If you have a kid in college, you’ve probably already received an email or letter in the mail “offering” to send your child a care package for (insert appropriate occasion) the first few weeks of class, mid-terms, Halloween, and soon… upcoming Finals. The options offered are usually heavy on the candy and on the price.
With two sons in college at the same time, I’ve taken a different route. I bake their favorite treats and send them off in time to fuel those all-nighters with the books (we hope!). At the end of last semester, a few of their old high school friends were included in my baking frenzy (thank you UPS man!).
Always included in my homemade treat box are everyone’s favorite “Garbage” Cookies. Created years ago to clear out the odds and ends in my baking pantry that would have otherwise ended up “in the garbage,” this variation of a chocolate chip cookie includes whatever chips, nuts, raisins, candy or chopped dried fruit happen to be in my kitchen cupboard. The more the add-ins, the chunkier the cookie. The greater the variety, the better everyone likes them. With no kids home now, I’m forced to go out and buy those add-ins these days!
I stack the cooled baked cookies into disposable baking pans, scrunching parchment paper into gaps in the stacks. I also add parchment between the top layer of cookies and the lid to keep the cookies in place when bounced around in shipping.
A second treat included in the package is a favorite bar cookie. For one son, that’s Blondie Brownies, with a cup or two of chocolate and butterscotch chips added. For the other, it’s The Ultimate Quadruple Chocolate Brownie, baked exactly as the Wilton Test Kitchen developed it for the Brownie Fun! book. The cut bars are again stacked in disposable aluminum pans with parchment paper between layers.
Both pans are packed into a corrugate box for shipping. Before I tape the boxes, I usually slip a few packs of gum or other candy and a gift card for a restaurant close to campus into the corners. Before you know it, they’ll be home on break!