Bake your way to a sweeter neighborhood. We recently kicked off the #KnowYourNeighbor Challenge to help unite communities around the country while raising money (up to $10,000) for Habitat for Humanity. After asking people how they got to know their neighbors better, we discovered that sharing homemade treats was a popular way for folks to introduce themselves to those who lived close by. To help inspire you to join the challenge, we’ve combed through our stash of drool-worthy recipes to bring you a few that are perfect to give as neighborly gifts. From desserts that look like other things (and desserts that look like desserts), we’ve got your sugary inspiration all under one roof. These goodies look so good, your neighbors might be knocking on your door for seconds.
And there’s more. Take a picture of your creation, include the #KnowYourNeighbor hashtag, and share it on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook by January 27th. For each picture you post, we’ll donate $1 to Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco in honor of you and your neighbor.
How sweet is that?
A. Front Door Cookies
Channel your inner artist and make cookies that look just like your neighbors’ front doors. Use a simple gingerbread or sugar cookie recipe, and then go all out with the neighborly decorating. (This guide will help). (Photo via Party Frosting)
B. Cupcake Bouquet
Giving a lush bouquet of flowers disguised as cupcakes seems like a pretty nice trick to play on someone. Add devil’s food cake and strawberry buttercream and you’ve got an even better trick up your sleeve. Try stuffing the planter with gardening tools, soap, coffee, and other useful things to make this cupcake bouquet extra welcoming. (via A Million Moments)
C. Sand Art Brownie in a Jar
Instead of giving your neighbor baked goods, let them do the baking themselves. This brownie mix is neat because the layered ingredients come out looking like a sand art creation. Equal parts nostalgic and delicious! (via So Festive!)
D. Raspberry Almond Thumbprints
These shortbread cookies are buttery and delicious with a faint almond flavor that brings it all together. Turn these cookies into two gifts in one by wrapping them on top of a photo frame, or placing them inside a cookie jar (or any other household item you can think of). (via Sally’s Baking Addiction)
E. Salted Pistachio Brittle
Take a break from baking and break into brittle making! Pistachios and sea salt take this recipe to the next level, which can be a welcome alternative to the peanut version. Another homey option? Leave it inside the baking sheet, wrap it with colored cellophane, and attach a miniature hammer from your hardware store. (via The Kitchn)
F. Rainbow Slice and Bake Cookies
Rainbow can be our favorite color, right? Say hello in style with these brightly colored cookies that are made with gel food coloring for an even bigger punch of color. (via GoodLife Eats, h/t Brit + Co)
G. Oatmeal Cream Cookies
These sandwich cookies have two big things going for it: Brown butter buttercream and a bourbon oatmeal cookie. Need we say more? (via Food52)
H. Chai Tea Mix
Say hi with a cup of Chai (tea mix). To make the mix, simply whisk together a handful of spices, instant tea, and powdered milk and creamer. That’s it. Attach two spoons with a ribbon, and now you’re all ready to set up an afternoon tea date for you and your neighbor. (via Five Heart Home)
What happens when you join the #KnowYourNeighbor Challenge? Side effects may include swells of gratitude, deeper relationships with those around you, and intense sugar rushes. Whip up these sweet treats, march them over to your neighbors, and get to know them better. You may be surprised by what happens after the first bite.
What have you made for your neighbors lately?