neighbor gifts

Bake up your neighbor gifts! 3 sweets to treat them to this Christmas

Baked goods make great neighbor gifts!

If you’re looking for an adorable and delicious neighbor gift idea, we’ve got you covered! There’s one treat in particular that’s easy to do, but will wow the whole block.

Baker Khara Westergard shares how to bake them up.

Find more recipes from Khara on Instagram, @balsamicbaker, or on her website.

Find the gift boxes Khara mentioned here.



Simple Cookies & Sweet Tarts – Pâte Sucrée

Khara highlights Pâte Sucrée, or sweet tart crust. European in origin, it is used lately much as a shortbread cookie dough. She uses it as a creative dough for holiday cookies. It’s lightly sweet so it provides the perfect base as in addition to many sweet ideas.

Khara shares three different ways to use this same dough, and how to package each treat up nice and pretty to give away.

Use as a lightly sweetened cookie base or tart shell for creative applications. Add any array of flavors to either. Get creative for holidays, special occasions, or anytime.


  • 5 oz. (10 Tbsp.)(142 g) Unsalted Butter, softened but cool (not so soft it’s oily)
  • 4oz. (1/2 C. Fluffed)(113 g) Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Large US Egg (1 Med. EU/UK Egg)
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3/8 tsp. Salt
  • 10oz (2C. Fluffed) (283 g) All-purpose Flour or Caputo “00” Flour

For decoration & additions

  • Melted Chocolate varieties for details or dipping. For dipping I used: 7 oz. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers, Melted. With 1 Tbsp. Refined Coconut Oil stirred in.
  • Toffee bits, mini chocolate chips, or crushed peppermint or other candies. Stir into dough or dip/sprinkle on after a chocolate dip. I stirred in about 2/3 bag Heath toffee bits.
  • Nutella or other dessert or nut butters
  • Fruit sauces and pie fillings
  • Custards, pastry cremes, & curds
  • Food coloring to color dough
  • Homemade marshmallow for topping
  • Possibilities are numerous


  1. Cream together softened butter and powdered sugar. Start slow until the powdered sugar is incorporated well enough to not fly into the air.
  2. Fully cream together with an electric mixer until light and smooth.
  3. Add the egg and fully combine. Mix in the vanilla and salt.
  4. Fold in the flour, needing with your hands at the end if necessary. But do not overwork the dough. Work until just combined.
  5. Cover and chill in the fridge for  for easier handling if needed. Or proceed if low on time (chill after shaped while warming the oven).
  6. Roll out dough on a floured surface and cut shapes as desired. Bake oven at 350 F degrees, for 7 – 10 minutes. Increase cooking time as needed for tart shells that are filled. Look for lightly browned edges. Shells can be baked empty. Dock (poke holes) into the bottom of the crusts with a fork before baking empty tart shells. If necessary, use the back of a spoon, or other kitchen tool to help push cooked tart shells back down while still hot if they rose in the center during baking.


Gluten-free adjustments: replace flour with Bobs Red Mill Gluten-free 1to1 Baking Flour (blue bag) and add 1.3 oz (4Tbsp.) cornstarch to flour. Sift together.

By Balsamic Baker – Do Not Republish Without Permission

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