Jar cookies aren’t just for gift-giving! You can use this concept as a brilliant and time-saving strategy for your own kitchen!
If you’re anything like me, you’re flat-out busy. And like me, you may prefer homemade baking but have little time. Here’s the solution you’ve been looking for!
This year I’ve found a way to keep baking homemade goodies for my family by switching to jar baking. It’s fast, easy and you can plan ahead to save time. Give yourself the gift of more time and more wholesome food.
On a personal note, I realize this is a piano blog, so a post about baking may seem off topic, but I don’t think so! I’ve always considered myself to be a complete person and food is relevant to everyone. It’s okay to be a music professional with a hearty side of foodie.
So, if you never seem to have enough time to mix and bake a recipe all at once, why not just get the dry ingredients ready ahead of time in a jar and store it until the moment you do have time to assemble the whole recipe and bake it?
Step 1: Measure
Collect your favourite recipes
The first step is to open up your favourite recipes and find several large Mason jars. The first time I set this up for myself, I chose Banana Bread, Chocolate Beet Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Crunchy Top Muffins. Choose your best-loved, tried-and-true recipes.
Set up an assembly line
On your counter, set out your recipe books and mason jars in a line, matching one mason jar to each open recipe. The idea is to measure out the dry ingredients for several recipes at the same time. This reduces the time it takes because you set up and clean up only once.
Prepare all of your measuring cups, measuring spoons, find a funnel to make it easy to add ingredients to the bottles (I use a wide canning funnel), and set out your dry ingredients.
In this ‘investment session’ you won’t end up with anything to eat, but it’s worth it! There’ll come a day when you’ll want to bake and this head start will make it possible for you to pull it off!
Measure with caution
There are two ways to do the measuring:
- You may measure one recipe at a time (all ingredients through), or
- All recipes down your assembly line, one ingredient at a time. If you do it this way, take a step to ensure that you keep them straight. I read the ingredients aloud and wouldn’t let anyone talk to me (ha!).
Step 2: Store
Label the jars
Use your prettiest post-it notes or notepad paper and write the recipe names down so you know which one is in which bottle. Do this before removing the bottles.
Store the jars
The dry ingredients will keep until you have time to mix the recipe.
Step 3: Mix
When you decide to finish your recipe, the jar will truly speed things up! First, keep the dry ingredients in the jar and instead of stirring them in a bowl, simply shake your jar until the dry ingredients are well blended. It takes mere seconds to get perfectly mixed dry ingredients — no mess!
Measure and stir your wet ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Add dry to wet, simply pouring dry out of the jar itself, about four additions, and mixing each addition until combined.
After this, simply finish and bake your recipe as directed.
All that’s left is the eating! Yummmmm!
Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookies
In a Mason jar, measure ahead and shake to combine:
- 2 – 1/3 cups all-purpose flour — OR —
- (Gluten-free: 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all purpose baking mix, 1/2 cup arrowroot flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup almond flour, plus 1/2 tsp guar gum OR 1/4 tsp xanthan gum)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
In a mixing bowl, cream together:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
Add one at a time, beating well after each addition:
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
*On baking day, gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture. Then…
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans
Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 3 in. apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Remove to wire racks too cool. Yield: 3 dozen.
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Video of the week
Wedding Dance from Madge’s Notebook, A Piano Tribute to The Hunger Games, Early Intermediate to Early Advanced piano solos (and one duet), music that is a bright light in a dark world. Wedding Dance imitates a folk fiddle tune, and begins on D and A like the open strings calling everyone to dance.