How to Make M&M Cookie Mix Jars for an Easy Christmas Food Gift

A mason jar filled with even layers of dry ingredients for cookie mix in a jar, topped with fabric, a baking instructions tag, and baker's twine.
Recipe At-A-Glance
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DIY Gift5 minutes
Give the gift of holiday baking! This M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar is an easy edible Christmas gift—each mix is ready in minutes and costs just a few dollars to make. The resulting cookies are chewy, tender, and perfectly festive!

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Edible gifts are my favorite way to show my loved ones that I care during the holidays. Food gifts are great because they are affordable to make, simple, delicious, and they DISAPPEAR! You never have to worry about a consumable gift ending up in your friend’s yard sale next summer.

From Cranberry Orange Muffin Mix to Limoncello to Chai Gift Sets to Barbecue Spice Rub, we’ve got you covered when it comes to food holiday gifts. And today we’re adding another one to the mix! These M&M Cookie Mix Jars are SO easy to make that my kindergartener can (and did) make them. They are super affordable, too—we’re talking just a few dollars worth of ingredients to make a thoughtful, beautiful gift. They are also really easy to make in bulk—grab a whole case of wide mouth quart jars, and you’ll have 12 edible Christmas gifts done in no time!

Two cookies dotted with holiday colored M&Ms sit on a white tabletop, surrounded by baker's twine, M&Ms, and rolled oats. A cookie scoop lies next to the cookies.

How do you make a cookie mix in a jar?

Cookie mix in a jar is made by layering all the dry ingredients you need for a cookie recipe (in this case, M&M Cookies) in a jar and including instructions for how to bake. Then, when it’s time to bake, you dump the mix into a bowl and add in the remaining wet ingredients. These cookies are so beautifully simple because the only ingredients that are needed to bake them is melted butter, egg, and vanilla. Easy!

What size jar should I use?

This cookie mix is sized to fit in wide mouth quart size mason jars. You could also use regular-mouth (it’s the same volume), but I found that it was a bit trickier to get the pretty layers when working with a regular mouth jar. You can use the metal lid and rings that come with the jars for closure, or you can use the wide-mouth plastic storage caps.

Two cookies dotted with holiday colored M&Ms sit on a white tabletop, surrounded by baker's twine, M&Ms, and rolled oats. A jar of cookie mix sits nearby.

How long does cookie mix in a jar last?

Sealed up in a jar, these cookie mixes will easily last three months or more in the pantry. All the ingredients are shelf stable. You can get by even longer if you store the mix in the freezer—up to a year.

What makes these cookies chewy and delicious?

I’ve eaten cookies made from other cookie mixes, and while the mixes looked beautiful—the cookies themselves left something to be desired. Not here! We tested these cookies multiple times to make sure they were the perfect texture and the perfect flavor. Here’s what makes these cookies so awesome:

  • A higher ratio of brown sugar: More brown sugar means more of a chewy, caramelized cookie. So we reduced the granulated sugar and upped the brown sugar.
  • Adding in rolled oats: Old fashioned, or rolled, oats give these cookies a hefty chew that is super satisfying.
  • Lots of butter: Soft, tender, chewy, rich cookies need lots of butter! Our instructions ask for an entire stick of melted butter to add into the cookie dough.
  • A saltier cookie: We’ve tested a lot of cookie recipes from the Wholefully archives, and the best flavor comes from a slightly salty cookie. You’ll find these cookies pleasantly salted (think: salted caramel).

Two cookies dotted with holiday colored M&Ms sit on a white tabletop, surrounded by baker's twine, M&Ms, and rolled oats.

What are the best M&Ms to use for these cookie jars?

I personally prefer to use M&Ms Minis/Baking Bits (these are the same thing, it’s just Baking Bits are usually sold in bags with the chocolate chips in the baking aisle, and Minis are sold in the candy aisle). I like the smaller size because they distribute better and you get a delicious M&M in every bite. Starting after Halloween around here, I can grab holiday colored Baking Bits with the other holiday baking ingredients.

Regular or dark chocolate M&Ms work as well. I would not recommend any of the filled M&Ms (like peanut M&Ms), simply because they are too large and don’t distribute well in the cookies.

How do I package up a cookie mix in a jar for gifting?

Feel free to use your imagination to make your cookie jars your own, but here is exactly how we made ours:

  1. Follow the layer order listed in the recipe for nice, clean layers of ingredients.
  2. Close the jar with the lid.
  3. Cut an 8” circle of holiday fabric with pinking shears. Secure over the top of the jar lid with a thin rubber band.
  4. Wrap baker’s twine around to cover the rubber band. Add on one of our printable instruction tags, and then tie on.

Close-up of the instructions tag tied to a layered jar of M&M Cookie in a Jar mix.

How long will baked cookies keep?

Fresh-baked cookies are best in the first 24 hours after baking, but the cookies will keep just fine in an airtight food storage container at room temperature for up to a week (at that point, they start to get stale—although they’re still safe to eat). For longer-term storage, you can freeze flat and store in an airtight food storage container in the freezer for up to six months.

Two cookies dotted with holiday colored M&Ms sit on a white tabletop, surrounded by baker's twine, M&Ms, and rolled oats. One of the cookies has a bite taken out of it.

What other flavors can I add to my cookie mix in a jar?

This base cookie recipe is great for experimenting with other cookie flavors! Here are some options you might want to try:

  • Peanut M&M Cookies: Add in 1/2 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts (peanut M&Ms are too large to distribute well in cookies, so this is a good way to get the flavor).
  • Oatmeal Chocolate Chip: Use 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips instead of the M&Ms.
  • Peppermint Patty: Use 2/3 cup Andes baking chips instead of the M&Ms, and add in 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa to the layers.
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip: Use 1/3 cup mini peanut butter chips and 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips instead of the M&Ms.
  • Mocha: Add two tablespoons espresso powder to the mix and use 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips instead of the M&Ms.

Looking for some other ideas for easy food gifts in a jar? Try these:

 
A mason jar filled with even layers of dry ingredients for cookie mix in a jar, topped with fabric, a baking instructions tag, and baker's twine.

M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar Recipe

Yield: 1 Quart Jar (Makes 2 Dozen Cookies)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Give the gift of holiday baking! This M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar is an easy edible Christmas gift—each mix is ready in minutes and costs just a few dollars to make!

Ingredients

For the Cookie Mix

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup M&M Minis/Baking Bits or regular M&Ms
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

For Packaging the Cookie Mix

For Baking the Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

To Make Jars

  1. Layer all ingredients in the order listed in the quart size wide mouth mason jar. Make sure to gently flatten out each layer with the back of a spoon before adding the next.
  2. Close jar, and then secure the circle of fabric over top of the jar lid with the rubber band. Cover the rubber band with 2-3 wrappings of baker’s twine, and then tie and thread on the instruction tag.

To Bake Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cookie mix with the melted butter, egg, and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
  3. Roll into 1 1/2” balls, and place on the prepared baking sheet 2” apart. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until slightly brown along the edges but still very soft in the middle.
  4. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • You might be tempted to shake up the order of the ingredients to get a different look in your jars, but I tried all kinds of different arrangements, and I think this is the one that prevents the layers from mixing the best.
  • I like to use M&M Baking Bits (AKA: M&M Minis) for baking—it makes sure you get a great bit of M&Ms in each bite. Regular size M&Ms work, too! 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 109Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.
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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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