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!