So I went live with my Etsy shop on Thanksgiving Day. I got my first two orders not long after. One package arrived, the other did not. Thank you for that happy customer USPS! 

When I sent out my first two orders I packaged up a cookie for myself with the plan to taste test along with the customer when they received their package. Not like on video chat or anything, but I would eat it the same day they got the packaged delivered. (Hope that made sense lol)

Anyway, back to the problem. The first package did not arrive. So today I tasted the cookie I had put aside for testing because I just HAD to know if it was still fresh. Since I'm just starting out I didn't use any special packaging bags. I used just plain old Saran Wrap. Long story short, they were way harder than I wanted them! I bet you guys are NOT surprised by this but I was. *grin*

I don't like hard cookies . . . at all. I prefer a bit of chew and a bit of soft. I use a glaze instead of royal icing as well. They get really good reviews so I want my customers to experience the cookie the way they are supposed to and pay for.

So on to the question. Sorry for the long build-up but you had to have the backstory! lol 

What I really need to know is which option is the best for keeping my cookies as fresh as possible during shipping? I hear about poly bags vs. cello bags, shrink wrap vs. resealable bags, etc.

Right now I can't afford what I think is the best option which would be the shrink wrap and impulse sealer method. I have to work my way up to that expense. I was thinking about using the cello bags with the ribbon, but since my tester cookie didn't hold its freshness, I'm worried the cello bags tied that way will not either.

If anyone can offer me some advice I'd be very appreciative. I just got a call from one of the above-mentioned customers and they want 5 dozen assorted cookies. I went to a dinner party, and they loved the cookies so much they wanna hire me to do event cookies. This is all moving way faster than I thought it would, so I'm feeling the pressure. Still loving it, but man I need to clone myself to get everything done!

Help! Someone . . . anyone. lol

Original Post

So I got my bags and my heat sealer.  After about a dozen failed attempts I finally got the hang of it. lol I just hope they help keep my cookies fresh.  I make a slightly softer cookie than the normal sugar cookies so it's important to me that they not get stale and hard during shipping.  I'm thinking if these work at sealing in freshness then I'll be able to do my orders in deliverable batches.  Doing made to order is great in theory but doing 3 dozen cookies from start to finish in 3 days was kind of crazy. lol I'm still so new to this and I've had some rough moments of wondering if I can do this.  Today was shipping day two and it feels good to have them done.  I feel like I accomplished a great feat! LOLOL 

I don't know about other people's cookies but mine are way too soft for a true vacuum seal. I can't even shrink wrap without a backing board. Which is why I'm here asking another question I hope you guys can help me with.

I just got a large order for a business celebrating an event. They want 6 dozen cookies. Which is great but he's handing them out as gifts to all his employees. Handing them out with them shrink-wrapped to boards seems...awkward for lack of a better word.

My question...I have seen many people take the cello bag and just tie it off with a ribbon. How long will that keep the product fresh or will it not do that at all, no matter how firmly I tie it off?

They want this order done before New Years so I'm hoping to be able to do these in batches. However, that will be a problem if the last cookie is soft, fresh and yummy and the first ones I did are hard little hockey pucks.

I'm leery of freezing them because I worry what that will do to the icing and taste. This is a big break for me because this particular company has a lot of events they want to use my services for. They tasted my cookies at a Christmas Party the other day and loved them. I just have to have my packaging as on point as my cookie. lol

I apologize for being the one to always be asking for help but I don't know any other place I would trust as much as this one.

Thanks...again! *grin*

I heat seal my cookies. I haven't considered vacuum sealing/shrink wrap because of piped details on the cookies would be damaged under the pressure.  I developed a recipe which produces a softer cookie which keeps fresh for an extended period of time, while still holding up to supporting the icing and stacking. I use backer board inside the bag on delicate shapes (palm trees, horseshoes). I only heat seal my cookies, no exception.  I do not twist with a ribbon since the bag is not sealed, which means air can get in and dry the cookie out.  I am in a desert, so my climate is very dry and I am cautious about my cookies drying and hardening.

I operate my business as a Cottage Food Operation, and I have a full time job.  I have determined my maximum cookie count is about 100 in a week. I also take a week off between orders.  This way I do not take on more than I can handle, plus I have a recuperation period between orders. 

Before I went into business I experimented with freezing and determined what I feel comfortable freezing. Non-decorated, flooded, finished, light colors, dark colors, bagged, not not bagged - there are several variables. My dry desert climate impacts my results.  For personal use, I freeze completed cookies, stacked, not bagged in storage containers. I ate a thawed cookie that was in the freezer for 2 months, it tasted as fresh as the day I put it in the freezer.

I don't ship, it's against the Cottage Food laws in California, but I still reserve a few cookies and will eat one the day of the event. Also if the client/their guests eat one and two days after - I like to know what condition the cookie is in.

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