Thursday, September 14, 2017

Popcorn-Packed Care Packages

When graduation season was upon us last year, there were so many kids we wanted to give gifts to. Jack's friends, of course, and kids he'd gone to school with for years. I had some students I'd worked with on the prom committee and other projects who I wanted to acknowledge with more than a card.

We decided that we'd give gift certificates for a college care package during their first semester. (Gosh, I hope they like sugar.) I printed up a little certificate that we put into cards. I gave my, as I like to call it,"text number" for the students to text me their college address once they got it.

This week, the first batch of packages went out. I'm anticipating that they'll all be a little different. For these, I packed the care packages with four goodies, and cushioned the boxes with bagged popcorn.

Treat #1: Decorated Cookies

how to pack a college care package

This round had the subtle-hints-for-college-students cookies that I blogged about earlier this week.

how to pack a college care package

To ship decorated cookies, I love using hard-sided document boxes. (They're typically white.) Look for a size that is approximately 8.5 x 11 x 2". You can fit two layers of decorated cookies in the box. Place a sheet of foam on the bottom, place one layer of cookies on top. Place another sheet of foam on top. If adding two layers, repeat.

how to pack a college care package with decorated cookies

Ideally, the cookies shouldn't have much room to move around (and the foam does help to hold them in place), but if there's lots of room, fold some foam scraps and tape. Place in the open areas.

Treat #2: Six Degrees of Separation Chocolate Chip Cookies

college care package treats

the perfect chocolate chip to pack a care package

The recipe is just a variation of the famous New York Times chocolate chip cookie. The recipe I've linked is for a BIG batch, so it's perfect for sending multiple care packages. Also, they are the prettiest chocolate chip cookies ever.

how to pack a college care package

For packaging, I used a cookie box from Sweet Sugarbelle's line. I taped the sides closed.

how to pack a college care package

For extra insurance against the box opening, I slid each box into a gallon-size bag. It'll keep them fresher, too.

Treat #3: Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

fluffiest, puffiest peanut butter m&m cookies ... and how to pack a care package

Since it's still hot here in Texas, I wanted to send things that wouldn't get too melty. So, no frosted brownies or cookies here. I love these puffy, fluffy peanut butter cookies. How can you not love a cookie labeled as puffy and fluffy?

how to pack a college care package

For packaging, I stacked cookies in wax "coffee bags." They're a gusseted bag with a tab closure. I found them at the Container Store.

Treat #4: Homemade Rice Krispies Treats

More on this recipe is coming, but these are not your typical rice krispies treats. They're made, not with packaged marshmallows, but with a homemade marshmallow cream. Yum.

homemade rice krispies treats for a care package

For packaging, I split the batch between two 8" square sturdy foil pans. (Buy the kind with the lids.) I chose not to cut them, so they wouldn't go stale. Instead, I used baker's twine to tie a knife on the top.

how to pack a college care package...with popcorn!

To pack the boxes, I started with a layer of bagged popcorn on the bottom of the box. The decorated cookies went in first...that's the sturdiest box and gives the best base for the rest. Next in went the chocolate chip cookies. Putting them directly on top of the decorated cookie box gave them a flat surface. Next to the those went a bag of the peanut butter cookies. I nestled bags of popcorn around the sides.

how to pack a college care package...with popcorn!

I placed the rice krispies treats on the top. They were the lightest of the bunch and I didn't want the lid to get too dented. More popcorn bags went around the container.

A note was placed on the top before the box was sealed. Done!

[Note]: you'll need more bags of popcorn than you think. I went back to the store and still didn't have enough. (Jack's box ended up with some bagged goldfish and packing peanuts to round out the job. Shhh....don't tell him that the others have all popcorn.)

how to pack a college care package...with popcorn! ♥

Have you sent a college care package or received one? Tell me your care package favorite treats.



  1. Wow! I want one of your packages to send to my DD. And one for the boo-hoo Mommas.

  2. Wow! I wish I was one of the recipients!

  3. I love the popcorn idea! Never thought of that... thanks for sharing this.

  4. What a wonderful mother you are!
    Your son is VERY lucky!
    You are SO clever!

  5. Fortunately for me, my son goes to school only 30 minutes away so I get to drive my care packages directly to the recipient. Last time I had to get my husband to go with me because I made so much stuff. I love doing it though. Thanks for the "how to". You never know where kid 2 may decide to go.

  6. I loved sending care packages to my kids.. all graduated now. I usually sent a themed package for holidays or finals with goodies and decorations. Gift cards were always a big hit too for a meal outside of campus! Your cookies always look so amazing!

  7. A group of friends and I had a 'care package' party- each of us brought items for each care package, for example if there were ten of us I would bring 10 packages of popcorn, and someone else brought 10 packages of bandaids, etc. It was a fun night for the moms and each kid got a fun package with a variety of goodies!

  8. You rock. I bet they were so happy to get these packages!

  9. Wow that's a fun care package to get. Thanks for some great idea's to send!


  10. When I was a freshman in college, my mom sent 12 days of Christmas packages. Every day for 12 days I got a package to share with my suite-mates. The amazing thing is each package got progressively bigger because she included all the previous days' items. It was unforgettable!

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  12. Bridget, this is just too sweet! Love the lettered cookies and the total love and cleverness. You have such a big heart!

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