• Wed, Jan 23 2008

Absolutely the BEST Cookies to Ship to Iraq

Suzanne asked about the best cookies to ship to Iraq, and I wanted to go ahead and devote a post to the recipes.

Chris/Kyrie: Leave 2006

You see, my son leaves for his second tour of Iraq in a month. From there he will head to an Asian country for two years. I understand the heart of someone who wants to send some “home” to someone they love. I understand praying that the cookies make it and that somehow they will miraculously create comfort and warmth in the heart of the receiver. And I know, too, that cookies do exactly that.

peanut butter cookies

I know it because once upon a time, many eons ago, in the dark ages, I was in the military too. And I know what it is to close your eyes, stick your face in the box, and smell that amazing scent of “home”. For a moment, you are there.

So, again, when Suzanne asked, I decided to not just email her, but to check my WW2 cookbooks to see what THOSE women sent overseas. And then I checked for the best, the very best, packing instructions. These cookies are guaranteed to get there fresh, delicious, and in no more than two pieces…I can’t do better than that…I have been subjected to military shipping myself, remember.

Packing:

1. Use a vacuum sealer. Seal the bag and then place the sealed bag into a bag that you blow up like a balloon. Just place to original bag in, zip all but one edge, blow it up like you were inflating a party balloon and finish zipping.

2. Pack the inflated bags in popcorn.

3.Another thing to do is to be sure to use a label on each package. For example:

4 doz. chocolate chip cookies

Baked 1/23/08

4. Add a packing list to the inside of the package, with the recipient’s address as well as your own.

O.k…so now that that is out of the way…which cookies are best to send?

Remember the 40 Best Cookie Recipes for Shipping? Well any of those are great. But OF those there are a few that are the absolute best.

Basically good candidates for shipping are not crispy cookies, but cookies that are chewy. Dried fruits in the recipes will help the cookie stay moist and fresh longer. Cookies with eggs in the recipe are by far better travelers than cookies without eggs.

And remember to pack some pictures and some prayers…Because those are the things that keep you going when the cookies are long gone.

If you are serving, thank you so much. If you have a loved one serving, again, thank you so much. My prayers are with you, always.

This is me in 1979: Marc in 1979 Chris in Iraq 2006

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  • Ginger

    {{{{Marye}}}} I know you must miss your son. Shoot, seeing Marc in his uniform makes me miss my son and he is only an hour away up at Camp Pendleton!. I saw him on Saturday.

  • http://www.marriageactually.com Kerri

    I’m always worried about baked goods getting there in one piece! We’re sending my brother Girl Scout cookies from his Brownie niece. :)

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  • norma

    someone just mentioned a chicken/artichoke pie, looked for it -couldn’t find it–help please.sounds wonderful…norma..p.s .i’m praying for your dad too!

  • maddie

    my son is in iraq, i would like to send him banana nut bread.will it make it & not mold or get yucky. please let me know

    • Lydia

      I sent my husband banana bread (minus the nuts). He said when it arrived that it was half moldy… since he had been there for several months by then, he took off the moldy half and ate a bite of the other part that was ok. He said it tasted great. LOL I’m not sure how that would work… I’d like to know the answer as well. I suggest sending christmas baked goodies the end of november… since shipping is usually very late during the holidays.

    • http://www.themondaybox.com/ Wendy

      Banana bread is not a good choice for care packages that travel for long periods of time or in the heat. The moisture in banana bread is more likely to mold. Also the fat in nuts often goes rancid in high heat. Find a quick bread recipe that doesn’t contain moist fruit (chocolate, cinnamon, etc.). Baking in a jar often keeps the quick bread fresh longer but not indefinitely!

  • http://www.blisstree.com maddie

    my son is in iraq, would like banana nut bread, will take 7-10 days, will it make it & not get yucky. anybody know

  • ali

    HI I my husband just left for Iraq and from talking to the ladies who have done this before ( and the soldiers) they say that you shouldn’t include things like chocolate chips because they all melt and make a huge mess. Have you found this to be true?

    • mel

      chocolate can be sent between the months of September and March without it melting too much if at all. If you are unsure that it will be cool enough to send without melting you can always use M&M’s

    • http://www.themondaybox.com/ Wendy

      Chocolate chips baked into something (rather than sitting on top) are supposed to change chemical composition in the baking process (according to Nestle Test Kitchens) and can be used in desert safe recipes.

    • Alley M

      use m&ms the candy shell keeps the chocolate from melting

  • http://laurasbestrecipes.com Laura

    Hi Marye, These are great recipes and information. I have a recipe blog and several military families have asked about recipes and shipping oversees. In an effort to give them as much information as I kind find, I’ve re-posted this recipe and linked back to this site. I hope your son remains safe and please thank him from all of us for his service. Best wishes, Laura

  • Jennifer

    Does anyone know of a lemon cookie recipe that will ship to Iraq well?

  • Mona

    I found a banana nut bread recipe that is titled Davises’ Banana Bread for The Troops that has been in use since Desert Storm. I assume this recipe was developed or modified specifically to ship to the troops and has been tested for enough years, including Operation Iraqi Freedom, that it gets to its intended destination okay without getting moldy. I just found the recipe and haven’t tried it yet myself. Maybe it would be worth it to bake a loaf and pack it up the same way as if you were going to ship it, but Don’t. Then after a week or 10 days, unpack it and take a look at it to see what condition it’s in, and if you’re really brave, taste it. Maybe I’ll try that too. But I wouldn’t ship it where you know the mail takes longer than a week and a half. DOes anyone else know of any other quick bread recipes that they or others have tried and know for sure would do well to ship to Iraq or A-stan?

  • Anne

    My Husband is on his 3rd deployment to Iraq. I find great joy out of sending him goodies and he loves having a taste of home. I send a wide variety of cookies, brownies, Rice Krispie Treats, and breads in a jar. I havent sent anything yet that has gone bad or fallen apart. What I use for packing them is Ziploc large rectangular containers . line them with parchment or wax paper, place the cookies in 2 rows long ways, top with parchment or wax paper, place a piece of bread on top of that(helps keep them moist esp summer time) then use Glad seal n wrap on top of that and press and seal inside the container. I do the same with brownies and rice Krispie treats. And I just recently started sending bread in a jar, found a recipe on line , and its great. And when you pack your boxes, pack them tight , leave no room for movement.

  • Danielle Marie Black

    My brother has asked me to send a care package to his best friend whose stationed in Iraq. He suggested I include my Scottish Dundee Cake or a light British fruit cake.

    Dundee cakes are preserved w/ whiskey. British fruit cakes are preserved w/ rum and/or brandy. I baked several cakes today for Christmas. I will feed them w/ alcohol several times over the next week. I will then wrap them up and store them until Christmas. These cakes will actually keep for several months w/o going dry. Does anyone know if it will cause problems for my brother’s friend if I send him a cake that is preserved w/ alcohol? I know the military has some rules regarding alcohol, but I don’t know what they are.

    Thanks for the information.

  • kelly

    What about peanut (or other nut) brittle? I was thinking it stores for a long time and if it breaks, well . . . it’s supposed to break. Has anyone tried that?

  • Amy

    Has anyone ever heard of cookies and baked goods tasting like plastic by the time they get to Afghanistan? or going stale? This is our second time sending packages (first time didn’t get a review) and we just want to be sure we’re not just sending stuff they’ll have to throw away.

  • Heather

    Hello!

    I REALLY want to send my boyfriend (who’s in Afghanistan) rice krispy treats made with fruity pebbles. He loves them!! I’ve been wanting to send them to him for a while but I’m not sure how to pack them or if they’ll even make it there unspoiled. I didn’t see that they were in the list of “40 best cookie recipies for shipping” so I want to know if they are a good idea.

    Can you help me please???

    Thank you!
    Heather

    • scootz

      I’m new to this sight. My son requested the fruity pebbles treats too. Did you send them and how did it work out? I don’t see a response to your post

  • Lydia

    About the rum cakes… once baked, the alcohol evaporates leaving only the flavor. The military boys will get in trouble drinking alcohol, but rum cake or brandy cake shouldn’t be an issue… I suggest not putting in so much as to where they’ll get a buzz, but they can still enjoy the novelty of “alcohol” overseas. :)

  • Shell

    I read somewhere that soldiers in Afghanistan are not allowed to receive baked goods with allspice or nutmeg (because of Muslim dietary laws). Is that true? I love Molasses cookies, but don’t want to cause trouble for him. Also, some sites advised baking with Crisco and white sugar to avoid spoilage. Do you think that is necessary if I am using a vacuum sealer?

    • lorri

      soldiersangels.org has a bakers club..they would know what you can send for sure

  • kate small

    I lived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 15 years and both nutmeg and allspice were readily available!!! So no Islamic restrictions and in fact allspice is used in Lebanese cooking.

  • Renee

    On my soldiersangels.org site, they suggested a long time ago that if you are unsure about anything spoiling, to place a piece in the trunk of your car and leave it there for 10 days. If it’s not moldy when you take it out, it’s safe to send. It requires an extra batch but you will know for next time.

  • Crystal

    Heather, I just sent my bf some and they got there fine, I put them in a disposable tin that comes with a cover that you can get at the grocery store. Before closing the tin I put syran wrap down and then closed it. They got there great!!!

  • Cassaundra StJohn

    I have over 100 women on a list that would love to receive goodies from home…if you would like to help-pls send me an email cassaundra@f7group.com

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  • Marye Audet

    Maddie, Banana bread is too moist. It will get there moldy or in crumbles. You could try banana muffins but that would be iffy. My son has been in Iraq twice and it has always taken more than 7 days…, usually closer to 14-20.

  • Anne

    Look for Banana nut bread Jar recipes . Make just as you would regular bread , but you will bake it in a mason jar, once you remove it from the oven , wipe the rim of the jar clean , place the lid on ,it will seal itself. Last up to a year. Just wrap the jar extremly well in bubble wrap.

  • Marye Audet

    Ali I have not. But what I do is take two cookies and put the flat sides together and wrap in plastic wrap. Then I do the same with the rest. It helps them to get there in one piece AND keeps them from becoming melty. At least my son hasn’t complained yet. :)

  • Marye Audet

    Thanks Laura. I generally prefer that you just link back to my page with the recipe title. Thanks for letting me know.

  • Marye Audet

    Jennifer…try the blueberry white chocolate on this site..but leave out the blueberry and add more lemon zest…those should ship well if you wrap them carefully.

  • Marye Audet

    Mona,
    quick bread may not be a good choice. It is just so iffy as to how long items will take to get there!

  • Marye Audet

    great idea Anne!

  • gail

    i never heard of that but tht would be a great ideal have to try it dome time

  • Marye Audet

    those are great tips, Anne

  • Danielle Marie Black

    Try substituting M&Ms for chocolate chips. The shells prevent the chocolate from making as big a mess.

  • Danielle Marie Black

    Thank you for your ideas. My brother has asked me to send some baked goods to his best friend whose stationed in Iraq.

    Can you please post the link for your bread in a jar recipe?

  • Marye Audet

    More than likely it will get sticky and melty from the humidity.

  • Marye Audet

    Amy that is very odd! I haven’t heard of that

  • Karen

    I doubt the cookies would taste like plastic by the time they got to Afghanistan (unless you used a really cheap, bad brand of plastic wrap instead of something like Saran Wrap.) But if you are concerned about this happening, you can always wrap the baked goods first in parchment paper and *then* wrap them in plastic. That way, the parchment paper acts as a barrier between the food and the plastic wrap.

  • Marye Audet

    Yes they will work just fine. Cut them and wrap individually with plastic wrap. They will actually keep longer than most varieties of cookies. Better send double..I know when I send to my son they disappear within minutes…and not by him

  • Marye Audet

    thanks for stopping by Gail. :)

  • Marye Audet

    thats a great idea. :)