Rachel Getting Merry: A Large Margarine of Error (+ a giveaway!)

by Rachel on December 14, 2011

Isn’t that a pretty jar? It’s tightly packed with layers of brown sugar, flour, coconut, dark chocolate chips, and cherries. Pretty, delicious things. You’d think it would make pretty, delicious cookies. And it probably would. I, though, do not make pretty, delicious cookies, so…that’s a bummer.

But let’s back up!

Mason Jar Cookie Company is a new company that does custom cookie mixes. The concept is simple and cool. You pick a base (plain, chocolate, peanut butter). Then you pick mix-ins. Which includes your typical chocolate and butterscotch, but then gets in to nuts and dried fruits, before veering off into cereal. It’s kind of awesome. It reminded me of a a frozen yogurt shop. (Seriously, I almost ordered the combo I get when I get fro-yo: coconut, pineapple, and Cap’n Crunch.) Then they stuff it all into a mason jar, attach instructions on how to turn it into cookies (hint: you have to add eggs and butter) and send it off. Perfect for Christmas gifting, right?

When they offered to send me a free jar to try plus another one to give away, I was all for it. I hit a snag when designing my mix because I have major menu anxiety; too many options when it comes to food really overwhelms me because I just want to eat all the food. After far more debate than is really necessary when the topic is cookies (and free cookies at that), I finally settled on dark chocolate, coconut, and cherries.

To be honest, I was skeptical. I thought it was a cool idea but a tad overpriced. Like, why pay $20 for something I could probably do myself for cheaper? Pssshhaaa.

Upon receiving the mix, though, I changed my mind. The packaging and labels were slick and the ingredients were packed in really tightly; it was very professional and I was really impressed. I think this is one of those things that you can do yourself for cheaper, but rather than stressing yourself out buying the ingredients, tracking down mason jars, and getting everything to fit just so and then settling for a jar that holds unevenly poured ingredients and a recipe tag written in Comic Sans and featuring terrible Microsoft Word clip art just because you wanted to save $3…you should leave it to the pros.

OK so the jars are legit. And so are the mix-ins; the jar had fat dried cherries (which are so expensive to buy) and almost comically-huge dark chocolate chips. And I’m even OK with the pricing. But the one thing that really irritated me when I went to make the cookies was that they didn’t tell me what temperature my butter should be. The instructions just said to add the butter, egg, and vanilla, and blend until creamy. But…can you blend cold butter? Some cookies call for melted butter. Should I go with softened butter? The reason I cared was because of an article in Cooking Light I read over the weekend that finally explained why the monster cookies I tried to make three years ago came out looking like crap. It’s because of the butter temperature.

Well, long story short, I bet on the wrong horse, adding very soft but not melted butter when I should have backed cold butter. The cookies came out looking awful. They taste great. But based on the pretty jar, I was really expecting pretty cookies. It didn’t happen. And I think more clear directions would have helped.

BUT. Butter issues aside, I’m still giving away a mason jar of your choice of cookie ingredients based on the belief that 1. the company will tell us what adjective best described their butter and 2. now that you’ve been warned, you’ll do a better job with it than I did.

To enter to win the jar, just leave a comment on this post by Sunday, Dec. 18 at 9 AM PST telling me a Christmas/holiday joke. It can be a knock-knock joke or a joke that ends with a bad pun (uh, like the title of this post) or a long story joke or a dirty joke or all of the above. I’ll pick a winner not by random but based on merit — the funniest joke wins the goods!

Get to it!

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 healthy ashley December 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm



2 Lindsay December 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Elf: Why do Dasher & Prancer always get to take coffee breaks?
Santa: Because they’re my star bucks!

haha… lame I know, but I love cookies!


3 Jaclyn December 14, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Q: Do you know why Santa doesn’t have any children?

A: He only comes once a year and that’s down a chimney.


4 Heather December 15, 2011 at 11:25 am



5 Kavi December 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm



6 Melissa December 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Very cute! That Cooking Light article was very informative! :) I love learning about the chemistry and logistics behind cooking and baking! (that’s probably why Alton Brown is my fav food network chef…)


Want to hear a terrible English joke?

What’s another name for Santa’s elves?
Subordinate Clauses.

You’re welcome for that terrible-ness.


7 Jaclyn December 15, 2011 at 3:06 am

Ahahahaha. I love English jokes. That’s going on my FB page.


8 Sarah December 15, 2011 at 12:45 am

We need to role play my joke:

I say “How come you never hear anything about the tenth reindeer, Olive?”

You, of course, query “Olive?”

And I reply … “Yeah, you know, Olive the other reindeer? Used to laugh and call him names …”

BOOM, BOOM! (Man I wish anyone reading got that Basil Brush reference). Anyway, happy chrimble x


9 Stephanie @ On the Road to RD December 15, 2011 at 7:53 am

Why did the snowman pull down his pants?

–He heard the snow blower was coming.



10 Lizilla December 15, 2011 at 8:17 am

Q: What do you call someone afraid of Santa Claus?

A: Claustrophobic

My 8 yr old neighbor told me that one yesterday.


11 Joy December 15, 2011 at 8:48 am

This is my favorite bad Christmas joke (I’ve been telling it since December 1st – I can only remember 1 joke at a time so I try to make them seasonal) Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates. ”In honor of this holy season,” Saint Peter said, “you must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven.”

The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. It represents a candle, he said.

”You may pass through the Pearly Gates,” Saint Peter said.

The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, “They’re bells.”

Saint Peter said, “You may pass through the Pearly Gates.”

The third man started searching desperately through his pockets. Finally, he pulled out a pair of women’s panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, “And just what do those symbolize?”

The man replied, “They’re Carols.”


12 Aleksa December 15, 2011 at 9:06 am

Found this on a joke website and I love it!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck…
How to live in a world that’s politically correct?

His workers no longer would answer to “Elves”,
“Vertically Challenged” they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.

So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!?

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.

And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called “Unenlightened.”

And to show you the strangeness of life’s ebbs and flows:
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose
And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.

So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she’d enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he’d ne’er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.

Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that’s warlike or non-pacific.
No candy or sweets…they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.

And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.

For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football…someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.

Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you’ve got to be careful with that word today.

His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.

A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere…even you.

So here is that gift, it’s price beyond worth…

“May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth.”

This document is copyright (c) Harvey Ehrlich 1992.


13 Roomie December 15, 2011 at 9:14 am

This is long and I apologize but it’s cute!

Dear Santa,

How are you doing? I hope you’ve had a successful year and have come up with a lot of interesting toys. It’s really neat how you’re able to do that year after year. I guess that’s how you stay number one in the Christmas presents business business.

Actually, I admire the way you run Christmas. You really have a handle on it. You find out what people want (with letters like this and having kids tell you in person), and then you make the presents and control how they are delivered. It’s an impressive operation.

I also like how you’ve got it to where when somebody says “Christmas presents,” people automatically think Santa Claus. What a marketing advantage. Best of all, even though you’re a huge success, people still don’t know much about your private life. It’s just rumors. That’s so neat.

I think being at the North Pole helps. That was a good move. For example, when you’re designing toys, only your elves know what you’re doing, and you’re way up there where nobody can spy on you and steal your ideas. And even if they do, you can always just let it out that you’re making the same stuff to bring to people for free, so why would they buy the other guy’s stuff?

Also, other people who make Christmas presents can’t deliver them like you can. Yours is the only sleigh on the distribution highway. You must get some great discounts from them, because if they don’t play ball you can just refuse to give out their presents. Very Sharp.

What I don’t get is why you give away stuff. That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. I admit, its why you’re number one- who could compete with a deal like that? But it must make it hard to stay in business, especially when you have to visit every kid in the world. You have to keep growing or fail.

Here’s an idea on how you can help finance your operation: Give everybody at least one present at Christmas, then you could make batteries and sell them the rest of the year. It would create a demand: You give people something and then sell them what they need to make it work.

Another thing, about you coming down the chimney. That’s so slow and inefficient. And what about all the people who don’t have chimneys? Santa. I have one word for you–windows. Everybody has windows.

That’s about all I have to say. You’re probably wondering if I was good or bad this year, but I don’t really like to talk about my personal life, if that’s O.K. (Just out of curiosity: When you were a boy, did any of the other kids call you a nerd?) Anyway, I don’t really have anything to ask for. Mostly I think up something to play with and then build it myself. I guess I’m sort of like you–I make my own toys.

Best of luck,
Billy Gates


14 Lindsey December 15, 2011 at 9:22 am

I’m actually doing homemade versions of those for gifts this year- those look way better than mine though.

Q Why is Christmas just like any other day at the office?
A You do all the hard work but the guy in the suit gets all the credit.


15 Alexandra December 15, 2011 at 10:03 am

I know exactly what you mean with menu anxiety & it made me laugh to think that someone else becomes panic stricken with so many options. I’m also a terrible cookie baker. But I’m a pretty good cook so I guess that makes up for ugly cookies.


16 Emily Hayden December 15, 2011 at 10:39 am

I found this on a website. For some reason all my friends are constantly making up their own verses for the 12 Days of Christmas so I thought this was amusing!!

“Today’s global challenges require the North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” subsidiary:
The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance.
The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are therefore eliminated.
The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French.
The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked.
The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks appear to be in order.
The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day is an example of the decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that from now on every goose it gets will be a good one.
The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. Their function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes and therefore enhance their outplacement.
As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching.
Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps.
Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords plus the expense of international air travel prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant because we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year.
Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cut back on new music and no uniforms will produce savings which will drop right down to the bottom line.
We can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and other expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.
Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney’s association seeking expansion to include the legal profession (“thirteen lawyers-a-suing”), action is pending.
Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to stay competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.”


17 [SMASH] December 15, 2011 at 10:53 am

Why is Santa so jolly all the time?
Because he knows where all the naughty girls live. ;)


18 Megan C. December 15, 2011 at 11:13 am

How can you tell Mary and Joseph were married?
She rode his ass all the way to Jerusalem.

I work in a church and my boss (the pastor) told me that one. When we first started dating my husband told my very religiously conservative Mother-in-Law. She didn’t find it funny.


19 Beth December 15, 2011 at 11:34 am

9 reasons why Christmas trees are better than men:
1. A Christmas tree is always erect.
2. Even small ones give satisfaction.
3. A Christmas tree stays up for 12 days and nights.
4. A Christmas tree always looks good–even with the lights on.
5. A Christmas tree is always happy with its size.
6. A Christmas tree has cute balls.
7. A Christmas tree doesn’t get mad if you break one of its balls.
8. You can throw a Christmas tree out when its past its “sell by” date.
9. You don’t have to put up with a Christmas tree all.year.long.


20 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat December 15, 2011 at 11:58 am

Q. What’s the tenth reindeer’s name?
A. Olive.

From the Rudolph song… “Olive the reindeer, used to laugh and call him names…”

Not a great one, I know, but my late grandfather told it to us every year.


21 Ashley December 15, 2011 at 12:04 pm

1) I don’t have a joke to share but there are some pretty terrible entries above


2) That cookie article is the most enlightening thing I’ve read in weeks … THANKS!


22 Toya December 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm


Don’t we all love chains/forwards? well this came to me last week from a co-worker…perhaps a tad inappropriate for the workplace but who the f cares!

Every year, Grandma and her grandkids,

Suzy, Jill, and Billy come stay with her over Christmas. And every

Christmas Eve they would make a big bowl of cookie dough so they could

make cookies on Christmas Day. And every time, the next morning the

cookie dough would be gone. The grandma could never catch them, so this

year she put metal bb’s in the cookie dough. The next morning, the

cookie dough was gone and soon Suzy came running downstairs.

“Grandma, I went to the bathroom to pee and bb’s came out.”

“Suzy,” Grandma said. “I know you’ve been eating cookie dough.

Sit down.” Then Jill came down and said “Grandma, I went poo and there

were bb’s in it.”

“Jill, I know you’ve been eating cookie dough. Sit down.” About five minutes later little Billy came.

“Grandma something terrible has happened, I was jerking off in the garage and I shot the cat!”


23 moomie December 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm

You are an amazing writer. I just spent some time going through your old posts!

Have you read Mindy Kalings book? If not, you should, your style reminds me of hers in some ways. I hope you take that as a compliment because I love her book and general work!


24 Rachel January 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I LOVE her! That’s a huge compliment — thank you!!


25 Katie P December 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Santa and his reindeer land on top of an outhouse. Santa looked around for a moment, then hollered “No no, Rudolph! I said the SCHMIDT house!”


26 Sarah H. December 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm

“The Supreme court ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in D.C. This was not for any religious reasons…they just couldn’t find 3 wise men and a virgin.”

A little political humor to add some spice to the mix. :)


27 Eden December 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I must be the only blogger that this mason jar company hasn’t recurited to become their promo whore.

no need to enter me as i don’t have a joke. i’m a jew. its a lonely time for us. when’s the beer giveaway?


28 Rachel December 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm

“Promo whore”…ouch!


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