Hello friends and welcome to my accidental cookie factory!
This marks my fourth year celebrating the holidays at The Bakehouse! Home sweet home – where the oven is always on and the refrigerator is home to at least two batches of cookie dough. This marks the first year not having an old fashioned cookie swap party on the big dining room table. You might think that’s slowed down my cookie baking but it most certainly has not. Is it even the holidays if the house doesn’t smell like gingersnap cookies?
This year I’m gifting cookie tins, cookie boxes, cookie bags to friends and neighbors in New Orleans and cookie shipments to friends across the country. I’ve got a tiny tree and no parties to speak of, but still loads of holiday spirit.
The offering today is my thoughts on how to package cookie tins and boxes for mailing. If you’d like thoughts on cookie gifting that doesn’t need shipments, there are some great ideas on page 82 of Joy the Baker Magazine along with a handful of cookie recipes you might just love. All bases, covered.
Let’s box, here’s how!
What makes a cookie suitable for shipping?
We want a cookie that’s durable and has a decently long shelf life. Think about something like fudge for durability. Think about a cookie with add-ins like peanut butter and molasses because the extra fat and sugar moisture will lengthen the shelf life of the cookie.
The cookies I’m racking up today are: Chocolate Peppermint Black and Marble Cookies // Peanut Butter Cup Holiday Cookies // Brown Sugar Gingersnaps from Joy the Baker Magazine // and Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge, amen.
But friends! There is more cookie inspiration below and really more cookies than I can count here on Joy the Baker.
What supplies do you need for shipping?
Here are the supplies I use to put together my shippable cookie tins. I’ll provide links but absolutely encourage you to reuse boxes, tins, and packaging material you might have lying around the house from previous packages. All of this packaging material is stuff I’ve saved from previous packages. We’re being clever where we can this year.
• White Metal Tins: I used the 7 3/4-inch round tin but really, any tin from the craft store or amazon that feels like it can hold cookies is great!
• Crinkle paper filling, like shredded paper or paper bags cut into large strips.
• Bubble wrap or bubble wrap bags
• Shipping box, tape, holiday stickers, et al.
I start by wrapping my cookies in pairs in plastic wrap. Our work is to keep the cookies contained and fresh. Plastic wrap is the start.
Shipping Tip: Wrap the cookies bottom to bottom to keep the top of one cookie from rubbing weirdly.
This plastic wrap dispenser was a gift from a Bakehouse student who saw me struggling with plastic wrap during a class. She came back with this present / absolute life changer.
The peanut butter cups instead of Hershey kisses in these cookies are no accident! They make these Peanut Butter Cup Holiday Cookies perfect for stacking bottom to bottom, wrapping, and shipping.
Whether you’re using a cookie tin, a berry box, a baking bag, or a baking box, cover the bottom with a layer of frayed paper cushion.
For extra assurance, you can place cookie packets in a bubble wrap pouch. It helps protect the cookies from jostling and helps keep them fresh during shipment. Totally optional and you don’t have to bubble wrap every cookie pack. Bubble wrapping one cookie helps protect the cookies around it.
Arrange the cookies in the tin or box, and add more crinkle paper.
Similarly, add a few cookie packs to a berry box, stuff with crinkle paper and tie into a cellophane bag.
Label the cookie tin lid with the names of the cookies with paper and tape or stickers.
Add a wired bow, a satin bow, a coffee filter snowflake, a simple holiday tag – anything you have, anything you like.
Now it’s time to prep the shipping box. Our goal is to secure the cookies so they don’t move an inch!
You may not have the very same box, that’s totally ok! You want the box to be a few inches longer, wider, and taller than the packaged cookies – thats the only rule.
Pack a generous amount of filler into the bottom of the box.
Add the tin and again pack a generous amount of paper filling into
Close the box and give it a shake – a good shake. You don’t want to hear or feel any cookies move around. If you hear something rattling around, take out the tin or box and pack it a little tighter.
And off we go to the post office or shipping station. I try to ship my perishable packages 2-Day. I know. It’s a little spendy but we’ve already gone to this much trouble and we want the cookies to arrive as fresh as possible. Besides, it’s cheaper than overnight shipping?
What cookies should you pack in your cookie tin? Don’t worry – I’ve got pleeeennntttyyy of ideas for you. This is my life’s work.
• The Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies: a chewy, deeply buttery cookie that is also delicious a few days past baking when it becomes nice and crisp.
• Grapefruit and White Chocolate Cookies: a twist on a classic with creamy white chocolate and bright zesty grapefruit zest!
• Confetti Holiday Shortbread: little cookie bites. Once you pop, you can’t stop. These are buttery delicious and super fun and easy to make with kids.
• Classic Iced Oatmeal Cookies: one of my favorite cookies. Super earthy, sweet and comforting. The may crisp a few days past baking but they’re equally delicious.
• Spiced Mulled Wine Fruit Bars: These bars really only get better with time. Crisp butter crust, dried fruit and mulled wine – they’re so rich and flavor and are sturdy enough to ship.
• Chocolate Sprinkle Crinkle Cookies: a double chocolate, brownie-like cookie topped with chocolate jimmies. The oil helps keep these cookies soft for days!
• Blueberry Cobbler Thumbprint Cookies: a crumbly cookie with a sweet fruit center topped with a crumble topping. They’re crisp and just slightly chewy in the center.
• Browned Butter Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats: no one every had a bad day when a krispie treat is involved and that’s just facts.
Happy Holidays friends! Gosh, I know it’s a weird holiday in the most challenging year but I hope this inspires you to find some joy in the kitchen and ship that goodness off to people you love. Maybe you’re even close enough to drop cookies on a friend’s doorstep. However you give, I hope it fill you right up too.
You’ll let me know if you have any questions or suggestions in the comments below!
Photos with Sarah Becker.