Shipping cookies is one way we connect with our loved ones in other parts of the world. Whether you're packing cookies to ship to a barracks in Korea or a college dorm you want them to get there fresh and unbroken. This is the best way to pack cookies for shipping and it's not really that difficult! I promise they'll arrive intact and ready to eat if you follow these steps for packing them. With three sons in the military I've done this a time or two! This post has been updated from the original November 2009 version.
Shipping Cookies Overseas without Tears
O.k. maybe some tears.
The tears that fall as you pray over the cookies hoping your son or daughter (or husband, or friend) is safe count as tears! The tears you shed because of the sweet memories that fill your mind as you pack them? Those count, too. However, with this method of packaging you won't be crying tears of frustration. The cookies will get there fresh, unbroken, and yummy.
...so you can smile about that, right?
I wanted to send a test batch to Chris in the Middle East, time how long it took them to get there, and how they were once they were there. I figured that way it would be documented and not rely on my memory. So, A few weeks ago (in October 2009!) Kyrie and I baked Chris two kinds of cookies; chocolate thumbprints and blueberry white chocolate drops. We wrapped them carefully and sent them out...and we waited.
We mailed them out on October 27 and they got to Chris on November 5. But..were they crumbly? Broken? Stale?
Chris said that they were perfect. Not one was broken, not one was stale. And he was having to fend off his friends. So this is a success story!
I first found this method of shipping cookies in one of my World War II cookbooks. It was the recommended method for packaging baked goods to send to loved ones all over the world in a time when mail was much slower than today. (Do keep in mind that it still takes weeks for a package to arrive in some remote military destinations ... plan accordingly!)
I figured if it worked then it would work now...and I was right.
How to Pack Cookies for Shipping
Packing cookies for shipping (so they don't break) isn't difficult at ALL but it IS tedious. It takes some time so grab a cup of coffee and put some Bing Crosby Christmas songs on your playlist (no matter what time of year it is) and let's get to work!
First of all you'll need:
- a food safe plastic bin with a lid or several depending on how many cookies you're sending
- a cardboard box for shipping
- bubble wrap
- packing tape
- a thick sharpie
- parchment paper
- tissue paper
- cling wrap
Packing Cookies so They Don't Break During Shipping
So, the question remains, how DO you pack cookies for shipping? And just as important - how do you pack cookies to keep them fresh?
First you are going to set one lone cookie on cling wrap. Use a good cling wrap - the kind that is SO frustrating because it sticks to everything? Yep - that's what you want here. Since I did this post in 2009 I have learned that placing the first cooking upside down works best.
Have some parchment cut about twice the width of your cookies. I found that parchment works better than anything else. You could use waxed paper but it didn't work as well for me.
Lay one piece of the parchment over the top of your lonesome cookie there on the plastic wrap.
Now place another cookie on top of the parchment. Place this one right side up - that way the two flat sides are together and kind of support each other.
Wrap the two cookies securely in the plastic wrap. No need to trim the parchment unless you want to because it looks better.
Repeat with ALL the cookies. Don't wrap two different kinds of cookies together - the flavors will blend and ...ew. Pad the bottom of the plastic bin you are going to ship cookies in with bubble wrap or a layer of scrunched parchment.
Gently push parchment or tissue paper between the bundles to keep them from moving around and to help cushion them even more. Add a scrunched layer to the top.
Now you're going to place the top on the bin and give it a gentle jiggle. Do the cookies move around? If so you'll want to add some more tissue paper. This method of shipping cookies really keeps them fresh and unbroken!
- Place bubble wrap in the bottom of the shipping box.
- Place the bin(s) in the box.
- You can push tissue paper between the bins to secure them even more but you don't have to.
- Place another sheet of bubble wrap on the top.
- Shut the box and tape it securely with the packing tape.
- Address it and head for the post office!
- Plan on it taking 2 weeks during most of the year and 3 weeks during the holidays for a package to get from the United States to a military base in Japan or Korea. If you have a kiddo on a Navy ship in the middle of the Mediterranean then it will probably take a week longer than that - plan ahead and ship early!
Final Notes on Packing and Shipping Cookies
So, you're ready to ship cookies overseas. Here are some final thoughts-
As long as you pack two cookies together you can send almost any kind of cookie without a problem. You don't want to send something cream filled or very perishable. In fact - I made a dairy free chocolate filling for the thumbprint cookies and that worked really well.
If you are sending bar cookies like these brownies then you'll want to bake them in an aluminum foil baking pan and leave them right in the pan, uncut. Cut a sheet of parchment to fit over the top then wrap in plastic wrap - then aluminum foil. They should be fine!
Cookies with dried fruit in them stay fresher during long shipping times. The dried fruit releases moisture.
So what are you waiting for? Shipping cookies is a great way to say, "I love you and miss you" anytime... And if you need some ideas you can start with this list of 50 Christmas cookies!
You May Need...
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You can use the cute Christmas and holiday tins for shipping cookies but the plastic food storage containers work just as well and they are cheap! I go through a lot of parchment paper in my kitchen! And... don't forget the bubble wrap!