Desserts in jars. You have likely heard of these cute little treats or seen them on Pinterest. They are hard to miss. It’s the glare that reflects off the glass, blinding you with their beauty.
I’ve been creating these sweet treats for a few years now with great results. I even wrote a book full of them called Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine. My friends and neighbors have been quite receptive to receiving them, and I’ve even had requests for them from adults and children alike. When I don’t show up with armfuls of jars there are cries of protest.
Why desserts in jars, you ask? Why not? In our home, we already use them to drink out of, to store spices, to line the pantry shelves. Still, here are the reasons why I personally love desserts tucked into cute little jars:
Photos by Shaina Olmanson | Food for My Family
- They’re sustainable. I use glass throughout my home, and so it makes sense that I would continue using it to store things like desserts. I can wash and reuse, wash and reuse, and if I gift a dessert in glass to a friend or neighbor, they can do the same. Whether they use their jar to hold more dessert, leftovers, rubber bands, or a tea light candle is up to them.
- They have lids and travel well. I like to bring dessert to dinners at friends’ houses or holiday meals with families. While working on this book, I had the pleasure of schlepping desserts all over the place, and the ease with which they travel is fantastic. A simple lid placed on the jar, tucked into a basket or a cardboard box, and we’re off. There was no balancing the cake on my lap for fear that someone would smudge the frosting. The cookies didn’t crack as they shifted on their tray. Everything was packaged and ready, and I could just store it in the back and read my book while my husband drove.
- They’re perfect for packing. Similar to above, the fact that these desserts are ready to travel makes them easy for packing in lunches for the kids, the spouse, and for yourself. They’re easy to make ahead and freeze or refrigerate and grab when you need just a bit of sweet treat, and they’re already portioned out for you.
- They make sweet gifts. With Christmas coming up, these make great teacher’s gifts, stocking stuffers, or homemade gifts for anyone on your list. Beyond that, they’re also ideal for new neighbors, new mothers, the mailman, the UPS guy, the garbage man, everyone.
- They’re easy to eat. Someone once told me they’ve never seen a grown man eat a cupcake without looking like a fool (it was my children’s Christian preschool teacher). They’re difficult to get a hold of and consume if you’re walking around and talking, as you so often are at parties or holiday get-togethers. Other desserts require large knives and small plates to be served. These are ready to go and waiting. Certainly they’re not perfect for all situations, but we’ve had a few cocktail/dessert parties and backyard barbecues that have benefited from the ease of serving desserts right from the jar.
Campfire bars are a quick and easy gift to put together. They’re fun for kids of all ages to help layering into the jar, and you can personalize the labels by letting your children help decorate them and tie or tape them to your jars. Just a bit of melted butter is all that’s needed for these bars to come together, which makes them ideal for everyone regardless of the recipient’s cooking ability.
Campfire Bars Mix for Gifting
1 cup graham crackers pieces, cut into 1″ pieces
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup granola
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sliced or chopped almonds
In a 1-quart jar layer the graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate chips, granola, brown sugar, and almonds, pressing down gently to fit all of the ingredients. Seal with the jar lid and decorate, if desired. Add the label and give as a gift.
Labels can be printed on the Desserts in Jars website, or you can make your own.
For the label:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Pour all the contents of the jar into a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter until all the pieces are coated. Press into a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool. Cut into bars and serve.
This giveaway is now closed.
Shaina is giving five Simple Mom readers a copy of her book, Desserts in Jars! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post, telling me your favorite fall dessert. (If you’re reading this via email, please click over to the post and leave a comment directly.)
This giveaway will end tomorrow, Saturday, September 29, and we’ll announce the winners soon after!