Why Anything in a Jar is a Bad Gift

The Christmas season is upon us and I am reminded of gifts that I have received over the past few years. One of those was a “Cookie-in-a-Jar.” You know what I’m talking about. The big ol’ Mason Jar full of the dry ingredients with the instructions on the outside that say “Sugar Cookies!” or  “M&M Cookies!” The gift that makes you work for the actual gift profit.


They are nice gifts, if you hate someone. I’m not saying all things in a jar are BAD, I’m just saying the ones specifically that require baking are horrible ideas. I understand if you don’t have time or patience to actually bake, but if you are going to give a cooking gift, DON’T give one that you put in a jar. Be cheap and get a prepacked basket!

Here are some reasons why anything in a jar is a bad gift.

1. Baking is about chemistry.
Here’s a big problem. As a baker, I am VERY precise about measurements of both wet and dry ingredients, but dry ingredients specifically. There is a reason you put baking soda and salt with all-purpose flour. There is a reason you generally use equal amounts of brown sugar and white sugar. Its about how these ingredients react. When ingredients are not precise, they could make baked goods turn flat or taste wrong.

2. No one ACTUALLY wants to bake it.
Aside from me of course! Most people want something easy to work with. Not only that, but many people don’t want to work for their present. They want it and want to enjoy it immediately. So, if you do decide to get creative if Mason jars, do something like chicken noodle soup or pasta, where the only ingredient the receiver has to deal with is water or broth.

3. The inability to control certain amounts of ingredients.
There are amounts of dry ingredients are prepackaged into the jars so the receiver who only has to add wet ingredients such as eggs, vanilla, etc. Some times, when you are putting dry ingredients into the wet ones, you may not need as much as the recipe calls for. It can be a play of trial and error.  However, when someone has measured and PACKED everything in a jar, you can either use what you have or throw it out. The only possible solution for this is to pour each layer into a bowl and measure them that way.

4. Is it really a personal gift?
Who am I to say whether a gift is personal or not? But I am of the gift giving belief, that if you are going to give something, give with your heart. I generally make all my gifts, especially baked goods. I spend time and effort to mold and create the food that someone will enjoy. I feel like when you give a gift in a jar, you are giving work. Who honestly wants to work for their Christmas gift?


Hopefully, by now, you have realized that most of this post is made in jest. There are good reasons not to gift gifts in jars, but the sincerity behind a gift is what really matters, not the gift itself. This post was actually inspired by a Sugar Cookie Jar I received for Christmas and decided to try. Lets just say, that was the ULTIMATE worse gift ever. I think the person who gave it to me didn’t measure correctly and the cookies had more flour over sugar and they came out like clay than sugar cookies.  Anyway, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Happy Cooking!

*pictures were found on Google Images. Please don’t sue me!


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