Sunday, April 1, 2018

Unicorn & Mermaid Cookie Mix in a Jar!

These were created in honor of Craftster's annual April Fool's Day celebrations.  Our theme was Unicornicopia, so I created both Unicorn & Mermaid Cookie Mixes in a Jar.  One of each will be going to my lovely nieces, one to my neighbor, and one of a unicorn-obsessed friend.  Jar mixes have always made great gifts, and these are an awesome way to introduce kids to baking.  Or just to amuse the princesses and mermaids in your life. I've done the tutorial with the Mermaid cookie mix, but the unicorn one is nearly identical, so I've listed any changes in parentheses.

Ingredients - listed per single jar of cookie mix
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Gel food colorings
1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
½ cup EACH pearl chocolate candies in green and blue
       (These are sixlets, found in cake decorating area of grocery stores or the wedding/party cake area in Walmart) 
1 - 1.5 cup white chocolate chips
Sprinkles (if desired, used in Unicorn Cookie jars)
1-quart Mason jar

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  Whisk to combine.

Use a canning funnel, (or a rolled sheet of paper turned into a funnel) to pour in the flour. 

At this point you need to check on your flour, because it will be in an uneven layer.  Shake jar to evenly distribute the flour mix, then tap gently on the counter several times to get the flour to settle and pack itself in.  If need be, use a spoon to lightly pack it down a bit further.

Pour your granulated sugar into a bowl, and add 2 drops of your blue gel food coloring.  Mix really well, to evenly distribute the color.  (For unicorn cookies tint your sugar pink or purple.)  You may need to add more gel color to get your desired shade.  I believe I used about 4 or 5 drops to get this shade of blue.  Note: The coloring washed right off of my bowl & spoon, but just in case, don't use your brand new expensive white plastic bowls!

Use the funnel again, to pour your sugar layer on.  I found that pouring my sugar around the edges of the funnel (rather than straight down) gave me a much more even layer.  Again, tap your jar gently on the counter to settle the sugar layer. 

Same deal with your brown sugar.  I found that sprinkling it in by hand (since it had been packed into the measuring cup), allowed me to distribute it more evenly. 

Now, use a spoon to tamp the brown sugar down, packing it more firmly around the edges of the jar, and leaving a small (but still packed) hill in the middle.  (This is so that when we pour in our round pearl candies next, we will see more of them through the jar, as they will pool in the lower edges.)  The act of packing it into the jar, also will help form a seal of brown sugar, keeping the blue granulated sugar and flour in place, rather than letting them spill into the candies above.

Pour in your green sixlets into the jar, and gently shake to evenly distribute.  (For unicorn cookies pour in purple, white & silver sixlets, purple sugar pearls.  Then add 1 Tablespoon of rainbow pearl sprinkles, allowing them to settle down in between the sixlets.)

Next layer in 1 cup of your white chocolate chips.  (Same for Unicorn cookies.)  On top of these add your blue sixlets.  (For unicorn cookies then add rainbow heart candies or more sixlets.)  Now, if you have any space left in the top of your jar, fill it in with more white chocolate chips.  You want the jars to be packed pretty tight, so that the layers don't get mixed up.

Make some cute tags with the instructions for baking, and decorate the jars with a square of pretty cloth, or with ribbons or yarn.  I created my tags with my Silhouette Cameo, cutting background tags out of purple and teal cardstock, then layering lacy cream paper with the recipe over them, and tying them all on with seam binding and fluffy yarns from my stash.

[i]-Pour the contents of the jar into a large bowl and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup of barely melted (not hot) unsalted butter, 1 beaten egg, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Chill for 30 minutes.
-Make golf ball sized portions of dough and place the dough balls onto lined baking sheets. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, until the centers of the cookies are just barely set.[/i]

And there you are, all ready for gift giving.

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