Packing Cookies for Shipping

Nothing warms the hearts of out-of-town relatives and friends like receiving a package from home. And when the parcel contains a pretty tin packed with home-baked cookies, their delight is undeniable. To ensure the mouth-watering morsels are at their best upon arrival, review these packing pointers.

Bake and completely cool cookies just before packing and shipping so they're as fresh as possible.

Determine which cookies to mail based on their fragility. Many bars, brownies and drop, refrigerator and sandwich cookies are fairly sturdy and travel well. Some cutouts and shaped varieties are a little more delicate and more likely to break. Cookies requiring refrigeration are poor choices to ship because they'll spoil.

To help the cookies stay fresh and intact, wrap them in bundles of two (for drop cookies, place their bottoms together) with plastic wrap. It's best to wrap bars individually.

Pack crisp and soft cookies in separate tins. If they're packed together, the moisture from the soft cookies will seep into the crisp cookies, making them lose their crunch. Consider shipping soft cookies by express mail so they'll be moist upon arrival.

To help retain the best flavor, don't put strong-flavored cookies (like gingersnaps) and mild-flavored ones (like sugar cookies) in the same tin.

Line a festive tin or box with crumpled waxed paper to help cushion the cookies. Snugly pack the cookies to within 1 inch of the top. Use crumpled waxed paper or bubble wrap to fill any gaps between the cookies. Add more waxed paper or bubble wrap over the last layer to cushion the cookies and prevent them from shifting during shipping. Close the tin or box.

Place a layer of crumpled paper, bubble wrap or foam shipping peanuts in the bottom of a cardboard box that is slightly larger than your cookie tin. Set the tin on top, then add more paper, bubble wrap or shipping peanuts.

Seal the box tightly with tape, label the top and sides of the package "Fragile and Perishable" and adhere a mailing label.