I've got a fun gift idea today! It's great for a "cheer up," "get well," "congrats on the house purchase," "way to get a promotion," or an "I super like you" present. OR you know, birthdays and stuff too...
As I was thinking about food type gifts you could keep in your arsenal of "this is pretty easy, quick and cute" presents, I started to think about brownies.
They are yummy. I love them gooey. I like them with nuts or without. Drenched in caramel or super fudge-y. I love them with chocolate chips. With ice cream on top. With mint thrown in. I love them warm and fresh out of the oven. Brownies remind you of home. Of comforting hugs, your grandma's apron, and just plain home-y goodness. They're almost as good as chocolate chip cookies that way.
And then I thought about these:
But they are definitely not special enough to give as a gift. So I set about figuring out my own version.
Perhaps you have seen brownies in a mug? This is just like that. But in a jar.
Because anything is better when it comes in a jar. Plus it's airtight. Things keep better when they aren't all up in the air.
So let's get to work on these bad boys and I'll show you how to gift them and gift them good.
You'll need some jars. Notice below that there are different sizes for different needs.
We'll get to the sizes when we talk about packaging and presentation later.
You'll need a cardboard beverage carrier. Look at Kwik Trip. Or if you don't have those, look at a 7Eleven. Or some other gas station. They're free.
You'll need general decorative elements and various embellishments, along with the typical tools of the trade - for instance: scissors, hole punch, 1.5 inch hole punch, pen, double sided tape, scrapbook paper, card stock, ribbon.
Also, optionally and depending on how you package: washi tape, packing tape, a small glass spice jar, sticky labels of some kind, 1 yard of fabric and... I think that's it.
OH. And, of course, the ingredients for the brownies.
This is all starting to sound rather complicated. Let's just start at the beginning shall we?
Ok. Firstly, here's a printable recipe card for brownies in a mug.
Bam. (right click, download, resize, print, yadda, yadda...)
Now, let's say you want to make a single serving, small brownie to go in a jelly jar. Let's say you're only going to make 1 or 2 and you like to include EVERYTHING they will need to complete said brownies (except for the microwave, of course) because that's just your style. In this instance, you'll need the following:
Brownie Ingredients listed on the card
4 oz. Jelly Jar
small glass spice jar
1.5 inch hole punch
double sided tape
You begin by dumping your dry brownie ingredients in the jelly jar. Wash out your spice jar really well and put your wet ingredients in there. Use the sticky label to write "oil and water", then use washi tape to "seal" the jar - but really more for decoration. Punch a circle from scrapbook paper. On it, write: "just add oil and water. Mix. Microwave 1 minute. Enjoy!" Put the double sided tape on the lid of the jar. Put the little circle on top. Screw everything together.
Voila! Add some ribbon. Put them in a little clear favor bag and seal it all cute and you're done!
BUT. Let's say you realize the need for more than just one of these bad boys in the pantry. Let's say you want to make 4. Or MORE. So, you might not want to add the water and oil. It might get a little bulky. (and maybe you don't have 4 mini spice jars to use). So you could do it this way instead.
Brownie ingredients listed on the card - for every jar.
4 oz. jelly jarS - however many you want to make.
1.5 inch hole punch
double sided tape
fabric - about 1 yard.
Begin the same way as above. Put the single serving ingredients in each jar - minus the wet ingredients. Punch out a circle and write: "just add: 1 T water, 1 T oil. Mix well. Microwave 1 minute. Enjoy!" Or something to that affect. Use the double sided tape to stick it on the lid. Screw it all together. Make one label for each jar - you want to make sure they know how to make it each time they get one out, in case they forget. Now it gets a little different.
Lay out your fabric. Place your jars in the middle. Take one short corner and lay it over the jars - tuck it under them as well as you can. Fold the other short corner over. Lay it over the top of the jars. Bring the other two ends up and tie them in a knot on top. Perfect!
Now, just slip in a little note.
These are tiny and cute. I admit it. Other ideas for packaging? How about putting two in a quart sized jar? Then you can washi and ribbon and fabric that jar up good. OR. How about a chinese take out box? Also a good option. If you can find a long cylindrical tin with a lid in a slightly larger diameter than the jars, that would be perfect! (I happened to give mine away recently, darn it. But you can find them at thrift stores!)
BUT. (and I swear this is my last variation here.) Let's say you know someone who needs some serious TLC. These little jars? Not going to cut it. You need a mega brownie. A single serving mega brownie. Maybe FOUR of them. In this instance, you're going to need a different recipe.
You want a bigger brownie, but you can't just triple or quadruple the ingredients up there, it won't turn out right. So here's your Single Serving Mega Brownie printable recipe card:
Now, let's get packaging. You'll need:
Mega Brownie ingredients listed on the card
double sided tape
Put your dry ingredients in the jar. Lay your lid down on scrapbook paper and trace around it. Cut it out on the INSIDE of the line. Write something like: "just add 1/4 C oil, 2 T water, Mix well, and Microwave 2 minutes. Top with ice cream!" Use your double sided tape to put the circle on the lid. Screw everything on.
On to the beverage carrier. Pop it together. Jars are heavy and you don't want this thing falling apart - what a mess! So, take your packing tape and tape the bottom. Then tape the inside of the bottom and make sure it's stable. Pretty it up with scrapbook paper. Add a label to the front, put it on with washi tape.
And because you guys are so inexplicably addicted to washi tape (seriously. You need a support group) you can washi tape up that drink carrier a little bit.
So cute. Slide in your jars. Add a little handwritten card on top.
I know what you're wondering. But have you actually TRIED these recipes?
Are they any good? Do they really taste like brownie? Do they cook enough? Do they cook too much?
To which I respond:
I believe my favorite version is the half pint in the beverage carrier.
Not only is the presentation really cute, but there's room in the jar for ice cream. And I personally believe that if you're going to eat a brownie, you really should eat it right. Mmmmm.