Taking cookies to the office party? Gifting them to a friend? Shipping them to a faraway family member? This guide has our 30 best cookies for the job and a guide to packing them up so they arrive safely.
Need an awesome cookie for the office holiday party that won’t crumble on the way to work? Thinking about shipping some cookies to a faraway friend or family member? Want to wrap up a few cookies for an easy hostess gift?
Cookies are one of the best, kindest, and most sincere gifts that I can think of. Nothing is more special than receiving a few special treats that someone not only took the time to make, but also wrapped up just for you.
But not all cookies travel well from kitchen to destination. That’s where this round-up of recipes come in! Below are all our favorite cookies from Simply Recipes that sturdy enough to pack up, but delicious enough to make your best friend smile.
This should come as no great surprise to you, but sturdy, solid cookies stand up to a little jostling much better than delicate or crumbly cookies.
Specifically, these kinds of cookies are best gifting, shipping, or sharing:
Drop cookies, like chocolate chip cookies, crinkle cookies, and peanut butter cookies
Slice-and-bake cookies, like butter cookies and pinwheel cookies
Meringue cookies and macaroons
Sandwich cookies (unless the filling is very gooey)
Bar cookies, like brownies and blondies
Candies, like fudge, chocolate bark, and rum balls
Frosted cookies are ok as long as the frosting is set and hardened. Cookies that have been frosted with buttercream tend to soften and smear when stacked together. They can usually make it the short distance to your office, but probably not to your bff living across the country.
Proceed with caution when it comes to rolled-out cookies like gingerbread people or sugar cookies. If you plan to ship them, I suggest rolling them slightly thicker than you might otherwise. Also, use cookie cutter shapes that are fairly solid, like trees and hearts, as opposed to shapes with delicate parts that can snap off, like snowflakes or candy canes.
Even the sturdiest cookies will start to crumble if they’re left to tumble willy-nilly in a Tupperware container while you go from Point A to Point B. Here are a few tips:
If you’re driving: Pack your cookies in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Add a few paper towels or clean dish towels between the layers to prevent the cookies from sliding around or falling sideways. Add enough layers so the lid helps hold them in place, but don’t cram so many cookies in there that the lid smooshes the top layer. More containers is better than smooshed cookies!
If you’re taking public transit or flying: Same rules apply, but think about the orientation of your cookies while they’re in transit. If your backpack is going to mostly lay flat on your journey, then slide the cookies in sideways so that they’re facing up while the backpack is flat. (I’m Type A, so yes, I really do obsess about things like this!) You can also carry also always carry your cookies in your lap and fend off neighboring space-hoggers with your elbows.
If you want to serve your cookies on a pretty platter: Carry your platter with you and arrange them once you arrive. Don’t be tempted into arranging your cookies first and covering them with plastic wrap. I guarantee you they will not arrive at their destination looking as pretty as they did when you set out.
Packing up cookies so they survive a journey through the mail takes a little more planning that packing them up for the office. Here are some tips for packaging your cookies to help them survive the journey and still be fresh when they arrive at their destination.
Plastic wrap is your friend: Bundle drop cookies, spritz cookies, biscotti, and meringue cookies in pairs with their bottoms kissing, as if you were making a sandwich cookie. Wrap rolled-out cookies, slice-and-bake cookies, in stacks of three or four. Wrap bar cookies individually.
Choose packing peanuts over bubble wrap: I know, I know — packing peanuts get everywhere and are kind of a headache. But in this case, it’s worth it because your cookie bundles will be more evenly cushioned on all sides. Peanuts also prevent the cookies from sliding around in the box, which they sometimes do when packed between layers of plastic wrap. (Alternatively, gently wrap the bundles in plastic wrap to create a cushion!)
Pack it up, but not too tightly: First, add a layer of packing peanuts. Next, add your bundles of cookies. It’s fine if they’re snug against each other (plastic wrap also clings to itself, after all, so bundles that touch is more insurance against free-wheeling cookies), but don’t pack them too tightly or too close to the edges of the boxes. Finally, cover with another layer of packing peanuts, making sure to fill the edges of the box and in between the bundles.
Multiple layers of cookies: If your box is big enough, you can certainly do two or three layers of cookies. I try to position the bundles so that they’re not directly on top of each other, so the bundles in Layer 2 are slightly offset from the bundles in Layer 1.
Updated November 23, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle!
These sturdy cookies are great choices for a care packages and cookie trays. Shipped fresh, they should arrive just as perfect and beautiful as the day they were mailed. Using plastic wrap, bundle these in pairs with their bottoms kissing, as if you were making a sandwich cookie.
These homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies are the BEST! One special ingredient helps deepens the flavor and gives the chocolate chip cookies a chewier texture. Save this chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's that good.
These are the best peanut butter cookies ever! Use your favorite store-brand peanut butter and a combination of white and brown sugar. For the best cookie shape, let the dough chill for at least three hours before baking.
Oatmeal and chocolate chips are great together. Add in some pecans and coconut and we're pretty excited. But it's the brown butter that take these cookies over the top!
Slice-and-Bake Cookies, Meringue Cookies, and Friends
These little treats also travel very well. If your cookies have flat bottoms but mounded tops, like drop cookies, package them in pairs with their bottoms kissing. If your cookies are of the flat on both sides, stack them in groups of three or four and then wrap in plastic for shipping.
Pecan pralines are more than the sum of their parts: pecans, sugar, cream, butter, and vanilla. They're a rich, crunchy, candy-coated indulgence! Make them for a holiday cookie tray or to ship to a friend.
Peppermint Bark is so festive and so EASY! This recipe uses both peppermint extract and crushed candy canes to make it an extra-special holiday treat. It makes a great holiday gift for teachers, neighbors, and friends!
Bar cookies travel very well and need almost no help if your destination is close by. If you're shipping them in the mail, however, wrap each one individually and then stack them two or three high in your mailing box. This will keep them fresh and prevent them from crumbling.
Emma Christensen is the Editor-in-Chief of Simply Recipes, and has over 10 years of experience creating food and content for web and print. She was formerly the recipe editor for The Kitchn and is the author of three books on home-brewing, True Brews, Brew Better Beer, and Modern Cider. Emma is a graduate of The Cambridge School for Culinary Arts and Bryn Mawr College. She lives in San Jose, California.