The only thing better than receiving a care package is sending one. And we all know the best care packages contain food—or more specifically, cookies. But when sending a care package, you don’t want your cookies to arrive crumbly, broken, or stale. Sometimes in the shipping process, your precious goods will arrive at their destination not looking or tasting their best.
The Perfect CookieBake better cookies. America’s Test Kitchen has almost 25 years of experience in the art and science of cookie baking, and now you can find all of that wisdom in one beautiful hardcover book.
In this video, part of the “Kitchen Smarts” series on America’s Test Kitchen’s YouTube channel, Cook’s Illustrated test cook Lan Lam shows some tricks you can use to keep your cookies looking picture perfect and tasting like they just came out of the oven, even after their journey to your loved one. Here are some of our findings:
- Keep them separated: Moist cookies will transfer their moisture and make crispy cookies soft, which will in turn make your moist cookies stale. Aromatic cookies will also transfer their flavors to their neighbors, which could potentially taint the flavor of more mild cookies. To prevent this, give each type its own bag.
- Parchment paper isn’t just for baking: Bar cookies like brownies or blondies can get stuck together while in transit. This can be avoided by placing a small piece of parchment paper in between each brownie in stacks of four or five. Wrap the stacks tightly in plastic wrap to keep them fresh for their journey. Then put them in a zipper-lock bag, and close tightly.
- Pack with popcorn! Yes, you heard that right. You want to make sure your cookies are packed properly for maximum shock absorption. To do this, surround your wrapped cookies with three to four inches of lightweight bulk to help protect them. You can use traditional bulk like packing peanuts, but we like to use air-popped popcorn because it’s more environmentally friendly —and it smells great! Place the most delicate items in the center and cover everything on each side and on top.
Watch the Video
Ziploc Brand Freezer Bags with Easy Open TabsThis bag protected food from freezer burn and ice crystals for more than two months, and it stayed intact when filled with tomato sauce and dropped.
King Arthur Flour Parchment Paper 100 Half-SheetsThese precut parchment sheets, which come in a large plastic zipper-lock bag, are the only ones in our lineup that are stored completely flat. Their super convenience made them the runaway favorite.
Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container, Large, 9.6 CupThis container’s clear, lightweight Tritan plastic material stayed as clear and stain-free as glass, and its audibly snug seal didn’t leak, even when we turned the container upside down and shook it hard.
Here are some of our favorite cookies to gift to friends and family. Let us know yours in the comments!