August 31, 2011

Punk Rock Cookie Jar Mixes

by IsaChandra

Sending baked cookies in the mail is a super sweet gesture, so long as they arrive on time, and in one piece! A cookie jar mix, however, means that your recipient will be enjoying oven-fresh cookies at their leisure, all the while thinking about how awesome you are.

But sometimes cookie jar mixes can be too rooster, denim and gingham. What about a mix for those of us who only wear black and couldn’t tie a perfect bow to save our lives? Enter the punk rock cookie jar mix!

With cut-out ransom letters as the label, and a safety pin holding together the ribbon, you don’t need to be too precise with the design. And the whole thing comes together in about half an hour, making it a great last minute gift. I sent these Double Chocolate Pecan cookies to my friend Anna Dorfman, because she built and designed such a lovely site for the Teal Cat Project.

What you’ll need:

All of the ingredients for the cookies (below)
A clean empty jar with a lid big enough to hold 3 1/2 cups of stuff (I used a mason jar here, but an empty spaghetti sauce jar works, too.)
Some ribbon, about a foot (somewhere between 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide)
Some glossy magazines
A used card, or stock paper with a pretty print and a blank side, about 4×3
Small safety pin
Hole puncher
Glue stick

Optional (both of these things are available at craft stores):
Sticker strips of animal print
Small silver stud stickers

1) Gather your ingredients. You’ll need:
1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons ground flax seeds, 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup chocolate chips

2) Wrap jar one inch from the bottom and 2 inches from the top with the animal print stickers. You can make your own strips with some printed paper and a glue stick.

3) Cut out letters from magazines to spell out C-O-O-K-I-E-S

4) Place the “K” first. Because it’s the middle letter it will give you more control in where the other letters are going. Use a glue stick to completely coat the backs of the cut out letters, and stick them firmly in place. Rub them to make sure they stay put.

5) Time to fill the jar! Make a funnel out of paper to get your ingredients in without making a mess. Just roll a sheet of paper into a cone and snip off the bottom.

6) Add the flour first, along with the baking soda, salt and flax. Then add the pecans, and use a spoon to smush them into the sides so that they show through. Add the sugar, then chocolate, then the chocolate chips. Seal jar tightly.

7) Make the card. Use an old card or stock paper with a pretty print and a blank side. I used the May image from the My Zoetrope calendar. Make a rectangle big enough to fit the text. Fold it in half and punch a hole in the upper left side.

8 ) The card can say whatever you want, but it should definitely have the cookie title and directions. It should say “Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies” “Mix with: 1/3 cup veg oil, 1/4 cup soy milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla.” “Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Flatten into 1 1/2 inch discs. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 F. Makes 20 cookies.”

9) Slide the ribbon into the hole you punched and make sure it’s secure. Wrap ribbon around the lid and affix with a safety pin. The card should be dangling a few inches.

Stick a few silver stud stickers on the jar letters, and the card. Voila! Your punk rock cookie gift jar is finished. Makes sure to pad it really well if you’re mailing it. Perhaps throw in an oven mitt?

  • August 31, 2011 at 6:12 pm: Rachel

    I did this for my friends at christmas, they thought I’d bought them! Great idea :)

  • August 31, 2011 at 6:17 pm: Blair

    Thank you so much for this! I will definitely be making these come Christmas time!

  • August 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm: Crystal/paprikapapaya

    I’m going to make these for Christmas! What a great idea.

  • August 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm: Ani

    Soooo pretty! Love that idea! <3

  • August 31, 2011 at 6:31 pm: Arielle (Your Vegan Girlfriend)

    OMG how creative is this! What a great bday gift idea :) Love it!

  • August 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm: Deb

    Perfect! And much better for holidays, I think, than those weird cookie swaps.

  • August 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm: Ruthie

    you rock! I love it!

  • August 31, 2011 at 6:38 pm: Sara

    I love this! Will def save this idea for Christmas!

  • August 31, 2011 at 6:47 pm: Amy

    These look fantastic! Super easy & fun to make/receive. Thank you.

  • August 31, 2011 at 7:25 pm: Katie

    How much sugar?

    • August 31, 2011 at 8:07 pm: IsaChandra

      Thank you for catching that! It’s 3/4 cup, I will update the post.

  • August 31, 2011 at 7:35 pm: Rebecca

    Mmmm!! Excited to try this! Can it be used with other recipes from VCTOYCJ?

    • August 31, 2011 at 7:48 pm: IsaChandra

      Probably, so long as the quantities look similar. You don’t want an underfilled jar, or a jar where all the ingredients don’t fit.

  • August 31, 2011 at 8:24 pm: Allison Dubya

    If I were to give this to an omnivore who doesn’t usually have any non-dairy milk around, and I don’t want to encourage the use of dairy milk for obvious reasons, do you think it would work if I added soy milk powder to the mix and replaced the soy milk with water on the recipe card? Just wondering….

    This looks awesome, by the way! I think I’m going to make these cookies for myself tonight! :-)

    • August 31, 2011 at 9:11 pm: IsaChandra

      I’d say instead to supply a little sip box of vegan milk.

  • August 31, 2011 at 9:52 pm: Janel

    This is awesome! But how much sugar? It’s not mentioned in step one

  • August 31, 2011 at 9:55 pm: Janel

    Ignore previous post; the sugar amount showed up *after* I sent my inquiry. I can’t wait to try these! :)

  • August 31, 2011 at 10:09 pm: Jedge

    I looked a few times, but how much sugar is there to put into the jar?

  • August 31, 2011 at 10:13 pm: Jedge

    Ugh, sorry… Forget my post, too.

    • August 31, 2011 at 10:16 pm: IsaChandra

      Sugargate 2011.

  • August 31, 2011 at 10:55 pm: Veronica

    I want to make these cookies for my mom, but she is deathly allergic to nuts. Think chocolate chips will work? Worst case, I guess I could just eat them:-)

  • September 1, 2011 at 1:36 am: Luv What You Do

    I can’t get over how adorable these are!!! I am already thinking of making them for housewarming gifts.

  • September 1, 2011 at 3:21 am: Crissie

    So I’m totally shy at first in person…but was completely start struck when I saw you this weekend! Can’t wait to read more….and more…and more… Next time, I really will come up and say hi :)

  • September 1, 2011 at 9:24 am: thedoghouse

    Fantastic idea! Think I know what my friends are getting for Xmas this year… What an ace way to introduce my non-vegan friends to the joys of vegan baking ;-)

  • September 1, 2011 at 11:05 am: Allison Dubya

    Hey the small vegan milk container was a genius idea! :-) I made the cookies for me and my husband last night and they were delicious! Thanks, Isa!

  • September 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm: Janine

    Totally going to send these to my cousin at college! She has a kitchen for the first time and is very excited to use it, though doesn’t know how to make anything, so this will be perfect :) Thanks a million for the great idea! I also love the idea to send an oven mit, and ALSO love the idea to send a sippy container of soy milk! I was worried she’d use dairy milk too :) I think Whole Foods sells small containers of soy so I could include one in the package. Thanks, Isa!!

  • September 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm: Pam D

    another thing to use for the recipe card, pages from a page-a-day calendar. Especially if it’s a thank you gift and you use the date they did the something nice!

  • September 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm: Joselle

    These are awesome! Could we get a close-up of what appears to be some cookbooks on the bookshelf? I’m just curious what you have. I think I see a Nigella in there…

  • September 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm: Kim

    I love it and am totally giving these out this holiday season, in an oven mitt, with a mini container of soy or almond milk. Thanks Isa!

  • September 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm: Lynne

    How fun will this be? Love it! Thanks!

  • September 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm: Amie

    This would be a super cool item to offer in the Vegan Van for holidays. Would it be okay with you if I used this idea (but with my own recipes, obvs)? So awesome to see you at Vida Vegan Con!

  • September 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm: Jess @PinkChilli

    I usually send cookie jars at xmas but never sent vegan ones so as my first vegan xmas these will be on my list to send! Thanks :-)

  • September 1, 2011 at 9:17 pm: Mary

    O h m y G O D
    That is too cool. I am sOO making these as gifts! wow!
    That is totally going to interfere with my insistence that veganage with help with losing weight tho…hehe

  • September 1, 2011 at 11:45 pm: Brianne

    Oh thank god, I wanted to do this at Christmas last year but thought it would be all screwed up if you didn’t soak the flax and so on etc. Thanks for the awesomeness Isa!

  • September 2, 2011 at 3:18 am: Jen

    You are so cute I could effing puke. And pretty much everyone I know is getting this for every gift I ever have to give them pretty much forever.

  • September 2, 2011 at 10:23 am: Katrina

    Love this! I need to do this for my friends.

  • September 2, 2011 at 10:40 pm: Alex S

    This has nothing to do with this post but I didn’t want to look for an old one that had what I was asking about in it.
    I was looking at some of your cookbooks (Veganomicon and Vegan with a Vengeance I think) and noticied you say to use cooking wine a couple times. My sister who is a cooking genius and whom I would trust with my cooking-life (figuratively speaking) says that cooking wine is horrible and a waste of money and you shouldn’t use it.
    Is there some vegan-y reason to use it?
    (It’s not that hugely important as I wouldn’t use it anyway or any wine for that matter but I was kind of curious.)

  • September 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm: D

    So awesome! Making some of these for friends and family will make my day!

  • September 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm: dd

    wow! this is great! i’m going to make it for my penpals when they have a birthday!

  • September 4, 2011 at 1:48 am: Elena

    Fantastic! I’ve also been decorating my glass jars lately.

  • September 4, 2011 at 8:40 pm: AmandaT

    I just tried the recipe. Mother Love. They are indeed A-mazing! I will certainly be jarring up this cooking mix for Xmas gifts…and any other special occasion or holiday that merits a gift.

  • September 6, 2011 at 5:14 pm: Phoenix

    This is so cool. Guess what everyone will be getting from me for any upcoming holiday.
    Thank you so much, Isa, you saved my broke ass. ;))

  • September 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm: Rachel

    Wow. What an awesome idea. I made these for a friend of mine, but now I’m thinking of more friends and family I want to make these for!

  • September 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm: The Sweetest Vegan

    I love this concept, I wish someone would give me a recipe in a jar!

  • September 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm: Stephanie

    Great idea. So much fun

  • September 11, 2011 at 3:06 am: chris

    This is great!!! Do you happen to have any other vegan recipe’s in a jar? I’ve been out of work for the last 5 months and plan to be out longer, due to an injury and surgery, so I don’t have much money for christmas gifts, but these seem perfect!!! If you have any ideas, PLEASE let me know, I would LOVE them!!!

    • September 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm: IsaChandra

      I don’t, but any recipe that looks like it makes the same amount would work.

  • September 12, 2011 at 2:12 am: Danielle

    I LOVE THIS! I’m excited to use it :)
    Thank you!

  • September 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm: Rachael

    Um WOW, I am gonna be all over this like…well, me, on cookies.

  • September 20, 2011 at 12:51 am: Kelly from NJ

    I’m going to try this with the cherry almond cookies from vegan cookies invade your cookie jar for my mom’s birthday, and see how she makes out with it. And if she asks me if it’ll work with dairy milk I’m going to say no, it wont. ha.

  • September 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm: Patricia Grodberg

    I did these 2 years ago for the holidays using various recipes from Vegan Cookies

  • September 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm: Heather

    I was just remembering this kind of thing from a newspaper story a million years ago. Thank you for reading my mind.

  • October 4, 2011 at 11:17 pm: Brit

    Okay, now I know what I’m giving as holiday presents :) probably including to myself. This looks amazing, thank you!

  • October 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm: Ditte Rømer

    I love your jar! I’ve been sending out things like the ingredients for vegan Holiday treats in a similar manner, but I’m definitely going to do more about the container and e.g. also use nice tin cans etc. It’s a wonderful interactive way to get those non-vegans trying out vegan yumminess. ;)

    I have included the idea in a much simpler and cheaper way on my blog, but of course also linked back to your page (twice actually). I hope that is okay with you, otherwise let me know. Direct link to my budget-version: (almost embarrassed, know that I look at your cool jar).

  • October 9, 2011 at 4:23 am: Lauren Carruth

    Isa Chandra, I want to tell you that I recently bought Veganomicon, and I am love with this book. I’ve been making 2-3 recipes out of it each week and am completely satisfied each and every time. It’s changing the way I eat for the better.
    Now, I was immediately excited when I saw your idea here, especially because I owe a few overdue thank yous, and this rocks. I made them tonight for myself because I wanted to taste them, so I know exactly what it is I’m giving my loved ones. And WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!! Seriously. I think that’s the best cookie I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. Thank you so much for posting this. It is so thoughtful, sweet, and delicious. Thank you. -Lauren Carruth

  • October 11, 2011 at 6:38 am: Melissa

    just made some of these jars over the weekend. I LOVED the idea! I have never heard of these! I did modify a little and made Halloween Jars instead. Followed the recipe minus the pecans (we have some allergies that run in the family) and the cookies were absolutely delicious. they were so simple, and baked beautifully. THANK YOU!

  • October 17, 2011 at 12:58 am: Andrea

    You are my favorite person ever. I love your site and always visit time & again for great recipes and inspiration. Thank you!

    • October 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm: IsaChandra

      Ever? There are a lot of people in this world so thank you!

  • October 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm: Vegan Bakerista

    I love this idea! I received one of these for the holidays two years ago and thought it was such an awesome idea. Definitely make sure you know of any food allergies the gift receiver might have to be sure they can eat the cookie mix you are sending. Thanks for the inspiration PPK!!

  • November 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm: Carmie

    These look great and I’m definitely planning on making a bunch of these for the holidays. This might be a stupid question though – what size are the mason jars? Quart? Pint? Thanks!

  • November 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm: doe mora

    i have a LOT of coworkers i’d like to recognize this holiday season…thus 2 dozen mason jars and craft supplies. thanks for sharing such a fun idea! then they’ll have pie. pie in the sky pie. oh my!!

  • November 12, 2011 at 10:00 pm: kristen

    I run a baking stall at our local market and do only vegan stuff, though I dont explicitly advertise it as vegan, as many people here still think “vegan” means “something must be missing.” So, if I don’t make explicit that things are vegan, people see the great cookies and buy them and don’t even think about it/realize it. I want to make these jar mixes to sell at our local Christmas market….but I really only want to encourage vegan baking, and if I put soy milk on the label, it may discourage some people…but I refuse to just put “milk” on the label…so i was thinking about using soy milk powder or coconut flour in the mix itself as a substitute, then i could just put water on the label to add, rather than soy milk…. anyone have any ideas if/how this would work and what amounts might be good to try? thanks much!

  • November 24, 2011 at 4:23 am: Annette Petris

    You would be surprised how mainstream soymilk is. I would go with the recipe as Isa created it and view it as an awesome opportunity to encourage people to try it. I have MANY carnivore friends (unconditional love?) and everything I make, bake and share is welcomed with open arms. It’s all in the presentation and conversation. My meat eating husband actually enjoys soymilk and stevia in his tea…so I would say ” Yes, they are awesome and can you believe, how great is this, they are vegan!”

  • November 27, 2011 at 12:21 am: kristen

    hi annette–

    its not that soymilk isnt readily available here–it is. it more that there are loads of people that are turned off by it, and or think its weird…. its ok when i sell them cookies that are already made that are vegan, because then they dont realize they are made with soy (unless they ask for ingredient lists), but if people are seeking out christmas gifts to buy for others (i.e. mixes in jars, etc, seeing “add soymilk” in the instructions rather than “add milk” is likely to turn a lot of people off from buying it, whereas if theres already soymilk powder in there and the instructions just say “add water” or such, then its not going to be so explicit. The general attitude is that people here are willing to try vegan things for free, but not super-keen on paying money for them if they realize they are vegan. if its explicitly made known that it doesnt have dairy or eggs in it, they think something is “missing.” :( and…i need to have a sell-able product(s) or else I have no more market stall :/ so…thats why Im wondering about the powdered soymilk route…

    • November 27, 2011 at 12:47 am: IsaChandra

      I think powdered soymilk would be great! I just never have any around…

  • December 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm: Elizabeth

    I made these yesterday and they were very tasty! My vegan son was so happy that he could eat them.

  • December 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm: lou

    hey guys brill, cheaper idea for xmas, we are poor this xmas cos we just had a baby im making 8 of them for family, i have made one up as banana everything cookies in a kilner jar thingy, no soy milk to add (from vegan cookies take over world) they are my fave cookie. cant post the pics on fb tho cos then my family will know what they are getting. : D

  • December 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm: Caitlin @ LiveLoveNYC

    what an awesome secret santa idea! who wouldn’t love this?!

  • December 8, 2011 at 3:55 am: corinne

    What a fantastic idea! I love how creative they are. Cannot wait to try them this christmas and naw ruz! THanks :)

  • December 14, 2011 at 12:35 am: Maria

    So ingredients say baking SODA but the steps and instructions say add the baking POWDER
    Which one is it?!!

    • December 14, 2011 at 5:43 am: IsaChandra

      It’s soda! I updated, thanks for the catch.

  • December 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm: May

    My first vegan cookies turned out great! better than dairy ones!
    I just became vegan and your website is really helpful for me..
    Just a question,is it possible to buy your books in switzerland?

  • December 20, 2011 at 4:11 am: Taylor

    Just spent my night making 3 of these. They are beautiful, thanks Isa!

  • December 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm: Stephanie

    I just found this recipe about two months ago, and it is awesome!! It has very quickly become a favorite in my house. I thought I should share this very awesome vegan cookie recipe with some of our non-vegan family for the holidays. However, I can’t seem to find the right size jar. I have 3 1/2 cup ball jars, but there is too much room left. Does anyone have any other jar suggestions?

  • December 25, 2011 at 10:35 pm: kürtçe şarkılar

    very nice. good like. thkans

  • January 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm: Jen B

    Someone sent me this as a housewarming gift, and it was great! These vegan cookies are so delicious!!

  • January 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm: Lorie

    Could Chia seed be substituted for the flax?

  • January 4, 2012 at 1:15 am: Cara

    Hey Isa,
    How long do you think these jars are good for? I mean, how long would their “shelf life” be, you think?

    • January 4, 2012 at 6:15 am: IsaChandra

      I probably wouldn’t let them sit for any more than 2 months, and that might be pushing it.

  • January 31, 2012 at 3:47 am: Sasha

    Love this idea! This inspired me to make vegan cookie mix jars for my omni sisters for Christmas and they were a huge hit! I think I may have started a new holiday tradition.

  • May 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm: Leslie

    what an awseome gift!!!! I cant wait to make these!!!

  • September 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm: cj

    Absolutely delish! I tried out a test batch of these cookies before I start giving them out as gifts. This is now my go to cookie gift jar!!!

  • October 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm: Jade C

    Hi Isa :)

    I just got sent a book, Vegan Freak, and got excited when I saw “Foreword by Isa Chandra Moskowitz”!! It reminded me about your blog and I’m back and reading again. So when I thought I’d search for Christmas recipes on here, I was so glad when I found this!! I am DEFINITELY going to make these for people this year!! I do have one question though – would coconut sugar work??

    Loving the blog :)

  • November 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm: Amanda

    Any recipes that don’t require “veg” ingredients? If I give this out, no one would go buy soy milk, and just use regular milk, defeating the purpose. I want something fool proof that where the only ingredients to add can only be vegan!

    • November 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm: IsaChandra

      1/4 cup water would work!

  • December 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm: Lucy Spence

    Hi, I just made these. They are my first attempt at cookie jar mixes (we don’t really have them in the UK) and they look great. But the jars are only about 3/4 full when complete – perhaps due to a different jar size or cup size difference between US and UK. Any ideas what I can top them up with so they still look good and don’t spoil the recipe? Thanks!

  • January 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm: Kerry

    These are so yummy! I gave them out as Christmas gifts and every body loved them! I also baked some for a family gathering and they turned out great. My cousin is allergic to nuts so I replaced ther walnuts with dried cherries… and awesome aternative!! I found the dough was a bit too dry to form into balls so I added alternate tsp’s of oil and soy milk until they were the right consistency. They were so chewy and yummy. My extended family usually makes fun of me for being vegan… these cookies had them eating their words

  • May 14, 2013 at 8:02 pm: Heidi

    I just made these to test out before giving them away. Wow. These are amazingly delicious and easy! I will probably make them all the time now without the jar! Thank you! This recipe is perfect!

  • December 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm: Mary

    I’ve tried this twice, and the mix doesn’t quite fill up my quart jars. There’s maybe an inch and a half of space at the top. What am I doing wrong?!? What size jars have other people used? I tried clear bags, but that just wasn’t as pretty.

  • December 18, 2013 at 4:31 pm: Claire

    Just done this for my friends children … Great idea ! Though I used a 1 litre mason jar and had the fill the rest with tissue paper lol xxxx

  • May 31, 2014 at 11:58 pm: Paula

    This looks like something I might try……Blessings and Thanks

  • November 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm: Nancy Wierenga

    Do you have to use soy milk?

  • December 15, 2014 at 3:44 am: Allison

    I made these for holiday gifts this year, and they came out really cute! Since the ingredients didn’t quite fill up my jars all the way, I took another commenter’s suggestion and filled up the remaining empty space with crumpled up tissue paper. It looked really seasonal and helped keep the ingredients in place. I also made this recipe for myself with water instead of soy milk, and it turned out great.

  • June 5, 2016 at 1:15 am: rao nhanh

    It’s really very difficult in this full of activity life to
    listen news on Television, so I simply use the web for
    that purpose, and take the most recent information.