Tips for Sending Cookies to the Troops
- I use the recipes off the packages of
chocolate chips and oats. If you do not have time to bake from
scratch, "extra moist" or cake mix that contains pudding
makes a very good cookie. The basic recipe is 1/2 cup vegetable oil
and 2 large eggs per box. You can be creative by adding Rice
Krispies, raisins, white chocolate chips, M&M's, etc. Bake at
350 degrees for 9-10 minutes (but underbake at least one
- If you send peanut butter cookies or
any cookies that contain nuts, please label each bag "contains
- Underbake the cookies about one minute
to preserve the freshness.
- In humid environments, add 1/2-1 tsp.
of baking powder per batch.
- Chocolate chip (substitute with
M&M's May-October), oatmeal-raisin, peanut butter and
snickerdoodles are the most popular cookies.
- Freeze the cookies until you are ready
to ship them.
- Avoid sending moist breads (such as
banana bread) during humid summer months--they mold quickly.
- I use regular fold-top sandwich
bags, no zip-locks. Put 6 cookies front to back in the bags and
twist-tie them. It will look something like a "tube." Be
generous with your packing material which can be Styrofoam
peanuts, bubble wrap, plastic grocery bags, or shredded paper.
Nest the cookies in the packing material. With careful packing,
you can get 5 dozen cookies, individual packets of drink mix,
i.e., cocoa, tea bags, Kool-Aid, etc., hard candy and your letter
in each box.
- Any toiletries should be packed in
separate boxes from the cookies.
- Include notes to the soldiers
thanking them for their service to the country. Ask them for names
and addresses of other soldiers, especially those who get
- Due to the large number of boxes we
send and the increase in postage, for individual requests we are using the
new Flat Rate Box #1 which measures 12x12x5 1/2. The Large Flat Rate boxes for Military
are $12.95. The Medium Flat Rate boxes are $10.95. These "Priority Mail" boxes, the customs
forms (I use 2976-A) and pre-printed return address labels come in
units of 25 and are available at no charge. Simply go to the USPS
website or call 1-800-222-1811. These supplies will be
delivered to you at no charge. For only a few boxes and customs
forms, visit your local Post Office.
- Once the box is full, shake it to
ensure that nothing is moving. Add more packing if necessary,
especially in the corners.
- Make sure that all boxes are
securely taped. Seal all edges of the box.
- You must have the name and address
of a specific soldier.
- A customs form is required. On form
2976-A there is a space asking what you want to happen to the box
if your soldier is not available. I check "abandon."
Also write in, "Do not return." Your postal employees
will assist you in filling out the form if necessary. I suggest
you have your box ready for shipment before you get to the Post
Office. It is not necessary to leave the box unsealed for
inspection by the postal employees.
- Some restrictions: No alcohol, no
pornographic or suggestive materials, no pork, no bulk shipments
of religious material. If in doubt, check with your Post Office.
- If the cookies are too hard by the
time of arrival overseas, the soldiers can use them as weapons.