Shipping cookies should be easy, fun, and stress-free. Let me share with you how I package cookies for shipping to ensure your homemade cookies arrive fresh and with minimal breakage - if any at all!
I show love by feeding people, and one of my favorite ways to let someone who is far away from me know I am thinking of them is to send a package of homemade cookies. I like to include a variety of cookies, but I keep the number of recipes I use to the rule of the thirds:
And I always include at least four individual cookies of each recipe so that they're getting at least a dozen cookies in their package.
When choosing the best cookies for shipping you can't go wrong with sugar cookies, blossom cookies, chocolate chip cookies, cut-out cookies and drop cookies. Cookies with a firmer texture such as biscotti or short bread cookies lend themselves as another delicious cookie to package and ship. Keep in mind that you'll want to choose cookies that are similar in shape and size to make it easier to package together.
Here are the cookies that I used for my most recent cookie packages:
While every cookie is delicious, there are cookies that aren't conducive for shipping. Any cookie that requires refrigeration such as mini cheesecake bites or a cookie that has a cream cheese filling are not safe to ship. I would not suggest shipping a cookie with a soft frosting because that frosting could either fall off or smash in shipping, no matter how you wrap it up.
Additionally, cookies that are delicate such as almond lace cookies and sand tarts are not the best for shipping due to the fragile nature of their beautiful delicate edges.
Part of the fun for packaging up cookies to give as a gift is choosing the wrapping, container, and packaging material that will be both attractive and protective of your baked goods.
Plastic wrap is my go-to material for wrapping cookies. It keeps them fresh longer and you are able to showcase the beauty of your homemade cookie. Whatever you choose, be sure to use a food-safe wrapping option like parchment paper, cellophane bags, waxed paper, or aluminum foil.
There are two different wrapping methods I use depending on what type of cookie I am sending.
Wrapping Sugar Cookie Blossoms - I wrap traditional sugar cookie blossoms by placing them bottom side together, matching up two of similar size. Tear off a piece of plastic wrap and center the HERSHEY'S KISSES Candy of one the blossoms under the wrapping. Then pull the wrapping to the back and gather it together.
Wrapping Drop or Round Cookies - Repeat the process of matching up cookies, bottom sides together and then stack 2 or 3 pairs together. Place them on a piece of plastic wrap and fold over the wrapping to cover the cookies, just like you'd use wrapping paper for a tubed-shaped gift. Gather the excess wrap and twist it to close the package. Repeat on the other side.
Choose a container that is appropriate for the gift-giving occasion. One of my favorite ways to gift cookies is to stack them in a clear, wide-mouthed glass jar. Plus, I attach the recipe with a ribbon. Here are some more ideas to inspire you:
There are some lovely reusable plastic containers available, and many will have holiday decorations already printed on them. You can even reuse tube chip containers to ship round sugar cookies. When choosing a cookie cutter, I would go a size or two smaller than the opening to account for the spreading of the cookie in baking.
Before adding closed containers of cookies to a larger shipping box, turn them upside down and see if there is any shifting. If you see or feel cookies sliding, tuck a mini marshmallow in the box to secure them and help them stay in place.
Now that you have baked and packaged all of your cookies, it's time to get them on their way to their destination. Here are my tips on how to make sure your cookies arrive as beautifully as they came out of the oven.
Choosing the right box to ship your packaged cookies in is important. I suggest a box that is made of corrugated cardboard. This is the kind of box you typically get your online shipments deliverd in. And if you are like me, you have a few ready to be broken down for recycling that can be saved for shipping cookies!
Next, you'll consider size. The box should be big enough to hold your packaged cookies and the cushioning material, but not too big that the box is more packaging material than it is cookies. A snug fit will also help prevent breakage. Additionally, postal carriers will not only charge by weight but also by box dimensions.
When it comes to finishing touches, do not add string or ribbons to the box. "Brown paper packages tied up with string" will get caught in modern package sorting machines. Be kind and don't use twine!
When choosing your cookie packaging filler, the material should have minimal weight but enough mass that it will be able to absorb any shifting and bumping the box may experience without breaking the cookies. I like to find a balance of sturdy, yet light. While traditional packing materials like crumpled newspaper, shredded paper or upcycled bubble wrap are easy options, you could get creative wth:
Before closing your shipping box check to see that everything is not going to shift. If there is a small gap at the top, inflate a zip-top bag to fill the space.
When sealing up your snack, be sure to use the packing tape - not masking tape or gift wrap tape. Packing tape has been tested to hold your box closed through the entire shipping process.
The United States Postal Service has a variety of shipping services and price points. They can help you calculate how much it will cost to ship different weights and sizes of packages to specific zip codes with a variety of timelines.
One of their flat rate boxes is an option. If it can fit in the box, it will ship for a predetermined price, no matter how light or heavy it is. When using a flat rate box to ship cookies, check to see if it is a better deal to ship a larger box filled with more cookies at a first-class rate.
Cookies are considered perishables, and each carrier has guidelines and recommendations on shipping.
Yes. And there are lots of ways to ensure your cookies stay fresh and arrive unbroken. But be aware of the outside temperatures of not only where you are mailing from but where you are mailing to. If you are shipping to a warm state like Florida, the chocolate in your cookies may start to melt by the time they get to their destination. Chocolate starts to soften around 80 degrees.
There are many factors that go into calculating the shipping cost of mailing cookies: the size of the box, the weight of the package, the distance it has to travel in a designated time period and the carrier you choose. You'll need to determine which is best for you.
The key to keeping cookies fresh in packaging is to remove as much air from the wrapping as possible. Air circulating around cookies either individually or in small bundles will optimize your chances of the cookies arriving fresh.
Placing cookies in the freezer for up to 24 hours before sending can help them to arrive fresh. If you don't have time to freeze, make sure your cookies are completely cool before wrapping and create an air-tight seal around your treats!
Baking and shipping cookies to your long-distance loved ones is a sweet and simple way to show you care. With a little creativity, you can ensure they arrive undamaged and utterly delicious.
Sarah is a classically trained Pastry Chef and for the past 14 years has been helping home cooks prepare recipes with professional results as a culinary blogger at Savoring The Good. Combined with 19 years of experience being a mom, she knows what it's like to nourish families through both food and love!