If you’d like to make your labels using the document I created click here.

This project was so fun to make.  I loved them when I saw them on Bakerella back in August, and I love it more now that I’ve made them.  It’s a great feeling to make my gifts now and know I’m saving major stress in December.  Thank you Bakerella for the wonderful idea!

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90 Responses to “Cookies in a Jar for Santa”

  • Heidi:

    These are so cute! Do you think you could include a template? Thanks, I love your ideas!

  • Heidi, I just updated the post with the template included. cheers, Calli

  • I love your presentation! Great idea. I’m going to include this in our Handmade Christmas plan.

  • I love this! Great idea. I have always liked the cookies in a jar but to make them for Santa, too cute.

  • Marcie:

    Love, love, love this idea! I am definitely doing it!

  • such a great idea – I think I will be using it too!

  • Kim:

    Bakerella mentions that she really had to pack the contents in. How hard was it for you to get everything into the jar? Looks like there wasn’t too much crushing of the M&M’s so it couldn’t be too bad, but that is the one thing that scares me off from this project as a gift giving idea.

    • Hi Kim, The first jar I made, I used a narrow mouth jar, and didn’t spoon the flour into the measuring cup when measuring, as Bakerella suggests. And it didn’t fit. So I just baked that batch. The second and subsequent jars, I used a wide mouth jar, spooned the flour when measuring, and made sure to press it down a bit between each layer, and everything fit easily. I had room to add about 1/3 cup of pecans to each batch. They are really easy and I’m so excited to have these gifts done now.

      • Kim:

        So I made the cookies tonight to try them out and holy moley they are awesome! These are definitely going to get made up as gifts this year. I’m doubly excited b/c the other day we were clearing out our rental property and our last renter left us almost a box’s worth of mason jars. I just need to get lids and I’m going to use some scrap holiday fabric I have leftover and I’ll be good to go! Thanks so much for this idea!

      • Traci:

        What size jar was it that you used.

  • Stephanie:

    Thank you so much! This is the perfect gift for all my friends with little kids.

  • I love this idea! I had Bakerella’s Cowgirl Cookies on my handmade gift list this year, but now that I’ve seen your Cookies For Santa, I’m going to do this instead. Thank you so much for including your template, also.

  • Kate:

    I Love, Love, Love this! I too saw that Bakerella Cowgirl cookie and thought how cute.

    Thanks again for sharing!

  • sandy:


    Do you have measurements for the cloth and the ribbon that you decorated with? I am not very good at guessing this kind of stuff and want to do it for an Activity Day Project. They turned out adorable. You are a great inspiration to all of us who follow your blog. Thank you.


  • Hey, I’m just wondering if you could give us an idea of how much it cost per jar or something – just to give us an idea. I have a whole list of people I’d love to give this to, but don’t know if it would end up costing more than I’ve got the budget to do. Any idea on that?

    • This is a little tricky for me to answer, as I had everything for the jars with the exception of the Holiday M&M’s. But I did roughly price them a we were thinking of making them for the staff and teachers at my local elementary school (I’m the hospitality chairperson for our PTA.) We estimated they would cost more than $3 a jar, buying all the ingredients from Costco. This meant not using the Holiday M&M’s, which are a lot more expensive than using the regular bulk pack from Costco. This was over our budget, so I didn’t end up buying everything, or even getting as far as an exact estimate. I would guess they would cost between $4 and $5 if you are buying everything including jars, fabric, ribbon and ingredients. I hope that’s right, and it helps.

  • Lisa Ziolkowski:

    What a FABULOUS site! LOVE IT! I was hoping that you could tell us what is in the jar – (and the measurements of the ingredients). If you wouldn’t mind, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!!!!

  • [...] at Make it Do inspired this great idea for a last-minute Holiday [...]

  • Diana:

    I would like to know how I can change the name Cookies to Santa to my own personal one

    • Calli:

      Diana, because the document I created is a PDF, you will need to create your own document in a program like Word. There is no way to change a PDF. Good luck, Calli

  • Alisa:

    Thank you so much for sharing your labels. I also loved what Bakerella did w/the Cowgirl cookies, but wanted to do the same for Christmas! I bought a dozen nonembossed jars at Walmart today for under $8 and the only thing missing was the labels…thanks again!

  • Jan:

    Yum! There wouldn’t be any cookies left for Santa though :-)

  • Amanda:

    Did a trial run with this recipe today and the cookies were absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for passing on the recipe from Bakerella and sharing your thoughts and label. My kids are excited about making these as homemade gifts for teachers and friends.

  • Sandra:

    Thanks so much for this recipe! It just looks fab and is the perfect self-made Christmas present. :) I have a question though. I’m in Europe and have no idea how large a quart jar is. Could you possibly let me know the metric volume (in ml for instance)? That would really help. Thanks.

  • Katie:

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    I use a 1L jar and no pecans and it fits just! I might be a bet heavy handed with the choc and M&M’s though.

    I made them last year and everyone raved about them so did them again this year. My 3yr old is giving them to his teachers and we are using plain material on top with a hand print (from fabric paint) on the top, then I’ll write with fabric marker the name and who its from.

  • Jessica:

    Do you think it will be okay to use quick one-minute oats?


    • Stacey Cox:

      Hi! Love this idea! I am doing 24 jars…will it be a problem do 24x the recipe? (mainly the sugar, salt etc)

      Thanks Again!

      • Calli:

        Wow, that will be a lot of work! I would just set them up assembly line style, putting in all the flour at once, then all the baking powder, etc. What a fun project!

  • I absolutely love Bakerella! I had seen this project over the summer too and had forgotten all about it. Thanks for turning it into a Christmas gift! I’m going to whip some up for teacher gifts today!

  • Melanie:

    I too saw the Cowgirl cookies on bakerella and fell in love! I am planning a bridal shower and this idea would be perfect for favors, but because it would be very costly to do these in bulk do you think it would be possible to cut the recipe in half?

    Thanks :)

  • Thank you for the wonderful Christmas gift idea! I think they are so cute and looks yummy!

  • I thought about making some for Christmas gifts this year, now you have inspired me more.

  • This was featured today over at Sassy Sites! Come by and check it out!!

    XOXO! marni

  • Jen:

    did you use minute oats or rolled oats?

  • kimmie:

    Thank you! Just made these for gifts and they look adorable! I thought I pushed down each layer but there wasn’t room for the nuts. Hopefully that will turn out ok!

  • Nancy:

    Loved the idea. Thank you.

    I thought I would mention, in your directions on how to make the cookies, the “O” in “COmbine” is big like the “C” instead of small like the rest of the letters in the word. I would change it, but since it is a PDF document, I cannot.

  • ana:

    I made them too for Christmas 2009, after I first saw the Bakerella Cowgirl version. That year, my friend and I made about 24 jars for our friends and family! We enjoyed setting them up, in an assembly line style and EVERYONE enjoyed it and thought it was a wonderful idea. I’m making them again for my son’s childcare staff this year… I was looking for the recipe again and I saw yours, really nice! I’m really excited about making them again!

  • Marsha:

    These cookies are wonderful, made the jars for gifts, turned out so cute and cant wait to give them for gifts!

  • Aimee:

    I was just wondering if you had a way to seal the canning jars. I would love to prolong the shelf life…. so that I can make them now :)

  • Marie:

    Do you know the measurement of the fabric you used?

  • charlotte:

    hi, i was wondering how many jars does this amount make and how do you measure the amount that goes into each jar, im from north wales,united kingdom and we usually use lb’s and ounces so ‘cups’ kind of confuses me as there are so many cup sizes. desperate to make these but dont want to mess up. thanx

    • Lima:

      I think that if you respect the ratio you see in the photo, you should be ok. I don’t think there’s a way to really mess it up since it’s not like you’re maging steak sauce and have no way of taking the ingredients out… Right?

  • Thanks for the idea! Christmas is the most stressful time for me since I have no or little gift ideas. This will save me for sure!

  • Erica:

    I love your labels and I want to use the pdf (thanks!) but I am a teacher and I think I’d get my hand slapped if I made them as gifts and passed them out with a typo; The “o” in the word Combine is capitalized-”COmbine.” Is is possible for you to change it and then post again? THANK YOU!

  • What a nice idea!It will be a fun activity with my family.Christmas is almost here so I can start preparing and these cookies in a jar are the first thing I would love to do.Thank you!

  • christina:

    Hi, could you please tell me the measurements of the fabric and ribbon? I can’t wait to make these as gifts! Thank you for sharing!

    • Calli:

      It depends on whether you are using wide-mouth jars or regular. In the past, for one regular mouth jar, I’ve used a 7″ to 8″ square of fabric and a minimum of 24 inches of ribbon. You’ll need a bit more of both for a wide-mouth jar.

  • grea. a fantastic gift that looks nice, too.

    I linked to your recipe on my blog – thanks for sharing!

    doro K.

  • heather:

    I cant seem to find the corrected link for the labels. Can you please repost? Thanks so much! Excited to do these for friends this Christmas.

  • Judy Spady:

    I can’t get the link to the bakerella website to find these! I also tried searching on their site and nothing. Can you post the recipe in a pdf on here? Thanks soooo much!

  • Renee:

    Could you please make the revisions to the labels: Combine.
    Thank you!

  • [...] made batches of these Cookies in a Jar for Santa every year for the past few years.  They make a perfect useful, delicious [...]

  • Liz Vogel:

    I am NOT a baker but I am trying this! The first batch felt like there wasn’t enough liquid for the dry mixture. Has anyone else experienced this? And the m&m coloring bleeds onto the surrounding area. Ideas on this?? Thanks so much.

  • Rosa:

    WOW!! I’m making these for my friends this year! Awesome idea:)

  • Makayla:

    Hi I cant seem to find what to put in the jar I know like M&M’s but what else?

  • Shannon:

    How well would this work if I put in Splenda (or any Sucralose product) instead of sugar?

  • Ali:

    Thank you for the great idea and label template! I made these this weekend and they were a big hit!

    I put a link to your post on my site. Thank you!


  • Kristin:

    I am planning to make these with fourth graders during a holiday party. I just need to know how many jars you were able to fill with one cookie recipe so I can adjust accordingly. The jars are very cute and I think they will really enjoy putting them together!

  • Kim:

    Uggghhh not having much success with this recipe. The mix is too dry! I added an extra egg but they didn’t turn out the greatest. Now I’m worried as I already made them up as gifts!

    • Calli:

      Did you spoon the flour into your measuring cup like Bakerella suggests? That makes a big difference in how much flour you end up measuring into your cookies. If your dough is too dry, you can also add a tablespoon or two of warm water.

  • Armywifie & mommie:

    I just made these as gifts for the kiddos this year : I used holiday red and green semi-sweet chocolate chips and chocolate covered raisins to replace the M&Ms [a lil healthier I hope] amazing cookies & festive gift <3 thank you!!

  • Marney:

    Thankyou soooo much! I’ve been looking for a good cake-in-a-jar mix and although this isn’t cake, the title was too perfect! Thankyou! Now time to make a few “test batches”…

  • Betty:

    Are high altitude adjustments necessary for the Santa cookies?

    • Hi Betty, I live at just over 4900 ft and the recipe works fine for me without adjustments. Many of my cookie recipes require extra flour to make up for altitude but not this recipe. I hope that helps.

  • Dee:

    Calli, You’re AWESOME! Thanks for sharing. I will be using this idea for my Xmas gifts this year! Looks Yummy!

  • Michelle:

    I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you Calli and your AMAZING Recipe…. I made these years ago and going to do it again this year! They are ADORABLE and SOOOOO MUCH FUN to make! :-)

    Do you think if I make them right now, they will be fresh enough to give as presents at Christmas time (since they will be sealed)? Can you tell, I can’t wait to make them?

    Take care and have a WONDERFUL Holiday Season!


    • I think it should be just fine. All the ingredients are shelf stable on their own, so I can’t see any reason not to make them now. It feels so good to have those big things done ahead of the Christmas season so you can enjoy without stress!

  • Kalin Combs:

    Making this for the babysitter and grandparents! I found jars similar to this at The Dollar Tree!

  • Danielle:

    Thank you for the awesome ideas and use of your template! Cannot wait to make these for friends and family and pass them out.

  • Christina:

    Was wondering if you think the cookies would still be good without the nuts? We’re doing these for our MOPS group, but I do know some of the children have a nut allergy, so we’d like to leave the nuts out, plus cost. Thanks so much!

  • Marlene:

    Hello… do you have a recipe modification where it does not include chocolate? I’m planning to make these for my family, but one of my aunts is allergic to chocolate. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving :)

  • Andrea:

    I bought pint sized jars, does anyone know of a recipe similar to this that would fit in a pint sized jar versus a quart size jar? I really want to gift these out!

  • Valerie L:

    These are my favorite and they can be given anytime of the year

  • KHardin:

    Hi, and Happy New Year.
    I just wanted to let you know that I made these and gave them away for Christmas. My son called and asked for the recipe. He said they had already made them, and they were gone. They family wants more cookies. Thanks for helping me make this a FUN Christmas for my family.
    God Bless.

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