Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Care Package Special Feature Part 3: Creative Treats

This final part of my care package feature is all about sending creative treats. Keep reading for a cookie that doubles as a letter and instructions for the best birthday-in-a-box your loved one will ever get.
Cookie Letters
This is a really easy way to put a smile on somebody's face. Bake up a shortbread or sugar cookie. Roll out the dough and cut out a large rectangle. Bake it as per recipe's instructions. If you notice it's getting a little too brown before it's fully baked, cover it with foil.
Once the cookie is cooled, use food colouring markers to write a letter on it. If you seal the cookie with a vacuum sealer and wrap it in lots of bubble wrap, this special cookie will survive a trip anywhere in the world.

Not being able to see your loved one on their birthday sucks, but you can still help them celebrate! Put together a care package with the following items:

Balloon Messages
Blow up 6-12 balloons. Carefully write a heartfelt message to your loved one on each balloon. Deflate the balloons and tie them together with pretty ribbon. Attach a note with instructions to blow up the balloons for some birthday love.

Lemon Birthday Cake
Using a 9x13 inch pan and a round cookie cutter, you can make a pretty cake in a jar to send your loved one.
First, grease and line your pan with parchment then preheat your oven to 325F.
Next, mix 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons of flour, 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of milk, 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and the juice and zest from one lemon.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Let it cool completely then use a round cookie cutter (about the size of the jar you're going to assemble the cake in) to cut 4-6 circles out of the cake.
Layer cake circles with lemon icing and top with sprinkles.

Brownie Cake
If your loved one is far away and you don't think the cake in a jar above will last, bake up a brownie (like Nestle's desert safe brownie from Part 1) in a cake pan. Cool it completely, seal it using the tips from Part 2, and send it with some canned icing (this is absolutely the only time canned icing will ever be okay to use. Ever.). It's a good idea to put the icing in a separate freezer bag just in case it pops open in the mail.

Add a final touch to your package with some decorations like a personalized birthday banner, some streamers, and coloured paper plates and plastic cutlery (especially if you're sending a big birthday brownie overseas).

Top the package off with a birthday card, and it's ready to go!

Now that the Care Package Special Feature is over, what would you send to loved ones? What tips do you have for mailing homemade goodies?

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