If you're baking a second batch for friends or family, here is the best way to mail baked goods as gifts.See More: 100 Healthy Cookies
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Best Cookies For Shipping
Here are 13 of the Best Cookies for Shipping plus lots of tips for how to package your cookies to mail them and keep them fresh. Whether it&rsquos Christmas or not, shipping cookies is easier than you think!
If you&rsquore at all like me, than you enjoy shipping cookies and other baked goods to friends and family. I think this is one of the best ways to show them that you care. Whether they&rsquore Christmas Cookies or just a surprise for a friend, there are plenty of amazing cookies can be shipped. I&rsquove included lots of tips for how to pack your cookies, what types of containers to use and how to prepare your cookies for shipping. Do you have any tips you would like to share? Please let me me know!
How to Mail Cookies to Deployed Soldiers
If you haven’t read it yet, please check out (and share!) my blog How to Bake Mason Jar Cakes for Soldiers. I wrote that how-to tutorial while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan last year. Well, now my little brother is deploying to Afghanistan, and since the Fifty-Two Cakes project is over, I’ve switched to Fifty-Two Cookies. Gotta take care of our soldiers, am I right? So here’s my guide on how to properly package and mail cookies to soldiers deployed overseas in your care packages!
A few military care package restrictions to keep in mind: No pork products, alcohol or exceptionally aromatic spices. All care packages must be mailed to a specific soldier, as generic packages will not be delivered.
Step 1: Bake Care Package Cookies That Stay Fresh During Transit
It can sometimes take up to a few weeks for packages to get to the more remote bases. That said, there are several ways to keep your military care package cookies fresh:
- Butter, margarine and nut oils have been known to go bad during the shipping process, so some sources say to use vegetable shortening instead.
- Brown sugar, honey, molasses, corn syrup and other sticky sweet substances have been known to get moldy during transit, so consider using white sugar instead.
- Do not send cookies with custards, icings or special toppings – just like when I advise not to frost cakes if you’re sending jar cakes – frostings spoil easily. If you’d like to send icing or sprinkles, send a store-bought, unopened package right off the shelf instead.
- If it’s a cookie that normally needs refrigeration, don’t send it to your soldier. There’s no refrigeration in transit for 7,000+ miles, k? Keep in mind the time of year that your package will ship. Melty cookies probably won’t do so great during those 100- to 120-degree summer days, but might be fine during brutal Afghanistan winters.
- Dry, thick, crunchy cookies (think biscotti and gingerbread) ship really well, but don’t let that discourage you from other good chewy stuff (chocolate chip, oatmeal). The latter ship fine, too, with proper care taken during the packing process. If you’re sending chewy cookies and crisp cookies, pack them separately to avoid moisture transfer.
- This is probably a given, but … airtight, people! Make sure you’re packing in airtight containers.
Step 2: How to Pack Cookies in Care Packages
No doubt your soldier will be thrilled to receive your care package regardless of whether your cookies are in pieces are not. It all goes to the same place, right? But we know you expect better and you want those cookies to arrive whole! Here are some packing tips:
- Wrap cookies in resealable plastic bags like ZipLoc Gallon Bags.
- Wrap the sealed plastic bags in bubble wrap and even a bonus layer of newspaper.
- Some people prefer to layer their cookies: bubble wrap on bottom, line container with parchment paper, add cookies in layers with parchment paper between each layer, top with bubble wrap again.
- Pack them snugly in the package, but don’t overcrowd them. Too tight or too loose and you end up with crumbs. Cookie tins are great for packing care package cookies properly.
- Some sources say to include a description of the contents to assure mail reviewers that the package contains no restricted items. Notecards taped to the tin are fine.
Step 3: How to Ship Care Packages with Cookies to Soldiers
I prefer to send my care packages with other goodies, so I send 1-2 per month. I use flat rate shipping boxes and ship priority to the APO. Once nice thing about sending flat rate boxes to APOs is that there’s a $2 discount on flat rate box shipping, so take advantage of that. Write your soldier’s address largely and clearly, and double-check that address before dropping it off at the post office. Shipping time has been as short as 1 week and as long as 2-3 weeks to my husband in a remote province of Afghanistan, but I’m hoping it’ll be quick and easy for my brother who will be in a more populous area/larger city. You will be asked to fill out a customs form.
Regardless of what type of cookies you bake and your preferred method of packing and shipping them overseas, always tell your soldier to be careful, check them out first and proceed with caution – just in case. It’s unlikely that anything bad will happen if you follow these instructions on how to mail cookies to soldiers deployed overseas, but better safe than sorry, and the last thing you want is a soldier with a sick tummy.
We military family members have to stick together! Did you mail cookies to your soldier? Tell us in the comments which cookie recipes you used and share your experience or tips!
Heather is an advertising professional in Kansas City. She is a vegetarian food-lover who finds joy in cooking, baking and finding new restaurants in new cities. She leads a pack of animals, including her beagle Ford, her shepherd-collie-retriever mix, Otto, and cat, Ahab.
Tips for Shipping Cookies
Certain cookies tend to ship better than others do. We recommend that you do not mail cookies with custard or custard-like fillings or toppings, including cheesecake bars or Nanaimo bars. The custard could spoil, making a very unwelcome gift. For that matter, any cookie that requires refrigeration is not a good candidate for the mail. Another type of cookie that doesn't hold up well for mailing is one with a delicate, cake-like texture such as Madeleines. And now, on to the kinds of cookies that can be mailed all over the world
Dense bar cookies such as fudge brownies, blondies and peanut butter bars travel well too. Be sure to individually wrap each one with plastic wrap to keep that moist, dense crumb from drying out.
Macaroons and pignoli mail beautifully. Their chewy, moist textures only seem to improve after they've aged a few days.
Cookies that have a slightly chewy texture, like chocolate chip, oatmeal, snickerdoodles, and white chocolate-cranberry cookies also ship well. These cookies tend to dry out if they are in the mail for more than a week, so if their destination is a long way off, you might want to ship them by express mail to ensure that they arrive just as tasty as when they were baked.
Cookies that have a crunchy or hard texture such as biscotti, Mexican wedding cakes, crisps, Springerle, and shortbreads make excellent choices for mail delivery. They tend to be fairly sturdy, so you don't have to worry too much about breakage. And since they already have a fairly dry texture, drying out isn't much of an issue.
Once you've baked and cooled your cookies, you're ready for the next step: packing them. There are a few guidelines you should follow when it comes to preparing cookies to be mailed. Follow these and your special packages should arrive fresh, in one piece, and great-tasting.
•Don't pack crisp and soft cookies together--the moisture from the soft cookies will seep into the crisp cookies, making them lose their delightful crunch.
•Don't overstuff your container. Your cookies may be damaged. Likewise, don't under-pack your container. The cookies should fit snugly. If you have too much space, crumple up a bit of tissue paper to fill the holes.
•Pack cookies in a sturdy tin or airtight container. On the bottom of the container place a piece of bubble wrap, then line the container with parchment paper or cellophane, leaving enough to tuck over the top once the container is fully packed. Place one layer of cookies in the container. Cover with parchment paper. Arrange another layer of cookies, followed with more parchment paper, and continue this layering until the container is full. Tuck the cellophane or parchment paper over the top, then place another piece of bubble wrap on top, and seal your container.
Before placing the cookies or your decorated tin in the box, fill it with packing material such as leftover shipping peanuts, bubble wrap, crushed up newspapers, or my favorite: plastic grocery bags. For goodness sakes, don't buy any new packing material just recycle what you already have.
? 1 sturdy container for the baked goods
? 1 box of wax paper
? 1 roll of heavy-duty packing tape
? 1 sturdy corrugated cardboard box
? Bubble wrap or other packing materials
Crumble-Free Packing Directions:
• Place the baked goods in a sturdy container, using wax paper to separate each layer. Use crumpled wax paper to fill in any spaces
• Secure the lid of the container with tape to keep it from accidentally popping off
• Place the container in a sturdy corrugated cardboard box that’s just a bit bigger than your container, allowing for some cushioning. Use bubble wrap or other packing materials to cushion the container tightly in place
• Shake the box gently – if you can feel or hear any movement, add more cushioning.
• Seal the box with heavy duty packing tape.
• Bring the box to your local FedEx Office location and ship using FedEx Ground or FedEx Express delivery service this holiday season
• Don’t forget to include a note card with the shipper and recipient’s contact information inside the package in case the shipping document gets separated from the package
• When thinking about what to bake, small and sturdy treats – like sugar cookies, brownies and biscotti – are some treats that ship the best
• Ship before Friday, December 17 with FedEx Ground for the most cost-effective delivery guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas
• When choosing FedEx Ground, be sure to send your cookies right after baking so that they are still fresh when they arrive, as shipping typically takes 3-5 business days
• For a last-minute gift idea, you can send your homemade treats via FedEx Express as late as Thursday, December 23 for overnight delivery in time for Christmas
7 Best Cookies to Ship
Wondering the best cookies to ship? Wanting to know the best cookies to send in the mail without them crumbling everywhere or ending up in a giant pile of cookie dough when they arrive?
I’ve shipped cookies both domestically and internationally, and there are a few basic things to remember when deciding the best homemade cookies to ship, as they all share some things in common.
Namely, they’re relatively hard and not extremely soft cookies that will arrive in a pile of mush.
They also don’t have buttercream or glaze icing on them, which is hard to get to dry.
They have some sort of structure and sturdiness to them that helps protect them when the mailperson gets a little crazy.
And, they’re all cookies that, wrapped up in saran wrap and other airtight packaging, will actually still be delicious once they arrive at their destination as they have a longer shelf life than some other cookies that will instantly dry out.
Here are my recommendations for the best cookies to ship to family and friends, including my favorite recipes for each type.
The Best Way to Keep Cookies Fresh
Whether you’ve converted your kitchen into a Christmas cookie factory or are just baking a single batch of treats to satisfy a sudden dessert craving, you’ll need to know the best way to store your cookies to preserve their flavor and texture. (Unless you plan on eating all of them straight off of the cookie sheet—no judgment!)
The best way to store cookies depends on the type of cookie and how long you want to store them. Read on for our best tips.
Moisture is the enemy of treats like gingersnaps, shortbread, biscotti, and crunchy-edged chocolate chip and sugar cookies. While you might think an airtight container or plastic storage bag is the way to go, it will actually trap moisture inside, making the cookies soften. Instead, leave it partially unsealed. The cookies should stay fresh for several days.
If you want to enjoy the cookies later on, your best bet is to make and freeze the unbaked dough. Shape the dough into logs, wrap in plastic, place in a freezer bag or airtight container, and freeze. Or flash freeze individual scoops of dough on cookie sheets, then place the frozen balls of dough in a freezer bag and freeze.
For puffy and tender treats like snickerdoodles and chocolate chip, peanut butter, or sugar cookies, a little moisture will help them retain their soft texture. If you are planning to eat the cookies within a few days, place them in an airtight container or ziplock bag. You can also place a slice of sandwich bread inside the container, which will absorb excess moisture and help keep the cookies soft.
If you want to enjoy the cookies later on, bake them, then let them cool. Flash freeze them on cookie sheets, then transfer the frozen cookies to air airtight container or freezer bag. To defrost the cookies, place them on a paper towel-lined plate at room temperature.
Your Ultimate Guide to Storing Holiday Cookies
While the holiday season is filled with no shortage of delicious food traditions, the sweetest of all is undeniably the parade of cookies that is likely to flow through your dough-scented kitchen throughout the most wonderful time of the year.
As holiday cookie season rapidly approaches, it’s time to unearth the tree-shaped cookie cutters and break out the gingerbread and thumbprint recipes. But once your snickerdoodles and sugar cookies are complete, the most frustrating part of the process can be keeping your big batches fresh well into the season𠅊nd in their prime for when Santa shows up.
There’s no bigger holiday party pooper than stale or soggy cookies, so this season be sure to use these life-saving—or at least cookie-saving—storage tips to keep your biscotti and crackle cookies looking and tasting fresh, so that you’ll stay on the big guy in red’s nice list for another year.
First Things First
The first (and likely most frequently violated) rule of cookie storage is to be sure to let your batch cool completely before being tucked away in a tin or Tupperware. If you attempt to pack up your cookies while still warm, the condensation from the heat will linger in the container, making your baked goods turn soggy in no time.
If storing or sending cookies in layers, be sure to include parchment between each layer in order to prevent cookies from sticking together and being damaged in transit.
Don&rsquot Mix and Match
The cardinal rule of cookie maintenance is to avoid storing soft cookies in the same container as crispy cookies, as the higher moisture content of the one will make the other turn soggy.
When storing soft cookies, opt for airtight plastic containers that will limit the airflow and keep your cookies moister longer. Crispy cookies are best stored in a glass container, like a cookie jar, which lets a little bit of air in to keep your batch crunchy. As a rule of thumb, plastic bags shouldn’t be used to store cookies, unless they’re headed into the freezer.
Similarly, cookies with contrasting flavors shouldn’t be stored side-by-sidespite how nice all of your holiday cookies look in a gift tin together. While assorted cookie tins are a good idea in theory, the different flavors and moisture levels can change the taste and texture of the batch as a whole, and often a dominant flavor—like mint—will end up changing the flavor of every cookie in the box.
When making cookies with a filling of some sort, like jam-filled thumbprints, store the cookies sans-jam and fill at the last minute before serving, so that the moisture in the filling doesn’t turn your cookies soggy.
And if your crispy cookies have already gone soft, don’t fret. You can re-crisp them in the oven by baking for 5 minutes at 300 degrees, and letting them cool on a wire rack.
Add a Layer of Protection
To avoid your batches drying out before the festivities have even begun, one of easiest methods is to include an object which will do the heavy lifting when it comes to absorbing the dry air, keeping your cookies fresher longer.
One of the simplest and cheapest methods for air absorption is to include a slice of plain white bread in your tin or Tupperware, which will magically dry up and harden while leaving your cookies as soft as the day they came out of the oven. Or, opt to tuck an apple wedge in with your cookies, which will work similarly. When one wedge dries up, simply replace it with another for as long as necessary.
Another fuss-free method, which is particularly effective while packing cookies in layers, is to slip tortillas in between each row. When packing cookie tins as holiday gifts, tuck a tortilla between two sheets of parchment and place it between each individual layer. Like the bread slice, the tortillas will bear the brunt of the dry air in the container.
On the flip side, in order to keep cookies crisper longer, use a device that will wick the moisture out of the air, leaving your baked goods perfectly crunchy. As blogger Jenny Can Cook points out, one simple hack requires no more than baking soda, a coffee filter, and a stapler. Simply fill a coffee filter full of fresh baking soda and staple it closed at the top with two staples, leaving the sides open to allow air to circulate through easily. Place the filter in your cookie container, and let the baking soda do most of the moisture-wicking work.
Your Freezer is Your New Best Friend
If you have excess dough or cookies on your hands that you won’t be needing any time soon, freezing is a great option for both unbaked doughs and pre-baked batches.
When preserving your already-baked cookies, be sure to wrap the baked goods in freezer-proof plastic and store them in an airtight bag to prevent freezer burn and the absorption of other flavors. When you’re ready to serve your cookies—or hog them all for yourself—thaw them at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and they’ll be good to go.
If freezing unbaked cookie dough, make sure to note that different kinds of dough require different freezer treatments. Drop cookie dough should be rolled into balls and flash frozen for a couple of hours on a cookie sheet, and then bagged in an airtight container when completely hardened. Cut-out cookie dough should be shaped into disks and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap before being stored in a bag or container, and slice-and-bake dough should be rolled into a log formation and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap before entering the freezer.
When you’re ready to turn that frozen dough into cookies, no thawing is required for drop cookies. Simply bake your batch a couple of minutes longer than the recipe originally called for, and they’ll turn out perfect.
The exceptions to the freezer rule are more delicate, liquidy batters like Florentines, lace, and pizzelles, which don’t freeze well in dough or cookie form, and are best served fresh. Also note that bar cookies, blondies, and brownies should always be baked before being stored. If you want to freeze them, keep them in the container they were baked in, wrapped tight in freezer-safe plastic and covered in freezer-safe foil.
Follow these easy but effective cookie-saving tips and you’ll be feeling the sweet seasonal spirit even after the holidays have passed.
Cool treats thoroughly before packing. They will sweat if warm or damp when wrapped, creating moisture—which not only affects texture but will also quicken spoilage.
Consider going for a deep pre-freeze with gifts that can handle the cold. They’ll be fresher, last longer, and stay sturdier than at room temp. Cookies are the first thought, but pies and cakes take especially well to freezing. Larger-format baking, perhaps brownies in a giftable tray, conveys a sense of festive generosity and is a good traveller. A friend once sent a full sheet cake cross-country this way. (Picture McCain Deep n’ Delicious style, a cake presented in its tin and fully frosted, candles in place, frozen. Wrapped all in plastic wrap, placed it in a bakery box, and then in its final packaging.) It was nothing short of legendary.
To do the same, freeze the treat completely, then wrap tightly with clingfilm or beeswax wrap before packaging. It will slowly thaw in transit be sure to include rewarming instructions when applicable as pastry appreciates the attention. (Certain cookies will also benefit from a gentle toasting in a low oven, say 300°F for a couple of minutes. Do not attempt with iced cookies.)
Soft and Chewy
Brown Sugar Only
Lee Harrelson Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Zapalowski
Brown sugar works in two ways here: 1. It gives the cookies a rich, toffee-like flavor that you won’t get from white sugar alone and 2. It has a higher moisture content than white sugar, so it yields softer cookies.
Most chocolate chip cookie recipes call for both kinds of sugar. They balance each other out to create a crowd-pleasing cookie that’s not polarizing in any way.
However, if you’re a fan of super soft and super chewy cookies, consider using exclusively brown sugar in your next batch.
Bake time can also affect the texture of your cookies. As anyone who’s accidentally over-baked cookies knows, they get dryer and crunchier the longer they’re in the oven. Closely monitor your cookies while they’re baking to make sure they don’t dry out.
How to Pack Cookies to Carry
Even the sturdiest cookies will start to crumble if they're left to tumble willy-nilly in a Tupperware container while you go from Point A to Point B. Here are a few tips:
- If you're driving: Pack your cookies in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Add a few paper towels or clean dish towels between the layers to prevent the cookies from sliding around or falling sideways. Add enough layers so the lid helps hold them in place, but don't cram so many cookies in there that the lid smooshes the top layer. More containers is better than smooshed cookies!
- If you're taking public transit or flying: Same rules apply, but think about the orientation of your cookies while they're in transit. If your backpack is going to mostly lay flat on your journey, then slide the cookies in sideways so that they're facing up while the backpack is flat. (I'm Type A, so yes, I really do obsess about things like this!) You can also carry also always carry your cookies in your lap and fend off neighboring space-hoggers with your elbows.
- If you want to serve your cookies on a pretty platter: Carry your platter with you and arrange them once you arrive. Don't be tempted into arranging your cookies first and covering them with plastic wrap. I guarantee you they will not arrive at their destination looking as pretty as they did when you set out.