Man, there's just no love out there for my Mickeys, huh?
Ouch! - earless Mickeys! Others will have more info I am sure, but here is my two cents (if it helps!). I usually make my cookies 3/8" thick, but have seen that others go to 1/2". I don't know how thick you are making yours, but this more substantial cookie helps with that breakage issue you are talking about. The hardest thing though is the weight of those ears. Sometimes I will redraw a design to make an area wider for more strength, but I don't know if that change Mickey too much to do so.
I am guessing that you are taking them off of the cookie sheet very carefully and letting them cool completely already, but if not, that helps. I don't happen to stack mine one atop another, but will lay them out side-by-side, put a layer of wax paper or paper towel on top and then do another layer. I try to be careful not to put too much weight on them. For packaging of really fragile cookies, I will use cakeboard cut to the size of my cello bag to put behind the cookie for strength.. As I don't want a butter stain, I then cut food safe acetate to the same size to put in between the cookie and the cake board. I hope some of this helps until someone else sees the post!
Thanks Tracy, unfortunately this specific customer wanted to make sure they wouldn't be too thick. Ugh. I cool them on the pan actually, it's a great nonstick and I don't have any problems getting them off, so I let them cool all the way there, then I move them to the cooling rack and stack them with waxed paper between. I wonder if it would help to add a touch more flour or something? I managed to save quite a few buy repairing them with RI, I'm impressed that it's not even visible. I love RI! Plus since the ears are decorated with RI on top, they get double reinforcement. I managed to get 9 good ones and I'm doing the rest as Mickey friendly birthday packages.