Today, we’re going to make a beautiful and thoughtful handmade present: cowboy cookies in a jar. This homemade gift has become my go-to over the years for teacher and neighbor gifts. Cookies in a jar are super easy to make (so easy the kids can make the jars) and fairly inexpensive to put together.

Cowboy Cookies: a Gift in a Jar

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A few years ago, we started making homemade gifts for family and friends…

Can I share a secret with you? At first, I was embarrassed ?. What would people think? Would they laugh? Would they think we were having money problems? My insecurity snuck in.

A naturally-sweetened, whole grain cowboy cookie mix made in a mason jar. These jars make awesome gifts. Plus, a printable gift tag with the instructions (Free, too!).

Despite the voices of doubt, we went for it. It all started with homemade candles and vanilla extract. You know what happened?

Everyone LOVED the homemade gifts!

Cowboy Cookies: a Gift in a Jar

Not only did they love the homemade gifts, many family members request vanilla extract each year and others have taken to making vanilla extract and candles at home.

Cowboy Cookies: a Gift in a Jar

Homemade gifts don’t need to be fancy or complicated. In fact, the simplest gifts always result in the greatest reactions from recipients. A few of our favorite gifts to make and give, include: hand scrub, body butter, lip balm, hot chocolate kits (mix + a mug + mini organic marshmallows), and cookies in a jar. These gifts are fun for the kids to make, and allow our family to create something together so that we can bless others. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Check out my 6 easy-to-make homemade gift ideas here

Cowboy Cookies: a Gift in a Jar

How to Make Cookies in a Jar

Today’s recipe, Cowboy Cookies in a Jar, is one of our favorite homemade gifts to make for teachers, family, and friends. The jars come together in just a few minutes, particularly if you prep the ingredients in large bowls ahead of time.

Simply layer each ingredient in mason jars. Easy as 1,2,3! You don’t have to cook or bake anything–that’s for the recipient to do.

Cowboy Cookies: a Gift in a Jar

Cowboy Cookies: a Gift in a Jar

To complete each gift, we like to add a ribbon around each jar, along with a gift tag and baking instructions. If there’s time, we like to add the remaining ingredients to a bowl (along with butter, vanilla extract, and eggs) and treat ourselves to our own freshly-baked cowboy cookies.

Download gift tags for your cookie jars here 

A naturally-sweetened, whole grain cowboy cookie mix made in a mason jar. These jars make awesome gifts. Plus, a printable gift tag with the instructions (Free, too!).

Now that’s a gift worth making, giving, and receiving!

A naturally-sweetened, whole grain cowboy cookie mix made in a mason jar. These jars make awesome gifts. Plus, a printable gift tag with the instructions (Free, too!).

How to Make Cookies in Jar Video

Cowboy Cookies: a Gift in a Jar
4.50 from 8 votes

Cowboy Cookies: a Gift in a Jar

A naturally-sweetened and whole grain cowboy cookie mix in a mason jar. Make the mix for a fun gift, or bake the cookies on the spot. 
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time14 minutes
Total Time34 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 jar (12 baked cookies)
Calories 3429 kcal


Cowboy Cookie Mix (in a mason jar):

Make the Cookies:

  • 11 TB butter softened**
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract ***
  • 1 jar Cowboy Cookie Mix see recipe above

Special Equipment:

  • quart-size mason jars These are super expensive on Amazon. Check home stores and grocery stores for the best price.


Cowboy Cookie Mix (in a mason jar):

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, and salt. Pour the mix into a quart-size mason jar (any quart-size, or slightly larger, wide mouth jar will work). I highly recommend using a funnel to pour the flour and remaining ingredients into the jar. Add the oats and sugar. Gently tap the bottom of the jar on a hard surface to compact the ingredients without compromising the individual layers. Add the cranberries and chopped pecans. Gently tap the bottom of the jar to compact the ingredients again. Finally, add the chocolate chips, tapping the jar if more room is needed. Place a lid on the jar and attach the gift tag instructions (download the printable gift tags, here).

Make the Cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, using a hand-mixer, beat the softened (to room temperature) butter. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Pour the contents of the mason jar into the bowl, and mix everything together. Scoop the dough onto a baking sheet (I use an ice cream scooper). Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes. 


*Bittersweet or extra dark chocolate chips will also work. I bet white chocolate chips would also be delicious in this recipe.  
**I've used both salted and unsalted butter in these cookies. Unsalted is usually preferable for baked goods; however, I haven't had an issue (with taste or texture) with using salted versus unsalted. 
***I make vanilla extract for Christmas presents. I use vanilla beans from Frontier Co-op and vodka. I'm planning to place a jar of vanilla extract in a gift bag with the cookie mix. If you don't want to make vanilla extract, I think it would be really sweet to purchase a bottle of vanilla extract for each cookie mix recipient. Simply Organic makes a fantastic vanilla extract. 
11 tablespoons of butter = 1 1/2 standard sticks of butter (minus 1 tablespoon). A standard stick of butter is 8 tablespoons. 
Quart-size jars may be found at craft stores, grocery stores, or via Amazon (search "mason jars"). 
Many readers have asked where I found my wonderful funnel. It's made by Progressive, and it may be purchased via Amazon


Calories: 3429kcalCarbohydrates: 352gProtein: 49gFat: 213gSaturated Fat: 106gCholesterol: 668mgSodium: 2704mgPotassium: 1297mgFiber: 37gSugar: 155gVitamin A: 4380IUCalcium: 338mgIron: 15.3mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

A naturally-sweetened, whole grain cowboy cookie mix made in a mason jar. These jars make awesome gifts. Plus, a printable gift tag with the instructions (Free, too!).

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  1. 5 stars
    I made 3 jars of these cookies as gifts and the ingredients didn’t quite fill the wide mouth quart canning jars. So, I added 1/3 cup of peanut butter chips to each jar. Obviously you could just add more chocolate chips or any other flavor chip you like.

  2. 5 stars
    Made these with Einkorn flour, measured by weight not cup (ended up being more than a cup) and they turned out really good. The dough was a little bit more wet looking than in the picture above, but they still turned out great.

  3. 1 star
    These do not taste good. Received these as a gift and baked them. They are somehow both bland af and a cacophony of conflicting flavors at the same time.

  4. To make these gluten free, I was thinking of replacing the wheat flour with mostly brown rice flour plus a little tapioca flour. If anyone has tried, let me know what worked out well. Thanks!

  5. Made a dozen of these up for gifts for neighbors, piano teacher, etc. They turned out great! About $30 for all of the ingredients plus the jars, so about $2.50 each – not too bad!

  6. Hi Kristin,

    Is 11 TB eleven tablespoons of butter? How many sticks is that? 🙂
    Thanks for the wonderful recipes and tips.
    Have a jolly Christmas!

    1. Hey Mihela, One standard stick of butter is usually 8 tablespoons. So this recipe will require about 1 1/2 sticks (minus 1 tablespoon on the 1/2 stick). You’re very welcome. Merry Christmas!

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you for adding all the amounts in grams as well! That simplifies the preparation for us European guys alot. 🙂 And I’m definetly going to make those cookies this weekend, they look delicious!
    All the best from Germany,

    1. Yay, Michaela! It’s taken this American some time to figure out the necessity of weight measurements, but now I’m hooked! I’m not sure why we use volume measurements for everything, lol. I’m so glad the grams help.