There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.
Today: Love your neighbor as yourself -- with boxes and bags of baked goods.
As kids, we jumped at any opportunity to run an errand to our neighbor's house. Be it borrowing a few eggs or drumming up business for our lemonade stand, we rang the doorbell with confidence and -- using the biggest words in our vocabulary -- chatted up our neighbors like they were family. Fast forward a decade or two, and we've moved into our own houses and have new batches of neighbors to meet. We now agonize over this once-relished task, and pace behind our doors, mulling over gift options for greeting the locals.
Our Provisions Editor, Posie Harwood, recently moved into a new apartment and reached out to the Food52 community for tips on what to bake for her new neighbors. She received such good advice, we wish we lived next door.
- Assistant Editor Sarah Jampel recommends Maialino's Olive Oil Cake -- especially when baked as muffins or cupcakes in bakery-style wrappers. These smaller, taller cakes will stay moist longer.
- If you've unpacked your Bundt pan, whip up a chocolate bundt cake as Pegeen suggests.
- Or follow EmilyC's lead, and gift a delicious cheesecake topped with seasonal berries.
- Mrslarkin creates a gift basket for her neighbors, usually including freshly-baked scones, jam, and a selection of tea.
- A foolproof crowd-pleaser, both ChefJune and ATG117 opt for the tried-and-true brownie. SexyLAMBCHOPx relies on Alice Medrich's cocoa brownies. Keep it simple and wrap them in a brown box with red twine.
- Mix a simple bread dough, then shape it into an impressive loaf -- AntoniaJames bakes Rosemary Epi Rolls while StephanieG braids an elegant challah for sandwiches, french toast, and snacking. Tack on a hunk of quality chocolate and jam for a well-rounded gift.
- Cookie gifts aren't just for the holidays -- they're easy to make, keep well, and are always appreciated. Amysarah suggests making simple, versatile biscotti. Nutcakes makes a basic shortbread with an apricot jam filling. Switch out the filling according to the season and what you have in your produce drawer.
- Take a cue from AussieFoodie and make a big batch of homemade candies, like marshmallows, honeycomb candy, or pumpkin caramels.
Tell us: What are your favorite edible gifts?
Challah photo by Mark Weinberg, marshmallow photo by Sarah Shatz, all other photos by James Ransom