Sunday, December 11, 2011

COOKIE CHRONICLES - Wrapping it up.

So, you're finally done, or at least done enough that you can start dividing cookies into tins, bags, plates and keepers for storage, travel and gifting! This is a milestone in the life of a true preparer of holiday foods! An accomplishment!  Sit back for a moment...maybe take a swig of well deserved Egg Nog!  Well done! back to it!
Antique cookie tin
I usually start collecting coffee cans, cookie tins and little dishes for gifting well in advance of the Holiday season. Garage sales and thrift stores are great for this sort of thing.  But don't overlook your friends for these resources! Many of them received tins of cookies in previous years, or have odd dishes, bowls or baskets they don't want anymore.

Offer to liberate your friends of these contrivances.  Then try to remember not to give the same things back to them filled with your cookies!  Good for a laugh, but gee.

There are folks out there who collect tins for collecting sake; they've been around a very long time and many have interesting designs on them.  Some tins come in the shape of other objects, like gingerbread houses, barns and even fire engines!

Imagine your special recipient's face when they open a specialty tin to reveal your very special cookies nestled snugly inside!  Talk about two gifts in one!

What ever you decide to use, there are a few things to remember if you want your cookies to survive travel and handling.

Storing stars and angels
1) Cookies break.  Pack cookies as follows: Heavy ones first - like Oatmeal Raisin, for example.  That's a nice, heavy base, albeit a bit bumpy.  Next should something like the chocolate chip, peanut butter or molasses.  This due to their density and/or rigidity.  Light cookies and cut-outs should go on top, as they have a tendency to break easily.  Putting them on top cuts down on the amount of shifting they might do between the other layers....thereby improving their survival rate.

2) Cookies go stale. All your hard work could be for naught if the cookies arrive stale, hard and otherwise inedible.  Hey, we're not making refrigerator magnets here!  It might be wise to put the cookies in plastic bags within the tins....especially if you're not distributing right away.

3) Flavors transfer.  If you don't want your Peppermint Pinwheels interfering with your Peanut Butter & Jelly Drops, put them in separate tins and only combine at the last minute.  I'd recommend putting each variety in its own plastic bag. 

4) If sending through the mails, I'd recommend all of the above, plus bubble wrap around the cookie tin before putting it in the shipping box.  Mark "Fragile" everywhere and hope for the best.  Hey!  Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn't.

5) Make sure you keep a few cookies for yourself!

If you have any other suggestions, ideas, recipes or memories feel free to share them!
And as always, Enjoy!

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