The Very Best Cookie Recipes for Shipping

vanilla-bean sugar cookies
Alpha Smoot

There's no better way to send some love than with a package of homemade cookies. Follow our tips and tricks for making sure those cookies are just as tempting and tasty when they get to their destination as they were on the day you baked them.

When it comes to mailing, not all cookies are created equal. Cookies with uniform shapes and sizes are the best for packing—avoid those with odd angles and irregular shapes. (Sorry, reindeer sugar cookies! Your antlers just aren't going to survive the journey.) Circles, like the Vanilla-Bean Sugar Cookies shown here, as well as squares, triangles, bars; anything that can be stacked and packed snugly together is a good choice.

Next, think about the texture of the cookies you want to gift, and eliminate from your list anything that is especially crumbly, delicate, or sticky. The best kinds of cookies for mailing are those that are firm and crunchy—like shortbread, biscotti, and gingerbread—and those that are somewhat soft and chewy, like snickerdoodles, molasses cookies, brownies, and other bar cookies.

After your cookies are all baked and decorated, be sure to give them time to cool completely and check that the icing (if any) has dried. Fresh-from-the-oven cookies might be a real treat in the moment, but they will fuse into one gooey, crumbly mass if you pack them up while they're still warm.

The best cookie shipping vessel is an airtight food storage container or tin. Fit the cookies into the container snugly, with as little space in between them as possible. If the cookies are at all soft, put a sheet of parchment paper between each layer so they don't stick together. If you're mailing more than one kind of cookie, pack any crunchy cookies separately from the soft ones so they all maintain the right texture.

Finally, pack your container of cookies into a larger box with padding on all sides (crumpled paper, foam peanuts, or air-popped popcorn) to give your treats a smooth ride all the way to your lucky friends and family.

01 of 12

Peppermint-Candy Sugar Cookies

Sang An

It's never been so easy to decorate sugar cookies: simply roll soft-and-chewy sugar cookie dough in crushed peppermint candies for instant holiday vibes.

02 of 12

Gingerbread-Cookie Letters to Santa

envelope cookies
Louise Hagger

Crisp, spicy gingerbread rectangles magically transform into sweet letters to Santa with just a little bit of royal icing.

03 of 12

Spiced Fruitcake Bars

fruitcake bars
Johnny Miller

These divinely decadent morsels, packed with dried sour cherries, apricots, cranberries, and currants; spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and doused with Cognac will make you forget every fruitcake joke you've heard.

04 of 12

Coconut-Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

christmas pinwheel cookies birds-eye view
Bryan Gardner

Chewy coconut cookies with a swirl of fudgy filling will become an instant holiday classic in your family.

05 of 12

Lemon Spice Butter Cookies

David Meredith

Slice-and-bake butter cookies are flavored with nutmeg, vanilla, and lemon, and rolled in sparkly sanding sugar for the perfect festive finish.

06 of 12

Cranberry Coins

Johnny Miller

Simple butter cookies take on a holiday dimension with tart, chewy dried cranberries in the mix.

07 of 12

Tropical Fruit Biscotti

tropical fruit biscotti
Alpha Smoot

Biscotti very well may be the perfect holiday cookie: They're easy to make, keep for months, and are endlessly customizable with the fruits, nuts, chocolates you love best. These biscotti are studded with dried papaya, crystallized ginger, and pistachios and just might be our most colorful biscotti recipe yet. Don't forget the secret to biscotti success: Always use a serrated bread knife for slicing!

08 of 12

Chewy Chocolate-Gingerbread Cookies

chocolate gingerbread cookies
Joseph De Leo

Irresistibly chewy molasses spice cookies get the holiday glow-up from semisweet chocolate chunks.

09 of 12

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
linda xaio

Just like Grandma used to make… but better, thanks to the addition of pumpkin purée and extra holiday spices.

10 of 12

Peppermint Bark Cookies

peppermint bark cookies with melted mint on top
Lennart Weibull

You won't believe how easy it is to dress up these chocolate-chunk cookies with some holiday magic: just melt old-fashioned starlight peppermints in the oven and attach those fanciful swirls with a bit of melted white chocolate.

11 of 12

Mocha Shortbread


Cocoa, espresso, and crunchy cacao nibs bring the sophistication to sweet, buttery shortbread.

12 of 12

Peanut-Butter Sandwich Cookies

peanut butter sandwich cookies stacked on top of one another
Lennart Weibull

These are no ordinary peanut butter cookies! Oats add a toasty flavor and chewy texture, and the sweet peanut butter filling doubles your peanutty pleasure.

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