Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How To Ship Cookies to a Boy.

Let's talk about love. Long-distance love. And boys. And cookies. And boxes.

I've been dating my boyfriend for three years, three months, and fifteen days. What? Crazy. We met in college... back when I didn't bake and had super-short red hair and dreamed of being the next Veronica Mars.
We've been long-distance for... oh geez, I hate math. Three years, three months, and twenty-two days minus my last two semesters. So... about 2 years and three-four months... minus trips home and holidays. This just got confusing.

It's not always easy. Long-distance means cramming a month of love and dates and arguments and face-to-face conversations into a 48-hour weekend. It means staying up until you're bleary-eyed at 2 AM & playing Battleship on the phone (and winning). It means spending New Year's, birthdays, and anniverseries alone when work or life gets complicated... or having to text "Merry Christmas!" instead of rolling over in bed and saying it yourself.  
This just got very real life. 
The facts: My boyfriend had a not-so-very-great week. Work. Car stuff. It's hot. He misses me. Hopefully. Obviously. Basically? He needs cookies.

Have you ever shipped cookies to anyone? It's no easy thing. My parents sent me a box of home-baked Christmas cookies when I was away at college... UPS delivered a box of crumbled cookie crumbs. It was delicious, but I had no idea what I was eating.

Let's do this. 
First things first: bake some cookies! Obviously. Brownies work too, if you're into that sort of thing. Something classic and comforting and chocolatey... but nothing too fragile, soft, or crumbly.

I recommend...
Chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate chip M&M cookies. Boys like M&Ms, did you know? It's like a thing.

Graham cracker s'mores cookies. Perfect for summer.

Snickerdoodles. Cinnamon + sugar + cookie dough. Because who says no to that?

Cowgirl cookies. Oats. Chocolate. Pecans. M&Ms. Do this. But... yeah. Without the pink. Don't do that.

Marbled chocolate chip cookies. They look fancy and impressive, but are secretly super easy.
I decided to make double chocolate chunk Oreo cookies. <-- Good decision.
Bake your cookies. Let them cool completely. <-- Super important. 

And be sure to eat one warm from the oven, purely for research purposes. It's important.
While you eat them they're cooling: since you're already baking cookies for a boy, don't stop there. Go all out, like it's high school. Pretend it's 2001 and you're still passing notes between classes and wearing butterfly clips in your hair. Burn that man a CD. 
Because really. Who hates music? Exactly.
Drop some love in that box. Write a note! Handwrite it. No, really. It's fun. It's like Dear John, but with a way better ending. Seriously. 
Okay. Now the fun/crazy part. How to ship these across the state/country/world without them breaking. There's probably a hundred different ways to do it, but here's how I do it:

Stack the cookies in groups of three or four and wrap them as tight as you can with cling wrap. This keeps them from smacking against each other in the box and getting all crumbly. They'll stay fresh longer too!
Put them all in a big Ziplock bag and zip that thing up. 
Wrap the bag with a couple of layers of paper towels. Put that bag in a box and surround it with crumpled newspapers. (Or take it to UPS and have them surround the bag with packing peanuts... that's what I did since I didn't have any boxes.)

Shake the box like a crazy person. Throw it across the room. Pretend you're a FedEx truck. The cookies  should be safe and secure and definitely not moving. 

Mail it!

I shipped these across the state Friday morning & they arrived Tuesday afternoon, fresh, intact, and delicious. Four and a half days in a box and still in perfect uncrumbled condition, without dropping $75 (seriously. $75. What? Crazy.) for next-day shipping? Victory.