March 25, 2019 | 44° F

Spread holiday cheer with simple, wallet-friendly treats


Students on a budget can save money by making gifts by hand. Unleash your creative side and try giving double chocolate oatmeal cookies in a jar or peppermint chocolate pretzels as holiday gifts this year.

With the holidays coming up, it’s time to think of gifts to give family, friends and loved ones. Making gifts yourself is a fun and easy way to save money. It may take a little more time, but it’s much more meaningful and will definitely put a smile on someone’s face.

DIY #1: Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies in a Jar

This gift is great for someone who enjoys baking or loves cookies without having to prepare all of the ingredients from scratch. You don’t even have to wrap this gift — it looks very presentable on its own.  

Ingredients (Makes about 30-36 cookies): 

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


1.) Layer the ingredients in a 1-quart jar. Press each layer firmly in place before adding the next layer 

2.) Write the baking directions on a piece of paper or on a note-card: 

3.) Cream one stick of real butter in a large bowl

4.) Add one large egg and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

5.) Add entire jar of dry ingredients and mix well. Add 1-2 tablespoon of water until dough reaches desired consistency 

6.) Form into walnut-sized balls and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes

DIY #2: Peppermint Chocolate Covered Pretzels 

Take chocolate-covered pretzels to a whole new level with crushed peppermint candy. Not only do these taste great, they look amazing and are very festive. You can dip them in white chocolate if you prefer or add festive colored sprinkles. 


  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Salted pretzels as desired
  • 1 small bag peppermint candy
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • A pinch of salt


1.) Boil water in a large pot. Once it’s boiled, put a smaller pot inside and add the chocolate chips. Add the butter and slowly incorporate the milk until it reaches a smooth consistency. Mix well and add the salt.

2.) Once that’s ready, crush the peppermint candy in a Ziploc bag with a large spoon.

3.) Get some chocolate on a large spoon and dip the pretzel until it’s fully covered on one side. You can also dip half the pretzel or drizzle the chocolate on the pretzel instead.

4.) Sprinkle the crushed peppermint on the pretzel.

5.) Lay the pretzels on parchment paper and let them dry for approximately 30 minutes. 

Serve the pretzels in a holiday-themed box, such as the ones that can be purchased from the Rite-Aid on George Street.

Sarah Jaihe Lee

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