Homemade cookies are just too good to keep all to ourselves . . . well, sometimes! When you do care enough to send your treats to someone across the nation, remember these rules to keep your edibles from becoming inedibles.
- Choose a winner! Bake and send only those cookies that will keep well. Many drop, refrigerator, shortbread, and hand-shaped cookies hold up and keep their freshness. Crumbly cookies, delicate dainty ones, sticky cookies, those with moist icings, or cookies requiring refrigeration obviously won't hold up well via snail mail. As lovely as they are, chocolate-dipped cookies aren't a winning choice for shipping, either. The various temperatures through which the package may be subjected may melt the chocolate, harden it again, and crack it, resulting in less-than-picture-perfect treats.
- Segregate! Don't wrap moist cookies (like brownies, bars and cake-textured drops) with crisp cookies. Their moisture will soften the crisp ones or make them sticky. Wrap the moist cookies tightly in plastic before placing with other cookies.
- Wrap away! Wrap cookies well to maintain freshness. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap individually, double the pack by wrapping cookies bottom to bottom, or stack cookies. Layering in attractive tins, durable plastic containers, disposable loaf or pie pans also works well. Use wax paper to separate the layers and pack the cookies tightly so they won't move around and knick edges off during shipping. Make sure the final wrapping is airtight.
- No rock'n or rollin'! Once your cookies are wrapped and placed in your container of choice, crumple wax paper and stuff it around the cookies in all the empty spaces to ensure that no rattling occurs during shipping. Next, pack the cookie container (or individually wrapped cookies or stacks) inside a larger box. Pad the bottom, sides, and top around the cookies with a filler (newspaper, styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, popcorn, tissue paper). Close the box and tape securely with packing tape.
- First-class, please! Send your cookies first class so they'll arrive to the recipient in as short a time as possible. Overnighting or express shipping is ideal. While the thought will be appreciated, the cookies may be inedible if sent overseas, unless you can expedite shipping.
* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *