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December 20, 2008

Variation on a Christmas theme....

You know the old "gift in a jar" cookies where all the dry ingredients for a recipe are pre-measured and layered prettily, with attached nice-looking instructions to go along? I have to admit in my house they ususally end up relegated to the back corner of the pantry, because they're so pretty I don't want to use it up. The gift can be a standout if personalized, so this year, instead of following a recipe that I'd never even tried before out of a random book or website, I took an old family recipe and made my own "jar."

In my house, we call this "Impossible Pie" because it makes its own crust. It's a coconut-custard pie with bisquick in it that settles to form the crust. I know at least one other friend has the same or similar recipe under a different name, so I think it's a depression-era favorite for its simplicity. My recipe says to put all ingredients into a blender, blend for one minute, then pour into pie pan and bake. It actually ends up as only three dry ingredients to layer, which fit perfectly into a 16 oz. mason jar. There are then four wet ingredients that I listed on the card to add to the mix when baking, all standard stuff any recipient will have in their kitchen. When I made my gifts, I added a couple bags of craisins into the coconut for an especially cheery twist. The red dots define the middle layer and look like little ornaments in the jar.

Here's the finished gift. I used scrapbooking paper to decorate the jar lid, but I think wrapping paper would work fine too. I'll have to take a photo of a pie the next time I make one. Ummm, I can smell it already!

A hint: Be sure to let the ink dry before attaching the card with ribbon.

Here is a great link to get you started if you need to go from a recipe: But, think about it: what family recipes could you do this with? Let me know in the comments below.

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