Every year my mom and I collect cookie recipes we want to try and then get together in early December for an afternoon of baking. These no-fail lemon cookies have become an annual tradition. They're a wonderful homemade holiday gift. —Kristen Johnson, Greendale, Wisconsin
My mom has always known that homemade cookies have a special appeal that can't be duplicated by the store-brought variety. Even today, she keeps us grownup kids well stocked with fresh-from-the-oven treats such as this tender shortbread.
"This combination of buttery shortbread and sweet chocolate is wonderful," promises Valarie Wheeler of DeWitt, Michigan. "Whenever I make it, there are nothing but crumbs left," she adds. Be sure to cut these into small squares because they're very rich.
Toasted hazelnuts add a nice crunch and flavor to these rich, buttery hearts. The drizzle of dark and white chocolate gives the cookies an impressive look, but they couldn't be easier to make.—Monique Theoret, Wooster, Ohio
Shortbread is a wonderful starting point for all kinds of sweet adventures: top it (nuts, chocolate, jam); flavor it (lemon, hazelnut, coconut); or do both (cappuccino with a mocha ganache drizzle, anyone?) Then again, if you're a "make mine vanilla, please" kind of guy or gal, leave it alone: it can stand on its own in perfect simplicity.—Taste of Home Cooking School
Almonds give these cookies a special flavor. Use your favorite cookie cutters to make different shapes, then let the kids have a hand in adding the finishing touches. Carole Vogel, Allison Park, Pennsylvania
Crunchy oats give this traditional shortbread recipe a new twist. These buttery confections are simply good to the very last crumb-especially with a cup of hot coffee or eggnog. I've also learned that they keep for months...if you hide them well enough!
This version of shortbread is fragile, not too sweet and melts in your mouth. Mostly I make it for the holidays, but I'll also prepare it year-round for wedding showers and ladies' teas. —Jane Ficiur, Bow Island, Alberta