Problems shipping cookies?
Hi, I'm merchanfan. I'm a college student and my mom has been sending me cookies in care packages. Normally, her cookies are really good, but the last two years they have had this strong chemical aftertaste like wool or mothballs or something. I've been trying to figure out what mistake she could be making with shipping, but it doesn't seem to be a common problem. The worst offenders are things that were in Ziploc bags inside the box, especially stuff with raisins or nuts.
Any idea what could be the problem or just tips on how to prevent this?
They don't come in broken or stale, but just taste really weird and not good at all.
Depending on a lot of possibilities (how hot they were when bagged, what temperature changes they encountered in shipping, humidity variations over time, etc.) preventing the cookies from developing off flavors might require a lot of experimentation. I'd suggest you ask Mom to wrap them individually in tissue paper, parchment paper or waxed paper with layers of bubble wrap between layers of cookies and see if that doesn't solve the problem for you. Line the edges of the box with the bubble wrap too and you should find that they ship just fine.
Where is she getting the boxes she uses for shipping? Shoe boxes (commonly used for shipping cookies) are not a good choice.
She uses old Amazon boxes mostly. Generally, she'll pack some cookies in with Ziploc bags along with maybe a sweater and other things. I feel like the one's in plastic containers fare a bit better, but the nuts still taste off. I don't think it's a recipe change because when I have them at home they taste fine still. A tin probably would be the best choice, but it's not practical for me to constantly get tins. I'd have to ship them off or something.
I'll ask her to try wrapping them in parchment or waxed paper next time. Also, thanks for just how quickly you all replied. Usually I'd be lucky to get one reply in a day on most forums.
I've shipped cookies, brownies, cakes all over the world and never had a complaint. I've never put them directly in ziploc bags - instead, I like a cookie tin (brand new and food safe) with parchment paper and put the cookies in there. To make sure the cookies don't move around a lot, I cover the cookies in parchment place a piece of bubble wrap over it and cover and seal the tin.
Maybe I'm overdoing it, but like I said, I'm sending them internationally. No issues.
Just to consider all the possibilities, are you sure the problem is with the shipping? She hasn't altered her recipes or started using different ingredients, has she?
When my mother ships me cookies, she puts them in a tin or box, each layer separated by wax paper, and instead of bubble wrap or styrofoam peanuts, she uses popcorn (air-popped so there's no oil, unsalted, etc). They've always been fine.