Holiday Bread Jars

Homemade Holiday Bread in a Jar

My friend Mary and I love giving home-baked gifts. And since she is an amazing chef, I asked her to help me come up with one we could bake in jars and mail to friends. She created this amazing recipe for holiday bread!


  • 8 8-oz Ball jars
  • 2c flour
  • 1-½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¹⁄₈ tsp nutmeg
  • 1c buttermilk
  • 1c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1c peeled, diced apple
  • ½ c dried cherries (you can substitute raisins or craisins)
  • 1c chocolate chips


Recipe & ButtermilkChop ApplesZest over bowlWhish wet and dry ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease Ball jars.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sugar, eggs, oil, zest, and vanilla.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry mix. Give three good stirs (should be about half-way mixed) and add apples, cherries, and chocolate chips. Stir to combine. [Don’t overmix! It’ll make it tough.]
  5. Fill jars about ⅔ full. Bake 35min or until done.
  6. Cool completely. If they’ve overflowed, scrape off a bit so you can put the glaze and lid on (and taste it ;))!
  7. Then spoon 1 tbs of the glaze* on each and top with sprinkles (optional).
  8. Package them up pretty and send away 😀

*Glaze: Mix 1c powdered sugar with 1 tbs orange juice (from the one you just zested!).

Put into ovenCook 35 minutes or until donePour on glazeAdd sprinkles

I hope you’re enjoying my Handmade Holiday Blogathon! Feel free to share your favorite handmade gifts/recipes/tutorials, too :)

Peppermint Marshmallows

Ever seen those fancy square marshmallows in a little boutique? They look fabulously delicious, but it’s hard to swallow the $20 price tag for one mug’s worth. So we decided to make our own :)

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

…It was a bizarre experience. My friend Mary (chef extraordinaire) and I modified the Toasted Coconut Marshmallow recipe found on the Food Network to make these awesome peppermint marshmallows!


  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup ground peppermint candies
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  • Electric mixer with whisk attachment
  • Candy thermometer
  • 8×12″ non-metal pan
  • Food processor (you can do this by hand, but it’s harder that way)
  • Measuring cups, mixing bowl, saucepan, mixing utensils

Grind peppermint candiesPour syrup into gelatinMix on high until thick and fluffy!"Pour" into pan


  1. Finely grind peppermint candies in a food processor. Then line an 8×12″ pan with parchment paper and grease. (Or you can do this during step 3.)
  2. Combine gelatin and ½ cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Allow to sit while you make the syrup.
  3. Combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240˚F on a candy thermometer (will take several minutes). Remove from heat.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 8-10 minutes (really neat to watch!). Add the peppermint extract and mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour* the marshmallow batter into the pan and smooth. Sprinkle the peppermint candy on top. Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature overnight.
  6. Remove the marshmallows on the parchment paper from the pan. Use kitchen shears to cut into squares (I suggest cutting through the parchment paper, then peeling off). Roll the sides of each piece carefully in confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Add to a mug of hot cocoa and enjoy with friends! :)

Marhsmallows is sticky stuffsSprinkle peppermintMarshmallow CuttingCoat in powdered sugar

*I don’t know how other people do it, but for us the “pour the marshmallow batter” step did not go smoothly. That stuff is sticky! However, it was really fun, and I recommend it if you don’t mind getting a little messy!

Keep checking all day for more tutorials on my Handmade Holiday Blogathon!