The art of the homemade gift is fading. I remember as a kid making many of the gifts I gave. In fact, my first tween girlfriend, Julie Lowry, was the recipient of my basement made agate necklace. With the help of my crafty neighbor Christopher’s rock tumbler, I fashioned a large polished stone from the corn field onto a cheap silver chain and presented it to her at the Skatin’ Place on a wintery Saturday night in 1976. She loved it, and gave me my first kiss stained with orange Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker. It makes me sad that the tradition of making home spun gifts is dying. Yet, I remain hopeful! If you think about it, the art of cooking and baking is one of the last vestiges of the self-made offering.
What I love about my cupcake in a jar, is it that it makes the cupcake more presentational and glam. Simply take your favorite cake batter (mine is hands down my Chocolate Zucchini Yogurt cake) and fill your mason jar a little over ½, set on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 until complete (about 20-25 minutes). You don’t need a water bath for this I promise. Allow the cupcakes to fully cool. Decorate with frosting, candies, sprinkles or shaved chocolate…whatever floats your boat. Attach your lid and tie a string around the top with an eating utensil and BAM! You have a killer gift made with heart. When I serve this for dessert, everyone makes happy sounds when presented with this on the table. It’s a childhood smile in a jar!