Mail-able, edible gifts?
December 6, 2011 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Suggest delicious homemade edible gifts, yet again! Difficulty: specifically looking for (relatively) shelf-stable and mail-able recipes.

I'm looking to branch out from my traditional Christmas fudge this year, and have been enjoying browsing Metafilter's umpteen-billion edible gift threads. Many of the people on my list are at least a few states away, though, so when exploring all these new recipes I worry about hard-to-predict preservation issues during mailing: will the meringues turn gummy after a few days? Will the cookies stale? The peppermint bark arrive melted or bloomed?

I was wondering if any MeFites might be able to suggest recipes for sweets that, in your experience, reliably hold up in the mail, or under a moderate period of careless storage?

(As an added difficulty, some of my giftees are denture wearers, and some are allergic to chocolate, so I'd especially love ideas for the ever-elusive easy-to-chew and non-chocolate candies. Thanks!!)
posted by Bardolph to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I mail cookies all the time. Put them in some ziplock bags or put them in tins and then ziplock bags and ship them out. So long as we're talking the USA, they'll get it in like 3 days at the most and it'll be fine.

I've also done apple pies in jars and cupcakes in jars.

For the jars, I just used flat rate shipping.

I can imagine haystacks working well. As well as brittle and praline. Muffins, breakfast breads, etc. Anything you think you could keep on the counter instead of in the fridge should be eligible for mailing.
posted by royalsong at 12:11 PM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]

Also, those apple pies in jars? One of the most fun times I've had baking in a long time. You effectively get to play playdough with pie dough.

My inner 5 year old was thrilled.
posted by royalsong at 12:14 PM on December 6, 2011

posted by msconduct at 12:20 PM on December 6, 2011

posted by bq at 12:39 PM on December 6, 2011

Chex Mix.

It's not sweet, but it's the favorite food gift of almost everyone I know.
posted by imjustsaying at 1:01 PM on December 6, 2011

These hot chocolate mixes in a conical bag always look pretty good to me and should be pretty easy to pull together.
Dried brownie mix in a jar with the dry ingredients layered also looks good.
Mulled spice is good for given to adults and can be put in a nice little sac.
Mixes that can be added to sour cream/may/cream cheese are real winners as everyone needs to make dips over the holiday season. Just look up dried dip recipes and then put the ingredients into a nice little jar with lid that would be big enough to hold the wet ingredients. Perhaps though in a little wooden knife or spoon and then you have a very convenient gift for someone.
posted by YukonQuirm at 1:30 PM on December 6, 2011

ANZAC biscuits are particularly noted for being shelf-stable for mailing purposes.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:54 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Apple or pumpkin butter, preserves, chutneys, and the like are all shelf stable, if you're into canning. Spiced nuts would hold up well, as would homemade crackers or shortbread.
posted by rebekah at 2:47 PM on December 6, 2011

Nthing cookies. I put the cookies (sugar, gingersnap, oatmeal craisin) in a ziplock bag then in a tin or decorative box. Also rum balls and biscotti. I like to make mini pound cakes. They hold up really well. I like this site.
posted by shoesietart at 3:18 PM on December 6, 2011

My stepmom makes these candied chili pecans that are amazing (and I'm sure would last well). Probably any kind of nut thing would work well. I've also had good experience with mailing brownies (wouldn't work for some of the people on your list) and fruitcake (no, don't groan, just make it with good quality dried fruit instead of candied, and it'll be awesome). Sugar plums would also work well. Also, I've had boxes of cookies mailed to me before and have never noticed a problem with them in the midst of being delighted that someone mailed me cookies.

Memail me if you want recipes of anything specific.
posted by Margalo Epps at 3:22 PM on December 6, 2011

Fruitcake mails well, and Alton Brown's recipe is deelish. You're a bit late for this year -- I start mine in late November -- but for the future?
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:22 PM on December 6, 2011

Two words: bourbon balls. (In the aforementioned gallon ziploc bags shipped inside empty coffee cans.) My mom makes these every year, and everyone loves them. They taste kind of boozy, but there really isn't all that much bourbon involved.

Hoping for my own package of bourbony-love-goodness to be coming my way soon...
posted by smirkette at 5:02 PM on December 6, 2011

Last year we did 2 Christimas gift foods: chili pepper macadamia nuts (big hit with all but the faint of taste) and spicy beef jerky. Both mail well, are relatively light weight so cost effective to mail, and easy to prepare. Oh and they have a relatively long shelf life, the nuts especially so if refrigerated after opening. I know the jerky might not be the right thing for the denture wearers, but if they can suck on it long enough to make it more pliable then they might enjoy it.
posted by motown missile at 9:08 PM on December 6, 2011

Best answer: Peppermint bark is awesome. I've never made it, but I think I'll make some this year and it looks easy.
posted by fiercekitten at 10:07 PM on December 6, 2011

Biscotti is easy to make, mails well and is still good even when it goes stale!

I use this recipe but there are lots of variations out there.
posted by burntflowers at 4:36 PM on December 7, 2011

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