Packaging Gem dependencies with cookbooks?

We have a couple of dependent gems in our cookbooks that is causing some heartburn for individuals as we move workloads to autoscaling (where we execute Chef and configure applications at boot time) since our RubyGems mirror (via an internally hosted Artifactory) is now more of a "runtime" dependency than just a "deploytime" dependency as instances scale up and down.

Is there any method to package or preload gems onto the application servers so failures do not occur if Artifactory is not available to pull down the dependent gems at execution time?

If using the chef_gem resource you can say package the gem with the cookbook or preload it on an image and then install from filesystem. chef_gem Resource