Desserts/ Gifts & Gadgets

Holiday Survival Kit: Harvey’s Brownie Mix in a Jar

Open in case of emergency! Or when hungry…

We all know the holidays can be stressful for many reasons. You’ve got present shopping, holiday cards to write and mail, office or neighborhood holiday parties to attend, laundry and luggage to ready for holiday travel, putting newspaper and mail deliveries on hold, and much, much more on your To Do List this week.  That’s why your pantry needs (at least one, if not a half-dozen) Brownie Mix in a Jar on hand — much in the same way you have an emergency kit in your car or a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. You just never know when you’re going to need the kind of help that only a fresh, homemade brownie can deliver!

This Brownie Mix in a Jar can help you survive the holidays – and every day – in a number of ways, including as a:

  • Perfect last-minute hostess gift
  • Welcome to the neighborhood gift
  • Grab bag gift for the office party
  • Holiday gift for the letter carrier
  • A great way to personalize a holiday bonus for the dog walker
  • Gift any time of the year for that homesick college student (especially during midterms or finals)

In about 10 minutes of time and about $3 for ingredients (not including cost of airtight container or wrapping), you can have a great gift that reflects your personality and that everyone will appreciate. I started this tradition several years ago with family and friends, and quickly learned that it also inspired them to do more baking from scratch. When the ingredients are already on hand and ready to go, it’s so easy – and often more delicious – to bake from scratch. That’s what this Brownie Mix in a Jar gift can do for the recipient: inspire them to be more creative in the kitchen.

I suggest buying a case of one-quart canning jars (about $24 for 12) and making a batch of 12 to have on hand for easier gifting. Buying the canning jars and dry ingredients in bulk will also lower your overall costs. It will also ensure that you have one on hand for your own personal brownie emergencies!

brownie mix in a jar ingredients


Holiday Survival Kit: Harvey

10 minutes

Holiday Survival Kit: Harvey


1 quart- or 3/4-liter-sized airtight container
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup dark brown sugar


Organize all of your dry ingredients, including measuring cups and spoons.

In a clean, airtight container (such as a jar), layer the dry ingredients in the order listed starting with flour and ending with M&M's®. As you add each layer, tap the sides of container to level ingredients. Seal the container and set aside.

Personalize and print out the preparation and baking instructions (below) to accompany the brownie mix jar.


Add to dry mix:

- 1/2 cup butter

- 2 eggs

- 2 ounces milk or water

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease the bottom of an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch baking pan.

Melt 1/2 cup butter. Mix melted butter, 2 eggs and 2 ounces of milk in medium bowl with spoon until blended. Stir in dry contents of the brownie mix, until moistened. Batter will appear slightly lumpy. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until dry around edges and toothpick inserted comes out almost clean. Cool completely, for about an hour. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows to make 16 brownies.


Personalize as you wish to create a gift that reflects your personality. For example, you could swap the chocolate chips for peanut butter chips OR swap the peanut M&M's® for chopped walnuts. One of my favorite versions of this brownie mix swaps out the milk for raspberry liqueur and the peanut M&M's® for fresh raspberries.