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Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine

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Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine [Hardcover-spiral]

Shaina Olmanson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews Review

A Note from the Author

Dear Readers,

I was fascinated as a young girl watching my grandmother float through the kitchen, moving quickly and with precision as she turned out dish after dish to serve to family and friends. Her care and commitment as she created each course, brought out at just the perfect moment for its unveiling, would suck me in with the power of the statement it made. There would be days midweek that my grandmother would appear on her bicycle in the driveway, a basket of fresh doughnuts hanging from the handlebars just because. It was then that I truly appreciated the beauty that lives in the process of giving and gifting food to others and the ability it has to connect us all.

I never lost my passion for creating meals to be raved over or desserts that made a statement just by placing them on the table. For me, the kitchen has always been about me giving a part of myself to others. It is what keeps me there every day, to share it with my four children and to demonstrate the importance of a home-cooked meal.

Desserts in Jars is a small piece of me that I am giving, a bit of sweet to be savored at the end of a long day. From the more refined Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Pots de Crème and Peach Granita Bellinis to the kid-friendly Frozen Banana Splits, I hope that it will inspire you to give bits of yourself to those you love and cherish as well whatever the occasion.

--Shaina Olmanson

Sample Recipes from Desserts in Jars

Peach-Raspberry Verrines with Lemon-Thyme Cream
(Click photo for recipe)
Cardamom Pear Crisps
(Click photo for recipe)


"Desserts in Jars is equal parts beautiful, precious, creative, inspired, and irresistible. Every turn of the page unveils a new surprise, and the photography leaves you longing for every single delicious-looking recipe."

—Ree Drummond, author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks

"I love the idea of baking individual desserts in jars. Whether you serve them at parties or share them as gifts, the sweets in Shaina’s book are a beautiful collection of recipes sure to bring joy to anyone—including yourself."

—Angie Dudley,, author of Cake Pops

"Shaina has written a gorgeous book, at once playful, sophisticated, and delicious! The recipes are delightful, and serving them in jars is a lot of fun."

—Zoë François, co-author of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

About the Author

Shaina Olmanson is a cook, writer, photographer, and mother of four young children. She writes the popular blog, which was named one of the top ten Top 100 Mom Food Blogs by for 2011, as well as a Top 10 Family Food Blog by My Life Scoop Shaina is a daily contributor on Babble's Family Kitchen, has served as the food editor for LifetimeMoms, a digital property of A&E Networks, and contributes regularly to and She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


A Dessert in a Jar

They are a trend today, but desserts in jars in fact are timeless. A number of friends have shared with me that their grandmothers tucked desserts into their canning jars, for backyard garden parties or Sunday afternoon picnics. The jars were what they had at hand, and really, the practicality of it makes sense.

In a day and age where so much of what we use day in and day out is disposable, using glass jars as a serving mechanism or a gifting vessel for dessert is a way to make the entire package reusable. Whether you go on to put up food in them after the dessert is long gone or repurpose them for another household use, jars are containers that have a multitude of usage possibilities.

Eco-friendly and multi-purposeful, glass jars win points for aesthetics as well. They can be a cute and decorative gift that requires just a simple ribbon and gift tag as packaging, and they can also find a place at a respectable dinner party. They can be well received and at home during an outdoor vintage wedding.

They are easy to package and carry with just a lid, a towel, and a sturdy basket or box. Desserts in jars require no plate or bowl, making them less susceptible to landing in your lap or on the ground next to you while eating outdoors. All that is necessary is a proper utensil, a simple fork or spoon, and you’ll be on your way to digging into a delicious treat.

Choosing the Perfect Jars

There are a variety of canning and mason jars on the market, in many different sizes, prices, and designs, and with a range of closing mechanisms. This leaves a world of possibilities out there to explore when you’re looking at serving dessert to guests, shipping jars in the mail, or giving mixes as gifts. You always want to use clean, chip-free jars. Never use jars that have been chipped or cracked in any way. Two more things to consider are the size of the opening or mouth of the jar and the height of the jar from the mouth to the bottom.

First, let’s consider the jar opening or "mouth." Jars typically come in one of two sizes of opening: standard or wide-mouth. Most standard jar openings are 2 3/8 inches in diameter, while wide-mouth openings are 3 1/8 inches across. There are other styles of jars that have openings specific to the brand or design of the jar. When baking a dessert that requires you to reach into the jar to pack it, as you will do with a cheesecake crust or a layered parfait, a wide-mouth opening will give you more room with which to work.
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