It’s amazing how many factors play into successfully delivering a care package with baked goodies inside. Experimentation and trials among military spouses and families have generated some helpful tips for giving your treat the best chance to find its way into the mouth of your loved one.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when sending baked goods in a care package:
Moist, soft surfaces lend themselves to mold growth, so avoiding brown sugar, corn sugar, molasses and honey is in your service member’s best interest. Stick to table sugar when sweetening your treats.
Butter makes baked goods taste better. Just ask Paula Deen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make goods ship better. Butter, margarine, peanut butter and nuts have fat in them that can easily go foul in high heat. Don’t worry though. Butter-flavored vegetable shortening can step up as a substitute.
Contrary to common sense, chocolate is OK for overseas shipping if baked correctly. Chocolate chips, chocolate candies and other melt-prone ingredients such as butterscotch can be used if they are baked into the goodie. Once baked into the batter, chocolate can take in moisture and stay relatively firm.
Vacuum-sealing baked goods may be your best bet for getting them overseas in tact, but families have also found success with Ziploc bags and Tupperware. Don’t stress too much if you don’t have a sealer. Here are some tips to test:
While a frosted birthday cake may be tempting to send your service member, it would be quite difficult to get it to him or her intact. Families have found sending a cake in a jar with a tub of frosting works well. Other goodies that travel well include brownies, drop cookies and sandwich cookies.
Some families find Pringles cans serve as a great protector for cookies and other treats. Adding a piece of bread in with baked cookies can help regulate moisture levels and keep cookies soft. And for a final tip, you can try freezing your treats prior to vacuum sealing them to help them arrive as fresh as possible.
Photo courtesy of neil conway