The pandemic has really put a damper on my food tourism this year, so tracking down amazing mail order cookies from small bakeries across the country has been like…virtual travel for me. I’m so happy to recommend them, because so many of these shops rely heavily on tourism, which has been hard hit this year as we all know.
Ordering these cookies by mail is a wonderful way to help ensure they’re still around when travel is safe again. And if I have to order melty, soft cookies to help keep them in business? Even for myself?
Well, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
Whether you’re ordering these mail-order cookies as a gift this Christmas or Hanukkah, a New Year’s treat, or a fun way to fill stockings at home without all the plastic toys (no judgment here!), these are excellent options.
Top image: Cravory Cookies from San Diego
Related: My favorite NYC food gifts for those who can’t get here right now
Levain Bakery in New York City
Yes, I have been one of the tens of thousands through the years who have stood in line for an hour in the cold to try the legendary cookies from NYC’s Levain Bakery, and YES, it was worth it. Thanks to their nationwide shipping, you don’t have to risk frostbite to send their iconic chocolate chip walnut cookies (my personal fave) or another variety to someone you love this holiday. Woohoo!
Also be sure to check out Liz’s list of her 10 favorite NYC food gifts from 10 New York institutions — a thoughtful way to treat someone who can’t get to the City right now.
Bang Cookies from New Jersey
Bang Cookies takes the “better than sex” joke and runs with it. Like, a marathon. So if you want a popular mail-order cookie for an adult on your list, and don’t mind a lot of jokes about “swiping right” and finding a “sugar daddy,” this could be the place for you. Their cookies are huge and melty — you can watch a video of how they’re made to whet your appetite — and perfect if you’re buying for someone who needs to indulge a little.
Big Fat Cookie from Chicago
This foodie favorite mail-order cookie shop had me at big fat cookie. And then again when I saw the decorations on this wonderful Eight Crazy Nights pack for Hanukkah. Or if it’s mail-order Christmas cookies you’re shopping for, the Twelve Days cookie assortment looks outrageous. If you like your cookies extra, then this is the place for you.
Related: A few food gifts that help fight hunger this holiday
The Maui Cookie Lady from — you guessed it — Maui
The pandemic has hit Hawaii particularly hard since its economy is so dependent on tourism, so I was happy to discover The Maui Cookie Lady, a local bakery that ships to the mainland. And such unique flavors! I realize this eggnog rumchata may be divisive, but it has me humming mele kalimimaka already. If you’re looking for their best-seller though, it’s their original Butter Rum Triple Chunker you’ll want to order.
Cravory Cookies from San Diego
Cravory Cookies specializes in cookie subscriptions (at very top), so if you’re looking for gift that keeps on giving, this is a solid option. They also offer a cookie decorating kit, which I think as a quarantined parent of littles, I know I would absolutely love to receive in the mail as we hunker down for the holidays; or check out the kids’ cookie collections featuring stuffed animals.
Uncle Eddie’s Vegan Cookies from LA
If you’re shopping for a vegan on your list, look no further than this family-run, Black-owned business that bakes fresh, chewy, and plant-based cookies every day using organic, high-quality ingredients. For something that feels like the holiday season (even in 72-and-sunny LA), I’d check out the Cocoa and Spice and Everything Nice cookies by the dozen, or the salty sweet Molasses Cookies. Their packaging and free greeting cards look adorably homemade, as you’d expect from a family-run business. It’s as close as you get to sending your own cookies.
Christie Cookes from Nashville
As a Nashville local, I’m pretty sure I’ve tried every single variety of Christie Cookies over the years. Please believe me: you cannot go wrong. They’re also offering this custom cookie tin option this year, featuring a child’s drawing or a family photo, which makes it even giftier.
Gambino’s Cookies from New Orleans
If you’ve visited New Orleans, there’s a high chance you’ve visited this decades-old bakery. It has a pretty inspiring risen-from-the-ashes story after Katrina and is still kicking — and producing treats infused with so much local flavor and charm. This “trust me” cookie box is a fun mail order cookie gift idea, or check out their Christmas Kringle cake which comes with DIY decorations to make your season bright.
The Flour Shop from Brooklyn
If the folks you’re buying for are cookie-cake people as opposed to individual cookie people (yes, this is a real debate) consider this adorable Christmas Cookie Cake from Amirah Kasem’s influencer- and celeb-favorite The Flour Shop in Brooklyn, NY. They’re best known for their rainbow explosion cakes, but this gorgeously understated option in their holiday bake shop is so perfect for the season. You can also have a custom message written on yours instead of ho ho ho, in case there’s an inside Christmas joke you want to allude to. Say, “6 feet apart,” or “share with your bubble only.” Because 2020, amiright?