Toast of Tuesday: DIY Mason Jar Easter Basket with Bunny Bait

This Easter, I wanted to give a little gift to Dear Betrothed, but I didn’t want to go with the traditional dyed wicker basket filled with fake neon green grass and plastic eggs. That’s the sort of Easter basket I always got as a kid — you know, flimsy baskets and plastic eggs so cheap that my parents didn’t mind if they lost them each year.

Maybe it’s environmentalism, maybe it’s practicality, I’m not really sure — but as an adult I am just so ardently against gifts or trinkets that are cheap, essentially useless, and will end up in a land fill only to be replaced the next year by the same non-consumable, non-biodegradable things. 

With that mindset, my goal is to make the gifts I give — and the wrapping they come in — either completely consumable, completely reusable, or easily recyclable.

So, this Easter I had to figure out a twist on the traditional Easter basket for Dear Fiancé. Thanks to a little help from Pinterest, I got the idea to do a gold-dipped mason jar with an Easter themed lid and burlap bow, filled with homemade “bunny bait” trail mix. The trail mix is made of white chocolate covered pretzel bites, marshmallow cereal bites, and mini chocolate eggs.

I felt good about this twist on the Easter basket since the trail mix is obviously consumable, and once Easter is over, Dear Better Half can use the mason jar to store other snacks. Then at, say, Christmas, I can switch out the fabric on the lid and make it a Christmas-themed mason jar filled with homemade peppermint bark.

And the best part? This entire gift was made with things I already had in the kitchen or craft room, and the rest of the supplies cost less than $10. I’d like to see someone argue that a traditional Easter basket costs less than that!

For the pretzel bites, all we need is salted pretzel squares, white chocolate chips, and rainbow sprinkles. wp-1458946973770.jpgWe’ll start by arranging salted pretzel squares on parchment paper.

Don’t worry if any of the pretzels are broken — they’ll break some more when the chocolate cools and we separate the bites.

Besides, bunny bait doesn’t have to be perfect! This sweet treat is sure to attract the Easter Bunny himself no matter what. 🙂

Next we’ll simply melt down some white chocolate chips until they’re nice and soupy, and spoon the melted chocolate over the pretzels.wp-1458947248975.jpg We’ll sprinkle them with rainbow nonpareils before the chocolate cools.

You can lay out your parchment paper on the counter by itself, if you like, but I prefer making this on top of a cookie sheet, so that we can pop it into the fridge for faster cooling.

Once these have cooled for about 15 minutes or so in the fridge, we can break apart any bites that have stuck together.

How amazing do these look?!

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salty + sweet = yum!

The next ingredient in our bunny bait trail mix is pastel marshmallow cereal balls. These are just little rice crispy treat bites, except made with a colorful marshmallow cereal, such as Lucky Charms, instead of crisp rice.

We’ll just melt down a couple of tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan, toss in some marshmallows, and stir until fully melted.

Next we’ll toss in our cereal, remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir.

After that we’ll just scoop out balls of this delicious concoction into a mini cupcake pan. Feel free to toss on a few sprinkles if there are any left over from the pretzels.

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The final ingredient in our bunny bait is just speckled Easter egg M&M’s. But you could substitute any pastel colored chocolate candies.

And now, to make the gold dipped Easter mason jar.

First we’ll thoroughly wash and dry a screw top mason jar. I just bought this one for $3 at Walmart. Next we’ll carefully apply a ring of washi tape around the base, leaving  room for the desired paint.

We’ll head to a well-ventilated area, put on our respirator, and apply as many coats as desired. I only used one coat, and it achieved the amount of gold I wanted.

Next up, we’ll decorate the lid. Instead of buying a whole yard of fabric, I just went to the quilting section of the store and bought a single square of fabric for literally 79 cents. Can’t beat that price 🙂

We’ll plug in a high heat glue gun and apply a ring of glue around the top of the lid. We’ll press it onto the back side of the fabric firmly until it’s cooled. Next we’ll do the same along the outer rim of the lid.

After that we’ll trim down the fabric so that just an inch or two hangs down over the lid. For the burlap ribbon I simply took a burlap table runner that I had made a couple of years ago for a baby shower I threw someone, and I trimmed it down to a reasonable width for the jar lid.

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Now we’ll simply fill our mason jar with bunny bait, and we’re good to go!

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I hope you all had a happy Easter, and I hope you enjoy this DIY craft and recipe!

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