Vacuum Sealer Dos and Don’ts

Shipping out cookies in weights of greater than 13 oz is a bit more expensive than one would wish.  Priority mail becomes the best shipping option and generally this will cost between $7.00 and $10.00 for any sort of goodly sized box.  But if one can successfully pack cookies in an envelope which are shipped at a flat rate of $4.95, things suddenly become much more economical.  There is a phenomenon whereby vacuum packed materials become much more firm and resistant to breakage, especially if granular, and this phenomenon was exploited to great success by roboticists earlier this year to create a universal gripper hand:

So, why not try this with cookies?  I bought a vacuum sealer and got to work making cookies.  I vacuum sealed a dozen cookies and pit it against a control group of a dozen cookies in a Zip-Lock freezer bag.  The vacuum cookies won hands down in the drop test where I dropped the bags from a height of about six feet showing no breakage or deformation.  The vacuum sealed cookies also won in the crush test where I put them under a stack of books.  The one case where the Zip-Lock cookies won was in what I call “initial deformation”, the force of the atmosphere is enough to bend a cookie easily if there’s a hint of gooeyness left in the cookie.  As I want my cookies to still be soft, the work around I came up with was freezing the cookies first.  When I failed to do this, and left the cookies in a windowsill, the vacuum package exhibited a behavior I now call “monocookie”.

I’m happy with the increased resiliency of cookies when vacuum-packed and envelope-mailed but I doubt I’ll ever use this process for things that are even a hint of sticky.  If you get molasses cookies from me in a vacuum pack I probably hate you.