Cookie boxes are my thing! I love shipping cookies to friends and family during the season! I have been doing this for years. And since this year is so special and you may not be able to see everybody you hold dear, how about shipping a cookie box instead? This post will let you know which type and size of box to choose, which cookies are best to ship with lots of recipe suggestions, how you make your cookie box look nice and give it a personal touch and how your cookies make it safe and sound without breaking or going bad. Let’s have a look:
#1 Which box is best to ship cookies?
It may sound counter-intuitive, but I do prefer rectangular boxes, even if round cookie boxes seem so much more common here in Germany. I find rectangular boxes so much better as you can easily create smaller compartments by cutting out some carton (yes, you can use an old cornflakes box) and by placing them inside your cookie box to create smaller compartments. So stacking the cookies becomes much easier as each has its small compartment and is protected even better. You probably could create something similar with a round cookie box, but I am very bad at this. This is not to say that you can’t use round boxes, but as stated, for shipping rectangular boxes are better.
A tin can will work best and can be found in German stores during this time of the year. Once I even bought a cookie box already filled with cookies in a grocery store and replaced those with my own homemade cookies. So you can go with tin, thick carton, or wood. Paper is not thick enough, you may only use it if you want to wrap single cookies in some extra containers.
The size is also tricky, they shouldn’t be too small as you won’t be able to put in any cookies (and they fill up much faster than you think), but also not too large. I would suggest about 17-20cm in diameter and 8-10cm in height for round cookie boxes, these are the ones I liked a lot. For a rectangular box again height should be between 8-10cm, the largest I shipped was 17cm in width and 20cm long.
#2 Which cookies can you ship?
First we need to consider whether you will be able to handover the cookie box or whether you will ship it. If you are going to ship your cookie box, you will need to avoid any fresh fillings, such as whipping cream and the like. Go with chocolate or jam, if with any filling. Then you need to ask yourself whether you can stack the cookies easily. If you can’t, it’s a sign that these cookies are harder to ship. Linzer cookies can be shipped, but you need to be careful and be sure to put parchment paper between the cookies so that they don’t glue together. OK, and now let’s have a look at some possible recipes:
Some recipe ideas:
Classic Christmas cookies: Snickerdoodles, Lebkuchen or gingerbread, German vanilla crescents, German cinnamon stars, German spice cookies or Pfeffernüsse, biscoff cookies, Heidesand, sugar cookies with royal icing, German nut triangles or Linzer cookies (may not work for shipping as beautifully)
Some more: Brownie cookies (has been declared the favorite cookie by many receivers), chocolate chip cookies, Baci di dama (Italian hazelnut cookies), monster cookies, chocolate cookies with caramel filling, and Nutella cookies
Below you will also find a visual guide for 18 cookie options:
- Brownie cookies (many times declared the favorite by the recipient)
- German cinnamon stars
- Biscoff pretzel (originally a cookie I formed to a pretzel and dunked in some chocolate)
- (“Ugly Sweater”) gingerbread
- Baci di dama (Italian hazelnut cookies)
- Nutella chocolate chip cookies
- Chocolate chip cookies with pudding powder
- Wreath cookies with rosemary and marzipan cranberries
- Linzer cookies
- Buttermilk oatmeal cookies
- Vanilla cookies with chocolate filling
- Coffee alfajores
- Cute little santas
- Sugar cookies with royal icing
- Black & White cookies
- Stained-glass cookies
- Vanilla crescents
#3 How many different cookies should I bake?
If you are going through the hassle of making a cookie box, I do think you should have at least three different types of cookies. If you are making your very first box, how about going with one classic recipe, one with chocolate and another of your choice. You can make many more, of course, but keep in mind that people usually have a hard time choosing a cookie if going overboard. I don’t think I have ever made more that 9 different cookies. You may be surprised how much room different cookies need and your cookie box may fill up quicker than you thought.
#4 How much in advance can I start?
You can prepare, bake and pack the cookies all in one day, of course. You may even enjoy a cookie party and decorate away. On the other hand, you may belog to the small group of people like me who likes to prepare well in advance and I have very good news for you: almost all cookies can be frozen easily! So you can start whenever you want and once you have baked everything, you just wrap the frozen cookies carefully and send them their way. Isn’t that awesome? I have heard my share of stories of people believing it wouldn’t take that long to make the cookies who ended up with a hot oven until very late at night. Definitely not my thing. I work full-time, so what I like to do is make only one type of cookie per night and freeze them until it’s time for the cookie box. The only important thing is that you freeze the cookies with no filling, like the Linzer cookies. If possible, also do the chocolate decoration on the day you want to ship them, but other than that, no problem.
#5 How does the box look extra nice?
Most importantly, try using different cookie shapes. Not all your cookies should be round, not all cut out with the same cookie cutter. Also, try to use different colors. You may like the lightly colored Heidesand beside some gingerbread, you may dunk some in chocolate and keep others plain. And don’t worry, even if you make sugar cookies only, color some in red to make cute little santas, add some spices to make biscoff cookies and paint some with royal icing. I usually try to find a nice little cookie cutter I include as a special gift in the box. This will make the box look super nice, and also animate your friend to start making their own cookie box. If you are looking for cute Christmas cookie cutters, check this store.
#6 How do I wrap the cookies best?
First I usually place the cookie box into another slightly bigger container. Make sure that this second box is filled with bubble wrap, old newspaper or similar so that your cookie box does not move and is properly protected.
As a general rule of thumb you should only stack the same kind of cookie on top of each other. If you want to hand over fragile cookies such as French macarons, you may use a small jar to give them extra protection and place this inside the cookie box. Round cookies such as chocolate chip cookies can be stacked back to back in pairs of two. You may also wrap them in additional cling wrap. If you want to send Linzer cookies and are scared that the jam may glue them together accidently, cut out small squares of parchment paper and stack them with these squares in between. Be sure that you stack the cookies high, you don’t want them to get broken. I usually place extra napkins or newspaper on top before I close the cookie box with the lid.
Once you put the cookie box in your second container, be sure that it does not move and has protective newspaper or similar all around.
#7 Don’t forget to include a nice Christmas card!
Be sure to include some nice words with your surprise. Usually all regular stores offer lots of cute wrapping papers and other add-ons to make your cookie box extra special.
I hope this post inspired you to ship cookie boxes this year. If you have any further tips, by all means, please leave a comment, happy to learn more about this!
P.S.: Many German cookie recipes only require one egg yolk. If you have no idea what to do with leftover egg whites, check out this blog post. You can freeze egg white or make some German cinnamon stars.