I’ve been mailing care packages in small USPS flat-rate boxes. They’re the perfect size for a bag of cookies, which can arrive worse for wear if you don’t pad them with some crumpled paper or scrunched up plastic bags. I have yet to find a truly easy, economical way to ship baked goods. I used to use tins or tupperware wrapped in butcher paper, but the boxes are cheaper.
The term “CARE package” is actually a registered trademark that dates back to World War II. According to Wikipedia, the first care packages contained (among other things):
one pound of beef in broth
one pound of steak and kidneys
8 ounces of liver loaf
8 ounces of corned beef
12 ounces of luncheon loaf (like Spam)
8 ounces of bacon
2 pounds of margarine
one pound of lard
I can almost guarantee that your friends will prefer a box of cookies in lieu of “luncheon loaf.” These crisp, buttery cookies are the love-child of a sugar cookie and a sablé (a sandy French shortbread). Since they freeze well, they’re good for serendipitous occasions when you need a small, spicy sweet. I plan to try some variations with citrus zest or other spices. Cardamom is one of my favorites though, and I suggest you start simply.
adapted from Peggy Knickerbocker’s recipe on cookstr.com
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softenend
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon black cardamom seeds (I used 1/2 tsp crushed green cardamom seeds, and 1/4 tsp powdered cardamom)
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour and baking soda, followed by the cardamom. Shape the dough into two logs about the diameter of a quarter. Wrap the logs in wax paper or parchment and chill.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
3. Slice the logs into pieces about ¼ inch thick, and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. After a few minutes, transfer cookies to a rack to cool.