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Holiday Care Packages: 7 Homemade Treats to Send

Holiday Care Packages: 7 Homemade Treats to Send
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Have a kid in college or a loved one living abroad? This holiday season, let them know you’re thinking of them by sending a themed holiday care package filled with homemade treats and other goodies.

Below, you’ll find 7 festive recipes that ship well.

Peanut brittle, chocolate bark and bourbon caramels on a tiered candy dish
Peanut brittle, chocolate bark, and bourbon caramels for the holidays

Jump to: Chocolate Cherry Bark | Pumpkin Seed Brittle | Zucchini Coconut Bread | Pfeffernusse | Red Velvet Cookies | Crinkle Cookies | Pumpkin Chai Biscotti | More Ideas

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Homemade Treats For Holiday Care Packages: 7 Festive Recipes

Ritz Cracker Chocolate Cherry Bark

When it comes to treats to include in holiday care packages that will survive a journey, candy is a great option. I love including barks and brittles in mine, as they’re very easy to make and you can endlessly vary them for every occasion.

For Christmas, I like this luxurious Ritz cracker chocolate bark with dried cherries. It’s totally decadent, but a breeze to make if you have a candy thermometer (which is a very easy tool to use, I promise).

The hardest part about making candy bark is working quickly to pour out the syrup once it has reached the right temperature, but that’s something you’ll get the hang of within a few tries.

If you do mess up, that only means you’ve got some (slightly ugly) extra bark to nibble on while you try again!

Barks and brittles in the sheetpan before cutting, for holiday care packages
Barks and brittles in the sheet pan before cutting

Spicy Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Not into the chocolate-covered bark recipe above, or maybe you’re looking for something a little more Halloween-y for a Fall-themed care package?

This slightly spicy “peanut” brittle uses pumpkin seeds instead of the classic peanuts, and it’s wildly addictive thanks to a generous pinch of smoky chipotle spice.

The process for making this brittle is very similar to the bark above. Having a candy thermometer on hand really helps, and you do have to work quickly while pouring out the hot syrup, but it’s very easy and quick otherwise.

Oh, and don’t take the recipe too literally. If you like sunflower seeds more than pumpkin seeds, or the recipient won’t appreciate spicy candy, you can change up the toppings however you like.

Basket of spicy pumpkin seed peanut brittle, for holiday care packages
Basket of spicy pumpkin seed brittle

Low Carb Zucchini Coconut Bread

If the person you’re looking to put together a care package for is trying to watch their health, maybe candy brittle or the cookies discussed above aren’t the best choice. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any tasty ways to show your love for them, though!

One of my favorite healthy treats for holiday care packages is this low-carb zucchini coconut bread, which is made with almond flour and high in protein thanks to the addition of whey isolate powder.

Still yummy, and it does have some cheeky dark chocolate chips, but not something that has to be reserved for cheat days only.

Zucchini bread ships well and will still taste good when it arrives. Do try to pack yours tightly, as it can be crumbly.

Sliced Zucchini Coconut Bread
Sliced Zucchini Coconut Bread

Pfeffernüsse Cookies

Pfeffernüsse is a highly popular holiday snack in Northwestern European countries like Germany, Denmark, and The Netherlands. The German name “pfeffernüse” literally means “pepper nuts”, while the Dutch call them “kruidnoten”: spiced nuts.

As those definitions reveal, these mini cookies go heavy on the spices. They’re full of warming cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and – of course – pepper. This makes them perfect holiday treats to include in a holiday-themed care package.

Tip: Although plain pfeffernüsse is more traditional, variants coated with chocolate or icing have overtaken them in popularity. Give it a try!

Dusted pfeffernusse cookies on counter
Dusted pfeffernüsse cookies on counter

Pumpkin Chai Biscotti

What screams “Fall!” more than anything pumpkin-flavored? Well, maybe warming chai spices come close. Or… what about both?!

That was pretty much my line of thinking when I came up with these pumpkin chai spiced biscotti, a riff on a classic Italian recipe.

Biscotti are sweet almond biscuits. Their crunchy texture means they don’t fall apart while shipping, and they last for ages, making them the perfect choice treat for your holiday care packages.

Red Velvet Peanut Butter Cookies

The winter holidays aren’t the only appropriate time to send a care package! I love putting them together for Valentine’s Day as well. And of course, Valentine’s treats just have to be red velvet – and contain some sort of chocolate.

These peanut butter red velvet cookies with chocolate kisses tick all the boxes, and they ship well to boot. Plus, they’re quick to prepare: because they’re so small, they only need around 10 minutes in the oven.

If you pre-heat while preparing the dough, your cookies can be ready in little over half an hour!

Red velvet peanut butter blossom cookies for Valentines care packages
Red velvet peanut butter blossom cookies for Valentine’s care packages

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Like the idea of red velvet cookies, but don’t think your care package recipient is a fan of peanut butter?

No problemo, I’ve also created a plain version without PB, but with a good dose of cocoa powder for that typical red velvet flavor.

These red velvet crinkle cookies, like their peanut butter cousins, are quick and easy to make and not too fragile. They’ve got a delicious crunch that somehow stays intact even after being shipped halfway across the country. Happy Valentine’s!

Tray of red velvet crinkle cookies for Valentines Day
Tray of red velvet crinkle cookies

More Ideas For Holiday Care Packages

A nice batch of homemade treats makes your holiday care packages meaningful, but of course, a bag of cookies doesn’t make a care package. It needs something more!

If I’m doing a themed holiday care package, I put them together a little like this:

  • Some edible items directly related to the holiday, like chocolate hearts for Valentine’s Day or candy canes for Xmas.
  • Some non-edible items that match the theme, like spooky decorations for a Halloween care package, or a nice Christmas tree bauble.
  • Some useful items you know the recipient needs, preferably matching the color scheme. If they like pampering themselves, maybe I’d send a candy apple scented body lotion for Halloween, for example.
  • A seasonally appropriate card with a nice handwritten note.
  • For college students, try study supplies like nice pens. And cash – they always need it!
  • For someone who lives abroad, be sure to include their favorite snacks from back home.
  • For someone who’s ill, some tea and a big batch of vitamin C tablets.

What do you like to include in your holiday care packages? Be sure to share your ideas in the comments below, I’d love to hear them.

Items to go in a Valentines care package for a college girl, laid out on a white tablecloth.
Valentine’s care package for the college girl

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