Sending boxes of homemade cookies to distant family or friends is a delicious holiday tradition. Unfortunately, “fragile” written boldly on the mailing box doesn’t guarantee your cookies will survive the trip.
If your holiday to-do list includes baking and shipping cookies, don’t stress. There are things you can do to help ensure your cookies arrive safely.
Here are a few tips to help you:
Bake the right cookies
Sturdy cookies like biscotti, shortbread, gingersnaps, chocolate chip, oatmeal, snickerdoodles, macaroons and brownies hold up well during shipping. It’s best not to ship fragile, buttery cookies like madeleines that crumble easily or cookies like cheesecake brownies that may need refrigeration.
Pack cookies properly
Wrap cookies individually or in pairs, flat bottoms together, in plastic wrap, cellophane bags, foil or waxed paper. Wrap sticky cookies like brownies individually. Do not wrap a crisp cookie with a soft cookie.
2. Pack cookies in rigid containers
For packing, use a rigid container like a metal tin, shoebox, empty coffee can or plastic box. Cushion the bottom with a piece of bubble wrap or layer of miniature marshmallows. Over this cushion, place a piece of parchment paper that is long enough to fold over the cookies when the container is full.
3. Pack cookies in single layers
Layer cookies in single layers beginning with the heaviest cookies. Cover with a piece of parchment paper. Add another layer of cookies; cover with parchment paper. Continue layering until container is full.
4. Seal containers
Fold over ends of the parchment paper (from step 2) and cover with a piece of bubble wrap. Cover with lid and secure with tape. Affix label with names of the cookies.
Ship cookies securely
1. Use a heavyweight carton
For the outside shipping box, choose a heavyweight cardboard carton. The carton should be large enough to allow a 2-inch to 3-inch cushion between the cookie box and the six carton walls.
2. Cushion cookie containers with lots of packing material
Cushion the bottom of the carton with a thick layer of crumpled newspaper, bubble wrap or other packing materials. Nestle cookie box in the carton, filling in the sides and top with more packing material. Shake the carton gently. If you feel or hear movement, add more cushioning. Insert a notecard with your contact information and the recipient’s contact information in case the shipping label is damaged en route.
3. Seal carton securely
Seal the carton securely with heavy-duty packing tape. Affix mailing label and cover label with piece of transparent packing tape to protect it from moisture. With a broad-tipped marking pen, write “fragile” and “perishable” on all sides.
4. Mail early in the week
Mail cookies and other food gifts early in the week. Packages shipped on Thursday or Friday may sit in a warehouse over the weekend. Although overnight shipping is the fastest way to ship, it’s expensive. When shipping packages overseas to military personnel, be sure to follow current military and postal guidelines.
What are your best tips for packing and shipping cookies and other baked goods? What types of cookies ship particularly well for you?
2-1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup (2 sticks)unsalted butter
1 jar (10 ounces) raspberry preserves
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except raspberry preserves. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Remove 1-1/2 cups of dough and set aside for the topping.
3. Press remaining mixture on bottom of greased 8-inch square baking pan. Spread preserves to within 1/2 -inch of the edges. Crumble reserved dough mixture over preserves.
4. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until lightly browned.
5. Cool completely. Cut into bars.
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
These Dream Bars have all the brown sugar goodness of pecan pie, but without the nuts. My grandmother made these every Christmas. They are my father's favorite. I try to keep the tradition alive, making them every year, even if it's just a batch for him.-Beth G.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Crust: In small bowl, mix together butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 cup flour until crumbly. Pat dough into greased pan (8-inch square or 9-inch square). Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
3. Topping: In small bowl, mix together brown sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla, flour and baking powder. Stir in coconut.
4. Assemble and bake: Pour topping over baked crust. Return to oven (350 degrees F) and bake for about 30 minutes.
Toffee Bar Recipe from CHEFS Mix
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped (optional)
To Make the Shortbread:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch square pan with a thin layer of butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar. Add the flour and stir until well mixed. Press the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Set aside to cool.
To Make the Toffee:
1. In a small, heavy-bottom sauce pan, melt the 1/2 cup of butter. Add the brown sugar, condensed milk, and corn syrup, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
2. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring continually. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour toffee mixture over the cooled shortbread.
To Make the Topping:
1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Pour over the cooled toffee and sprinkle toasted almonds across the top, if desired.
2. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Makes approximately 16 squares.
Categories: Food & Recipes