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Who doesn't love receiving a box packed with delicious home-baked treats during the holiday season? If you're planning on baking up batches of sweets to ship out to your favorite people this holiday season, these quick tips and tricks will ensure that everything arrives in perfect condition!
1. Know what ships well (and what doesn't):
The first step in ensuring that your goodies arrive scott-free is to pick a recipe that stands up to the bumps and bashing that a package can endure when in transit. Moist breads hold up surprisingly well, as do brownies and bar cookies. Avoid cookies that are delicate, thin or crisp. Anything that isn't particularly sturdy won't fly. Think of hardy cookies like gingersnaps or biscotti. Also avoid anything with perishable fillings. Those cream cheese-filled whoopie pies are best saved for another day. Brittles and hard candies also ship well.
2. Wrap it right:
How to wrap your baked goods depends on what you're sending. Candies can be nestled tightly in tins. More tender cookies, like chocolate chip, can be paired back-to-back and wrapped as duos in plastic wrap. Pack the pairs in a plastic bag and wrap with bubble wrap. Brownies should be cut into small-but-not-too-small bars (about 2 1/2" to 3" bars--too big and they'll break, too small and they'll dry out), wrapped individually in parchment paper and packed in a box or tin. Breads can be shipped whole in disposable paper loaf pans. Wrap the entire loaf in plastic wrap and it's good to go.
3. Stop the shaking:
Cookies and baked goods break when they crash against one another or the side of the box. To keep cookies from cracking, limit their rockin' and rollin' ability. Pack tins and boxes tightly, nestling the treats together to prevent them from shifting around. If packing in plastic baggies, expel most of the air from the bag before you complete sealing them. Wrap the baggies and boxes in bubble wrap before placing them in your shipping box.
4. Perfect peanuts:
The real secret to breakage-free shipping lies in packing peanuts. Sure, the traditional packing peanuts aren't great for the environment, but several companies now offer biodegradable options. Packing peanuts cradle delicate packages better than other options, and that means sweet treats that arrive in tact. Fill your shipping vessel 2/3 with peanuts and nestle in your containers of cookies or breads. Fill the shipping box the rest of the way and seal.
5. Sturdy shippers:
Be sure to use a shipping box that is in good shape. Boxes break down as they are used time and time again. Newer boxes are better able to sustain impact or the weight of other boxes.