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
I've always loved the taste of chai tea and decided to try and incorporate it into one of my recipes. Everyone who tries them can't believe how delicious they are. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
Here's a fun holiday recipe children can help with. And no cookie cutters are needed! I just shape the dough into a triangular log, refrigerate it and cut it into tree-shaped slices to bake and decorate. Broken pretzel sticks form the tree trunks. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas
For an added touch of sweetness, serve these crispy wedges with ice cream and B.G. Saelhof's strawberry sauce (recipe in recipe finder). "They taste great all by themselves, too," advises Carolyn Van Boening of Blue Springs, Nebraska. "I've taken the shortbread to community get-togethers and given some as gifts. Everyone seems to love the mocha flavor."—Carolyn Van Boening, Blue Springs, Nebraska
Crafters of all ages will enjoy these cookies, according to subscriber Bertha Seyer of Oak Ridge, Missouri. In fact, keep the recipe on hand after you serve them. Folks are sure to ask how they can make their own!
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!