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F&W Gift Guide

Giftable Sweets from from Dominique Ansel and Other Top Pastry Chefs

Pastry Shop Gifts: Chris Hanmer

Pastry chefs like New York City's Dominique Ansel share their most giftable recipes. Photo © Thomas Schauer

The experts behind the recipes here may be famous for their complex creations, but some of their best sweets are their simplest.

The bakers at some of the best new French pastry shops in the country are world-class talents. Many of their intricate pastries have hard-to-pronounce names that might put off the locals. And yet these bakers fervently wish to make their creations less intimidating. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Chris Hanmer staffs his CH Pâtisserie with "dessert ambassadors" to guide customers, while at Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City, Ansel actually refers to his delicate version of the classic French pastry kouign amann as DKA (Dominique's Kouign Amann) because it's easier to say. Yet all these bakers balance their most elaborate pastries with fun, simple sweets. William Werner sandwiches peanut butter between shortbread cookies at Craftsman & Wolves in San Francisco; across town, Yigit Pura adds multicolored seeds to nut brittle at Tout Sweet. French sweets are not scary, say these bakers, they're delicious. And here are their most giftable recipes to prove it.

Dominique Ansel, New York City
Peppermint Buttercrunch
Anna's Granola

Tout Sweet Pâtisserie, San Francisco
Roasted Cashew and Sesame Brittle

Craftsman & Wolves, San Francisco
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

CH Pâtisserie, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Soft Vanilla Bean Caramels

Related: Homemade Christmas Gifts
French Dessert Recipes
Easy Food Gifts

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