A version of this post originally appeared on GoodCook.com
‘Tis the season for holiday baking, and the best way to spread festive cheer is with a delivery of homemade baked goods. A package of delectable cookies or irresistible bars is the perfect way to let your loved ones know that you’re thinking of them. We’re here to make sure those heartfelt gifts don’t arrive rock hard or in a pile of crumbs. From the moment your cookies come out of the oven, we’ve got the best tips and tricks for storing, wrapping and shipping your homemade treats so they stay as fresh, intact and delicious as possible. Watch the video here.
Whether your treats are being delivered down the street or across the country, sturdy, airtight containers make it possible to deliver a stack of cookies to your loved ones without sacrificing cookie shape or flavor. Make sure to have several sizes ready so you can send a small package to a single friend or a larger container to a family. The best containers also feature BPA-free material and lids that snap on for a tight seal, perfect for maintaining the freshness of baked goods.
What treats do ship well?
Before getting started, we’ve got some suggestions for selecting the best cookies to send, since some cookies aren’t travel-worthy. DON’T ship perishable cookies or bars that need refrigeration like cheesecake bars or custardy Nanaimo bars. Delicate and fragile cookies like Madeleines don’t ship well either. DO send dense cookies or bars that hold their shape well, like brownies and blondies. Drop cookies, like chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, gingersnap or this 3 cookies from one dough recipe also ship well. Firm-textured cookies like biscotti, shortbread or Mexican wedding cookies ship well, too.
Tips for packing baked goods:
- Place heavy, dense bars on the bottom of the each container, then layer with lighter cookies.
- If you’re shipping several different cookie flavors (like peppermint and cinnamon), store them in separate containers so the flavors don’t blend.
- If you plan to freeze your treats, freeze them separately on a baking sheet or cookie tray first. Once frozen, transfer to an airtight container.
3 Fun Ways to Wrap Your Baked Goods
Half the fun of the holidays is the wrapping! Package your baked goods for gifting using one of these 3 fun and festive techniques.
Furoshiki: a modern take on Japanese cloth wrapping
- Cut a large square of fabric
- Place your package in the center and fold each of the corners toward the center.
- Knot edges atop the container using a simple square knot.
Snowman Wrap: DIY decor for reusable containers
- Cut red adhesive felt lengthwise into 1-inch strip
- Cut fringe along the end of each strip to make a cheery scarf and attach to the container.
- Stick on black buttons with double-sided tape.
Ribbon Wrap: turn your baked goods into a beautiful gift
- Tie with curling ribbon or a bow
- Decorate with natural elements like pinecones, jingle bells or rosemary
How to Ship Baked Goods
Once your baked goods are wrapped, prepare them for safe travels no matter the distance.
- BUNDLE UP: Plastic wrap each individual baked treat before packing in a decorative box and/or shipping container.
- COZY UP: The shipping box should be a sturdy cardboard box that’s large enough to allow two inches of cushion. Insulate around your wrapped goodies using crinkle paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts or by wadded up packing paper to keep them safe and secure during transit.
- SEAL AND LABEL: Seal the box with adhesive packing tape and mark the package “Perishable Food” and/or “Fragile”. Happy baking, and happy packing, wrapping, and shipping!
Packing and Shipping Do’s and Don’ts
- DO cool your cookies before packing them. A wire cooling rack is perfect for this task.
- DO wrap individual items in plastic wrap or foil.
- DO store cookies and bars in airtight containers.
- DON’T store soft, moist cookies near firm-textured cookies like biscotti. The biscotti will absorb moisture and lose crunch.
- DON’T overstuff or under stuff your containers. This can damage cookie shape and cause breakage. If you have extra room in each container, add paper towels for cushion and bulk.