Chocolate gifts are, perhaps, the tastiest gifts that anyone could hope to receive. The problem with chocolate gifts, though, is making sure that they do not melt before they arrive at their destination!
This is quite easy if you are hand-delivering your chocolate gifts. But if, on the other hand, you plan on mailing your them, it is a whole other story. Here are some tips to help you make sure that your gifts of chocolate do not break while being handled and to make sure that they do not turn into gifts of chocolate soup:
· If you are mailing a chocolate bar and you do not want it to break, try taping a stiff piece of cardboard to the back of it and then wrapping it in a piece of bubble wrap.
· If you plan to mail a chocolate gift during the dead of winter, it will probably stay fine and not melt. If, on the other hand, you expect your chocolate gift to arrive completely solid in California in the heat of August, you need to think again. Avoid sending chocolate during times of extreme heat.
· Instead of sending chocolate gifts full of truffles and candy bars, consider sending brownies and/or cookies (save the cookies dipped in chocolate for colder months, though). If you do decide to mail cookies, pick out ones that do not break easily, like drop cookies. Pack them in foil-lined tin or small box. Put sheets of wax paper between the layers of cookies. Cushion the tin or box of cookies within the shipping box with plastic grocery sacks (or other such material). Mark the box with « perishable – food. » Also write on the top, « this side up » to encourage careful handling.
· If you are sending other items along with your chocolate, place your chocolate in a zip-lock bag (and suck out all the air) to make sure that in case it does melt, nothing else is ruined.
· Pay a little extra to send your chocolate overnight, or at least send it 2-3 day priority. The sooner it gets there, the less likely it will melt, first.
· Make sure that the recipient will be home when it is received. If your box has to wait on the doorstop in the hot sun, the chocolate will surely melt! Maybe even ask for a signature.
· If it is not a delicate chocolate, freeze it before you box it up to mail it. It will not stay frozen, but it will take longer for your chocolate gifts to melt.
· Pack your chocolate gifts with frozen gel packs, dry ice, or another cold source. If you use dry ice, write on the box « contains dry ice » to warn the recipients. Be sure to pack the chocolate in a zip lock bag so that it does not directly touch the dry ice, and do not touch the ice with your own hands. Write « keep refrigerated » on the outside of the box.
· Send your chocolate gift package at the beginning of the week to ensure that it will not sit at the mailing facility over the weekend.
· Send chocolate that is already melted! In other words, why not send a yummy chocolate sauce or chocolate for fondue!