31 Treats That Can Stand up to Cross-Country Travel

November 28, 2016

If you're anything like me, at this time of year, package after package starts showing up on your doorstop...packages that are filled with gifts you've purchased for other people. So when a little, unexpected package shows up with your name on it, well, it's a day-brightening experience that won't soon be forgotten—and it just might inspire you to send one of your own.

Whether you're planning on shipping homemade treats to loved ones for the holidays, or gearing up for our community-wide Holiday Swap (Have you signed up? Today's the last day to join in!) we've got dozens of ideas that are good contenders for a care package—and a few things to pass on, too:

  • Skip anything USPS (or whatever shipping company you're using) tells you not to ship.
  • Don't include anything perishable or prone to melting, rotting, or otherwise becoming gross by the time it reaches your recipient.
  • Save crumbly cookies, like sables, for lucky recipients in your own neck of the woods.
  • Avoid glass containers (unless you're sending homemade preserves, in which case, proceed, but wrap them really well!).
  • Include quick breads and little cakes with caution. Even if they're wrapped well enough to survive the journey and stay fresh, they could get smooshed unless you pack them thoughtfully.

Sturdy Cookies & Bars

Nut mixes



Candies & Caramels


The Unexpected

Little Extras

Really want to impress your recipient? Skip the packing peanuts and cushion your bounty with popcorn (sans butter) instead!

Of course, everything you tuck inside your package needn't be homemade. Surprise your recipient with a book you've recently read and loved, edible treats from a local artisan, or little gifts like these found in our Shop:

For even more ideas, peruse the Food52 Holiday Swap Tumblr to get inspired by the gifts Food52ers have sent each other in past swaps.

Tell us: What will you be including in your care packages this year?

Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
View Maker
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker

Choose your holiday adventure! Our Automagic Menu Maker is here to help.

View Maker

Join the Conversation

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • MadeleineC
  • Josh
  • enbe
I like esoteric facts about vegetables and think ambling through a farmers market is a great way to start the day. My first cookbook, available now, is called Cooking with Scraps.


MadeleineC November 29, 2016
Check out the USPS flat rate boxes - they are often a lot lower in cost, especially for things that are relatively heavy for their size like jam, quick breads, etc.
enbe November 29, 2016
Great tip! They ship quickly, have tracking, and the medium & large ones are perfect for tons of goodies.
Josh November 28, 2016
I've had great luck shipping fudge to friends all over Canada. Real fudge though not the fake condensed milk kind. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it just tends to melt at room temperature.