Desperate times call for baked goods.
If you’ve got friends far away, social distancing has a way of making them seem even farther. While many have looked to reviving the classic handwritten letter to keep in touch while stay-at-home restrictions remain in place, kick your long distance friendships up a notch by sending baked goods to loved ones! Sweet treats are the ultimate pick me up and when they come as a surprise delivery, they’re somehow even tastier.
The trick to sending baked goods in the mail is to prepare something sturdy that’s hassle-free to ship. Anything that’s prone to melting, like cupcakes with frosting, is an automatic no, and you should also avoid things that crumble, like a struesel topping. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with some ideas for baked goods that are easy to make, as well as easy to send in the mail!
The so-called “coronavirus” bread has taken the world by storm due to its increased popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted. We think this is because of banana bread’s easy and accessible ingredients, along with the simple baking process itself, but who knows. While bread is one of the most send-able foods in general, there’s something especially comforting about banana bread; this yeast-less quick bread can be made in so many different variations, too, that you can make it custom to your friends’ tastes!
For a banana bread that’s next level tasty, adding chocolate chips and any kind of nut give it a much heartier flavor and just enough of a punch without being “too much.”
This classic comfort food is another one that can be made in tons of different ways: from different types of chocolate to with or without nuts, and even blondies — brownies’ buttery-cousin — are all sure fan favorites. If you’re stuck in quarantine, these will definitely lift spirits! Brownies are also good for sending long distance because they’re easy to freeze and to preserve, meaning if it takes a few extra days to arrive, your friends won’t be receiving moldy food. That would be bad…very bad.
I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love brownies, by the way, so they’re a perfect treat for that picky friend you don’t know what to bake for, or the person who tells you to “make whatever you want!”
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are the quintessential comfort food. Like brownies, I think everyone is legally obligated to love the cookie that made Toll House famous, and that also made us reevaluate our work out routines. Chocolate chip cookies are always delicious and are also nearly impossible to “mess up.” Plus, you can get creative by adding other candies, like M&Ms or peanut butter cups! Monster cookies are a different take on this comfort classic, loaded with every trail mix ingredient you can imagine.
Chocolate chip cookies reek of nostalgia, too. When times are tough (like they are right now) and you’re stuck in quarantine, your friends will definitely be reaching for these bad boys if they’ve got some on hand! The hardest part is honestly making them last!
The art of chocolate chip cookies is to watch your ratio of ingredients. That’s because any slight deviation of baking soda, salt, etc. will give you a different cookie vibe! More baking soda, for example, will give you a flatter cookie, while baking powder makes them more compact. A similar outcome to the latter happens from refrigerating the dough for a few hours to overnight, and the prior when you melt butter rather than creaming it.
Find out which style your friends prefer, and happy baking!
With butter cookies, the possibilities are endless! Citrus zests and different extracts can give you anything from nutty cookies to orange-y or lemon-y, and most butter cookie recipes require making a large batch, which gives you lots of baked goods to have on deck. That way, you can freeze them and send some out at a later time if you think your quarantined friends will want more!
Butter cookies are some of the easiest cookies to make “pretty,” so if your friends are looking for something Instagrammable, these are your golden ticket. Try dipping them in white or dark chocolate and then sprinkles for a timeless and festive snack!
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a “baked good,” but it’s close enough. Commonly eaten during Christmas due to its festive-feel, winter isn’t the only time of year you can make this delectable (and aesthetically pleasing) treat! Chocolate bark gives you a lot of flexibility on ingredients because it’s a kind of “throw in whatever you have lying around” recipe. Peppermint candy is a common mix-in during the holiday season, but snacks like pretzels, nuts, and even dried fruits are good choices as well.
Your quarantined friends will be nothing shy of delighted when they open their mail to mind these babies waiting for them! Just don’t mail it when it’s too hot out…otherwise they’ll be left with some chocolate soup. Yuck!
Homemade Granola Bars
Although these are normally an on-the-go snack, your quarantined pals will be grateful to find this labor of love in their mailbox. Granola bars are definitely a healthier alternative to the other baked goods you’d probably consider making, and you’ve got total freedom over what goes into them. From raisins to chocolate chips, these versatile baked goods will put their store bought counterparts to shame! For an even better-for-you take, substitute regular milk chocolate chips with dark chocolate. It’s packed with antioxidants and flavor.
Granola bars are the perfect treat for your friends who have dietary restrictions, since they pretty much write themselves as gluten free and vegan. Loading them with ingredients like dried fruits and nuts will pack them with protein, too, making for a guilt free snack to keep lying around in your quarantined friends’ pantries!