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MISS SCHOOL MANNERS & More Gifts for Teachers

By Jackie Burrell
Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 at 12:10 pm in Miss School Manners.

teacher Last week, Miss School Manners – our advice columnist on all things school and family-related – got a question about appropriate gifts for teachers. Now we’re revisiting the topic, because we’ve run across these darling, practical, kid-crafted gifts that should be a hit with cookie-lovers of any age, especially busy teachers trying to juggle late night paper-grading with their own family holiday prep. They’re Cookies in a Jar. And the instructions hail from Spattulata, the pint-sized cooking duo who won a James Beard Award last year at the tender ages of 10 and 8.

Isabella and Olivia Gerasole’s “Spatulatta” is an online cooking show for kids – they’ve got a cookbook too – and their tasty recipe collection includes these Oatmeal, Cranberry and Pecan Cookies, whose ingredients are layered, sand art-style, into a mason jar. When the happy recipient is ready for fresh-baked cookies, he or she mixes the colorful contents with a few perishable ingredients (eggs, molasses, butter) and pops them in the oven.

It’s a perfect project for even the youngest gift-giver. We’ll give you the basics here, but check out the charming how-to video too.

* 3/4 cup flour
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 7 tablespoons white sugar
* 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
* 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
* 1/2 cup shredded coconut
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1/3 cup toasted chopped pecans
* A quart mason jar with lid
* A 5-inch circle of fabric, rubber band and ribbon

1. Make sure the mason jar is totally dry inside. Then, using a funnel, pour the flour, baking soda, salt and white sugar into the jar and shake it a little to settle.
2. Add half the oats. Then pour in the brown sugar and pack it down with a spoon.
3. Add layers of colorful cranberries, pecans and coconut. Press down.
4. Pour in the rest of the oats and press down. The jar should be fully packed. Put the lid on and tighten it, then use the fabric to cover the lid (secure it with a rubber band), print out the baking instructions, punch a hole in the corner, and tie it on with a bit of ribbon. Voila!

Not an oatmeal cookie fan? There are 60 (!) Cookies in a Jar variations too.

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