Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cookie Dough Christmas Gift

This Christmas was supposed to be the first Christmas we seriously cut back and focused on our only son instead of the 20 some parents, siblings, co-workers, friends, cousins, nieces, nephews, bosses, etc.  The list goes on and on.  I have been completely content with this decision since June (yes I was thinking about Christmas back in June, it's a sickness for which there is no cure), however my husband has struggled. 

I love him dearly and he is a person who would do anything for you.  When it comes to Christmas he just can't not gift, especially if he knows that person is gifting to him.  Well it's down to the wire in terms of Christmas shopping and our budget is maxed but he was feeling we should do something for my sister and our future brother-in-law as they have watched Grant for us when needed and helped us move, twice, and of course because we love them.  This would have been fine except for the timing and the money aspect, because I didn't plan for it therefore our budget was spent.  I started trying to think of something small, something with some meaning, and something that they would appreciate.  I couldn't think of any homemade crafty gift nor did I want to add another project to my already full list.  I thought of the stuff I bake, then had to nix that idea because they are currently living with my mom saving money to buy their first house before they get married this summer, and my mom bakes LOADS during the holidays.  So it would be kind of pointless to send  more baked goods that would inevitably go stale due to the sheer amount of cookies and such filling my mom's counters.

I happened to come across this post about neighbor gifts of raw cookie dough in a cute container with an adorable tag and thought, BINGO that's perfect. My sister's favorite are chocolate chip cookies.  Since she was little her afternoon snack every day was Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies and juice, and she loves homemade ones but between going to school full time and working 5 days a week she has zero time to bake.  Not to mention I don't think she truly enjoys baking the way my mom and I do.  My thinking was to find some cute containers, add a tag, and fill them with dough of each of their favorite cookies.  This way they could have homemade anytime they got the hankering and it would require almost zero work on either of their parts.  Easier and better than buying the Pillsbury refrigerated dough from Wally-world.

I thought I would be able to find some really cute Christmas themed containers but no such luck.  So instead I bought these:

I found them in the same section as the mason jars and canning equipment.  I immediately thought they would be a perfect substitute and of good quality for reusing later, and BONUS, I could make them festive using my good ol' Cricut and some vinyl I already had on hand.

Problem solved.  They were $2.27 for a package of 3, so a little more than $0.75 each, not bad if you ask me.

I created a couple tags in picmonkey (I am seriously falling in love with this website), with a cute saying and directions for baking them.  I saved them as images, copied them into a Microsoft works word document then printed it on white cardstock.

Finished product:

Cookie dough containers would also be a great gift for any mother with young children, as I know from experience baking cookies from scratch can be daunting when your little one desperately wants to "help" with every step and you have a to-do list a mile long.  It would be great to have some dough already in the freezer that only requires you to drop it on the cookie sheet.  Quick and easy cleanup for mom, delicious cookies for the kids.

I love the idea of giving these to many of our family members next year instead of baked cookies or a store bought gift.   Baking ingredients go on sale pretty inexpensively this time of year.  I bought Nestle chocolate chips for all of $0.55 a bag a couple weeks ago and my local Aldi grocery store has them year round for $1.29 a bag.  So for us and the amount of people we would like to gift to, this would be a seriously cost effective gift.  Not to mention I'm big on gifts that don't just take up cabinet/closet space, but are useful.

Here's a better view of the tags I created:

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