Does anyone have tips for packaging, shipping, and gifting cookies for the holidays?
I ship them every year around the holidays and use the flat rate boxes from the post office. I put each type of cookie in cellophane bags tied with ribbon and place them in the box with lots of paper or bubble wrap in between and around each bag, you want to make sure they are packed tightly. Put paper or bubble wrap on the bottom and top of the box also. I always hear back that the cookies arrived in perfectly intact.
I ship a lot of stuff through the post office and have learned that the flat rate priority mail boxes from the post office are a terrible deal, unless you are shipping anvils. Save boxes from whatever, and ship via priority mail. They'll weigh the box and it will always be cheaper that using the post office's flat rate boxes.
smslaw, sometimes that may be true, but often it's not. I live on the West Coast and have been sending holiday packages to the East Coast (and care packages to my sons when they were at school in CT) for years. When not shipping jars of blueberries, jam, chocolate bark and other heavy items, which I know are more cost effectively shipped across the country using the Flat Rate boxes, I always weigh and compare. Even with a relatively light box (2 lbs.), you do save by using Flat Rate Priority, when shipping from one coast to the other. For a 2 pound box, you save $2.50 by using the medium flat rate box. I did a comparison once for the heavier items I always send to certain family members -- not anvils, but a half dozen jars of berries, jams and other condiments, plus a tin or two of cookies -- and found that the cost savings was over $12 on one box. And I've found that packages weighing five pounds or more sent from San Francisco to L.A ship for less using the flat rate option. So the lesson here is to get a few flat rate boxes, get out your scale, wrap and pack, and then compare. Everything you need is online at the USPS site. ;o)
I'm also a fan of flat rate boxes. Last year, I got a lot of cookie tins from Ikea, packed a variety of cookies with lots of waxed paper in the tins, and packed the boxes so the tins wouldn't move around. It worked fine.
I like flat rate boxes, too! Lately, I've been buying pretty, practical storage boxes (e.g., the fancy red-lidded Rubbermaid ones), or glass oven-to-freezer lock-top covered dishes, in which I place the cookies, layered in a lot of parchment paper for protection, then bubble wrapped and packed fairly tightly. I also put cookies in tins, also layered well with parchment, and will continue to do so for certain recipients. For family and close friends, though, I've found that new, year-round storage containers (especially the glass ones!) are much appreciated. Other tips for storage: always pack different types of cookies/treats separately. Yes, you end up with a lot of containers, but there is no transfer of odors. And here's another idea, for the ultimate unbreakable holds-well-for-shipping: Homemade marshmallows! I'm making a wide variety this year, and for certain special recipients (e.g., relatives and friends who I know enjoy using their fire pits in the winter), I'll include bars of nice quality dark chocolate and homemade graham crackers, so they can make s'mores. I'll include mulling spices for cider and some homemade hot cocoa mix as well. Here's the FOOD52 recipes for graham crackers: http://www.food52.com/blog...