8 Smart Tips for Packing and Shipping Cookies
Your cookies will arrive fresh and in-tact when you follow these rules — starting with the type of cookie you choose.
By Amanda Neal for Food Network Kitchen
There’s no better way to spread some holiday cheer than with homemade cookies — especially if you want to share the season with friends or family who live far away. But before you start baking and assembling your cookie tins, there are some important things to consider. We compiled a list of helpful tips so you can successfully pack and ship your sweet treats.
Choose a Sturdy Cookie
You’re better off shipping a sturdier and denser cookie than a delicate one, which could crumble and break during shipping. Opt for chewy chocolate chip cookies, drop gingerbread cookie, oatmeal raisin, and crisp biscotti over thin and crispy cookies. Bar cookies, such as blondies and brownies, typically hold up as well during transportation too.
Avoid Fillings and Delicate Decorations
Heavy fillings like jams and curds are not ideal for shipping, as they will soften the cookie and make them prone to crumbling. You also run the chance of gooey fillings squishing out and creating a mess in your cookie tin. Consider making a glazed or iced cookie instead; just be sure it’s completely dry before wrapping. Also, if a recipe calls for a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, skip this step. Powdered sugar will melt and absorb into your cookies, which could accelerate their expiration.
Keep Flavors Separated
If you plan to send a couple cookie varieties, keep the different flavors separate. Some flavors and aromas can easily transfer to others, such as peppermint and chocolate. Similarly, keep allergy-friendly cookies, like nut-free or gluten-free cookies, away from cookie with those allergens. To do this, wrap the cookies tightly individually (or even in sets of two) in plastic wrap. This will not only protect the cookies but also create nice separation.
Consider Freezing Before Shipping
If you freeze your cookies before you pack and ship them, they will thaw as they travel and arrive even more fresh than room temperature cookies. If you're short on time and can't freeze, just make sure your cookies are completely cool before wrapping and shipping.
Stack and Pack Smartly
Once your cookies are baked and cooled, it’s important to carefully package them. We’ve found that wrapping cookies in plastic wrap works the best for preserving, but small resealable bags will also do the trick. Line the bottom of a durable, rigid box or cookie tin with cushioning material (like some crumpled parchment), then place larger and heavier cookies on the bottom, and smaller cookies on top. You can also add a layer of parchment paper or wax paper between each cookie for additional protection.
Keep Things Snug
Consider how many cookies you would like to send before selecting a box or tin. You want to make sure they fit snuggly without a lot of space to move around — movement causes breakage and crumbles. Fill bare spots in your tin with extra cusioning material — and then place more cushioning around the tin in your shipping box for extra protection. We love crinkle paper packing material for this; you can find at most craft stores and is recyclable.
Make a Budget
Baking homemade cookies and shipping them to loved ones can get pricey, so consider your budget before starting, so you can choose your number of cookies and box size accordingly. Shipping cookies can cost anywhere from $10 to $20 per package — you'll want to choose an option that arrives within a couple of days, so your recipient has a few more days to enjoy the cookie at their freshest.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
For peace of mind, consider shipping cookies early, as there are typically shipping delays around the holidays. As with anything perishable, speed is of the essence when it comes to shipping cookies. Also try to avoid sending packages over the weekend, as this could also delay their delivery.
Cookies That Are Great For Shipping:
Food Network Kitchen's The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
Food Network Kitchen's Gingerbread Biscotti
Ree Drummond's Blondies
Food Network Kitchen's Chewy Sugar Cookies
Bobby Flay's Triple Chocolate Cookies