Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How to Pack and Ship Cookies for the Holidays

If you're sending cookies to friends and family here and overseas (military), you'll want to get started. I've put together a few helpful hints, and I welcome any other tips that have worked for you. There are many ways to actually send them--USPS, FedEx, UPS.

So here are several tips on how to pack cookies to ship.

Start with the right type of cookie. That's key.

Cookies to avoid: Fragile, buttery cookies that could end up as crumbs .. although I like cookie crumbs. Cookies with jam or cream-filled centers. Cookies that will be smudged or broken if stacked together. If you're sending cookies to the military in arid areas, you might want to avoid gooey chocolate cookies, but chocolate chips, chocolate cookies and brownies should be fine.

Cookies to include: (Of course I'm linking to Chocolate Cookies): (Drop Cookies) Chocolate Chip or (Bar Cookies)Biscotti, Gingersnaps, Sugar Cookies, Shortbread or Oatmeal. There are plenty of others.

Always Double-Box your cookies. You can use plastic containers or a a sturdy carton or box to hold cookie containers. Always add packing materials around the first container. More on that below.

Now for the actual cookie box. I'm partial to decorative tins. I pick them up at the flea market, garage sales and the White Elephant Sale. They're pretty and useful. However, you may want to use locking plastic containers which create a good seal every time. Alternatively, you can use a shoebox or a coffee can. Whatever you choose must be clean and 'scent' free.

Be sure and line the container with parchment paper or crumpled wax paper.

I probably don't need to remind you, but you should wrap different types of cookies separately, so the flavors and textures don't 'leak'. Crisp cookies get soggy next to soft ones. You can use plastic wrap between layers--and over the top.

Even better is to cushion each cookie. Wrap them in pairs or individually in plastic wrap or small plastic bags. Then put them in ziploc bags. Stack them in your container vertically or horizontally, packing tightly to avoid them moving, but not too tightly that you crush them.

Here's a great tip to keep your cookies fresh and moist. Add some marshmallows to the tin--loosely-- not in plastic.

If you're not using plastic sealed boxes, put plastic wrap over the top of the box before you close the lid, letting it drape over, to create an airtight seal. If you're using a tin, tape around the lid to add to the seal.

Before putting your container of cookies in the shipping box, put packing materials around for cushioning. Use a heavyweight cardboard shipping box, if you can. Bubble wrap or crumpled newspaper or foam peanuts  are great for cushioning. Write fragile and perishable on all sides of the box.

Send overnight if you can, so they don't end up sitting in a warehouse. If not, be sure and mail early in the week, so they don't end up in the warehouse.

My friend Rhonda is a UPS driver, and when I posted this a few years ago, she made an important addition. Be sure and have the right address. Check it twice. And, if you know it, include a phone number. You have no idea how many boxes are misaddressed. You don't want to end up with returned stale cookies.

What cookies are you sending? Any other packing tips?

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