This vegan M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar recipe is an easy DIY gift that is fun to make and receive all year long. Fill a mason jar with the dry ingredients so your friends and family can whip up a batch of warm homemade vegan oatmeal M&M cookies. The cookies bake up tender, chewy, and speckled with brightly colored chocolate candies!
Thank you to Williams-Sonoma Canada for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
With Spring Break just around the corner, these vegan cookie mix in jars are an easy DIY gift project to keep the kids busy. They can then give a cookie mix jar to their friends so they and their family can enjoy a child friendly activity together. A thoughtful edible holiday gift or even a party favor for a bridal shower or baby shower, you’ll enjoy the feeling of giving a homemade present. Cookie mix kits are also inexpensive and eco-friendly gifts that are sure to be loved by all of the cookie monsters in your life!
What You’ll Need to Make Cookie Mix in a Jar Gift:
1. Canning Jar and Lid
This cookie mix recipe fits perfectly in a 1 liter (1 quart) canning or mason jar. I used beautiful Weck tulip jars from Williams-Sonoma which are a gift in and of themselves. I love using them as a flower vase, storing food in, and they’re pretty enough to serve out of at the table. They have a nice wide mouth which makes adding the dry ingredients in clean layers easier than narrow mouthed canning jars.
2. Homemade Vegan Cookie Mix
This vegan cookie mix in a jar makes vegan oatmeal M&M cookies (or Polka Dot cookies). You’ll need some pantry staples including:
- All-purpose flour
- Rolled oats – use only the old fashioned rolled oats, not instant or quick cooking oats. Instant and quick oats will make the cookies dry and crumbly because they soak up moisture faster. These cookies have less oatmeal than plain oatmeal cookies. They have just enough to give a nice toothsome chewy texture, and to add a layer of interest to the cookie kit jars.
- Brown sugar – I used a higher ratio of brown sugar to granulated sugar in this recipe for some nice caramel undertones and a chewier texture. The brown sugar is also nice for a defined layer in the cookie jars.
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Cornstarch – helps create even more of a seductive chewy texture, and thin crisp edges.
- Vegan M&M type chocolate candies – if you don’t have any candies, you can substitute in 1 cup of chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, raisins, chopped nuts, or even your own unique blend of these cookie mix-ins!
While M&M cookies are a classic cookie flavor and the cookie base can easily be made without eggs or dairy, M&M candies are not vegan. M&M candies contain milk ingredients, carmine (from crushed female cochineal insects) and beeswax for glazing agents. The good news is that whether you’re preparing these dairy-free & egg-free cookie mix jars for someone who’s vegan or has a milk or egg allergy, there are a few vegan options for the polka dots in these cookies. Suggestions include Unreal Dark Chocolate Quinoa Crispy Quinoa Gems (don’t worry, they don’t taste like quinoa, but are a lot like rise crisp in chocolate), No Whey! No No’s, and Little Secrets Chocolate Pieces.
3. Cookie Recipe Instructions
I’ve included a free printable cookie jar tag in the recipe card below which you can download and print on card stock. The tag includes a list of ingredients of what is already in the cookie jar gift, what else is needed to make the cookies, and how to make and bake the cookies. Trim it up, use a hole punch to create a hole for some twine, and tie around the jar of cookie mix once filled and closed.
The person you give the cookie mix to will need:
- Oil – using the right amount of oil in cookies produces a lovely chewy cookie which remains softer longer than a butter based cookie. Not everyone will have vegan butter (or coconut oil) in their homes, but it’s a safe bet that they’ll have vegetable oil on hand.
- Dairy-free milk – any kind will work in this recipe. Soy and oat are our favorites.
- Vanilla extract – this vegan cookie recipe calls for more vanilla than what you see in some other recipes, but I find a little extra vanilla can take a cookie from just good to amazing!
4. Cookie Jar Gift Decorations (optional)
I went with a minimalist look for the cookie mix jars for casual gifts. If you would like them to look more festive, you can decorate the jars with a circle of fabric on top, tied with some pretty ribbon or twine.
Tips for Making Cookie Mix in a Jar Gift:
The jars will look best when the cookie ingredients are layered evenly. Gently tamp down each layer so there’s less chance for settling later which can make the layers look uneven.
Use a wide neck funnel for adding the ingredients to the jars. The funnel that comes in home canning kits works great for assembling cookie mix jars! If you don’t have a funnel, you can either make a funnel out of paper, or simply spoon the ingredients into the jar.
Adding the flour mixture first to the bottom of the jar allows you to really pack it down. This also ensures you have enough room for all of the ingredients, and prevents the flour from trickling into some of your other ingredient layers.
Cookie mix can be ahead of time. It keeps very well stored in a cool, dry place like the pantry. For best quality, take a look at the best before dates of the dry ingredients you’re using. Of greatest importance is your baking powder. If it’s been open for more than a few months or is approaching its best before date, it’s best to get a new container before making your cookie mix jar. You can’t be sure when your gift recipient will be baking their cookies – baking powder loses its potency with time which means at some point it won’t cause the rise we need for tender cookies. If you’re curious about some older baking powder in your pantry, check out this quick and easy test (which is also fun and educational for budding little bakers to observe!)
One Last Thing…
Once you have your cookie mix jar gifts made, there’s just one more thing to do: treat yourself with a batch of these vegan oatmeal M&M cookies! For baking , serving and storing your cookies, be sure to check out Williams-Sonoma’s beautiful range of kitchenware. I could spend all day looking at all the pretty yet really functional wares they carry!
More Vegan Cookie Recipes:
If you make this Vegan M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar Recipe, please give it a rating in the recipe card and leave a comment below! Follow along on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration and on Facebook. Thank you for reading!
Vegan M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar Recipe
- 1 liter (1 quart) wide mouth clear mason jar, clean and dry
- Twine or ribbon (optional)
- Cookie instruction tag (click to download and print)
For the Cookie Jar Mix:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking varieties – see notes)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegan M&M type candies (see notes for substitutions)
To Be Added By Gift Recipient:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup dairy-free milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
For the Cookie Jar Mix:
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt.
- Use a large spoon to scoop the flour mixture into the bottom of the mason jar. Using a wide neck funnel (like the ones from canning kits) is helpful here. Tamp down to pack down the flour as much and as level as possible. The ingredients all need to be packed in as tightly so they don't shift around during transportation and so they all fit in the jar.
- Add brown sugar to the jar, using your spoon to firmly pack evenly over the flour.
- Add the granulated sugar over the brown sugar, spreading it out evenly.
- Add the oatmeal over the sugar, tamping it down evenly.
- Add in the vegan chocolate candies (or substitutions).
- Place the lid on the mason jar, sealing tightly.
- Print off the cookie mix instruction tag. Use a hole punch to make a hole in the top of the tag then attach it to the cookie mix jar with twine or ribbon.
Instructions for the Cookie Mix Jar Recipient:
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C/gas 4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, dump the contents of the jar and stir until completely combined and no lumps of brown sugar remain.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring well to combine.
- Using a medium-sized (3 tbsp) cookie scoop, drop level scoops of cookie dough on the prepared baking sheet. Gently press the cookie domes down flat. If you don't have a cookie scoop, use a large soup spoon to scoop 3 tablespoons worth of cookie batter, roll into a ball and then press into a puck on the cookie sheet using the back of a lightly greased measuring cup.
- Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until the sides of the cookies are just starting to darken but the centers still look soft. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then complete cooling on a wire rack. Makes 18-24 cookies. Store cookies in an air-tight jar for up to a week on the counter, or freeze for up to a few months.
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