Gifts from the Oven

Homemade treats like decorated cookies and homemade loaves of bread spread holiday cheer among friends and family.

  • Cinnamon-Sugar Cookies
    Randy Mayor

    Cinnamon-Sugar Cookies

    Buttery and sweet with a hint of spice, these favorite cinnamon-sugar cookies, otherwise known as "snickerdoodles," are right for any occasion.
  • Spice Island Drop Cookies
    Photo: Alan Richardson; Styling: Betty Alfenito

    Spice Island Drop Cookies

    Spice up your cookies with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves and top them with a rich maple frosting and chopped walnuts.
  • Sugar Sand Cookies
    Photo: Alan Richardson; Styling: Betty Alfenito

    Sugar Sand Cookies

    Take a trip to the coast this holiday with sugar sand shortbread cookies, decorated with seaside colors of sanding sugar.
  • Hazelnut Nutella Sandwich Cookies
    Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Dan Becker

    Hazelnut Nutella Sandwich Cookies

    These double chocolate cookies get extra richness from nutella spread and chopped hazelnuts. You can use this basic chocolate cookie recipe in a number of variations that are all ideal for holiday giving.
  • Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies
    Oxmoor House

    Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies

    Start with a package of chocolate chip cookie mix and chocolate-covered cherries for these decadent cookies.
  • Bittersweet Cookie Macaroons
    Oxmoor House

    Bittersweet Cookie Macaroons

    Refrigerated cookie dough is the secret ingredient behind these rich, decadent sandwich cookies. Simply roll dough in flaked coconut, bake, add the chocolate mixture to the bottom of one cookie and top with another cookie—so easy! Wrap the cookies in cellophane bags or place in air-tight containers tied with holiday ribbon.

    Recipe: Bittersweet Cookie Macaroons

  • Cookie Biscotti Sticks
    Oxmoor House

    Cookie Biscotti Sticks

    Biscotti have a sturdy texture that make them ideal for mailing. Pack these cookie-flavored treats in a pretty tin and send them to loved ones near and far.

    Recipe: Cookie Biscotti Sticks

  • Lemon Verbena-Walnut Loaf Cake
    Iain Bagwell; Melanie J. Clarke

    Lemon Verbena-Walnut Loaf Cake

    With its bright citrus flavor, lemon verbena adds that "little something extra" to this moist, nutty loaf. Pair it with a box of your favorite tea for a charming holiday gift.

    Recipe: Lemon Verbena-Walnut Loaf Cake

  • Honey-Baked Chunky Granola
    Oxmoor House

    Honey-Baked Chunky Granola

    Keep granola on hand during the hectic holidays. It makes a great portable snack with lots of healthy ingredients and is also good served with yogurt, over ice cream, or in a bowl of milk.

    Recipe: Honey-Baked Chunky Granola

  • Glazed Lemon Cookies
    Photo: Kana Okada; Styling: Sara Quessenberry

    Glazed Lemon Cookies

    These tangy and crisp little cookies are a favorite gift for teachers or coworkers. Package them in a nut or coffee tin wiped clean with a damp towel. Wrap the tin in butcher paper or tie a bow with extra-wide ribbon to hide any glue remnants on the tin.

    Recipe: Glazed Lemon Cookies

  • Pistachio Pastry Twist
    Oxmoor House

    Pistachio Pastry Twist

    The flavor possibilities for these puff-pastry twists are endless! Use the suggested filling of cinnamon, cardamom, and pistachios, or invent your own fillings and seasonings. Nibble these with tea or coffee or package in a pretty vase or cellophane bag and give to friends.

    Recipe: Pistachio Pastry Twist

  • Chocolate-Raspberry Petits Fours
    Oxmoor House

    Chocolate-Raspberry Petits Fours

    Start with prebaked mini brownies and pourable milk chocolate frosting to cut way back on the prep time of these adorable little cakes. Place each cake in a candy cup or cupcake liner to keep from sticking, arrange in a gift box, and seal with the lid and a ribbon. The petits fours are also easy pick-up desserts to serve at a brunch or holiday party.

    Recipe: Chocolate-Raspberry Petits Fours

  • Peppermint Layer Cookies
    Annabelle Breakey

    Peppermint Layer Cookies

    Peppermint-flavored holiday cookies dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with peppermints are the ideal gift to show someone that you took the time to make them something special. These cookies have a beautiful presentation so serve them at a cookie swap or give them to someone you love.

    Recipe: Peppermint Layer Cookies

  • Amaretti
    Becky Luigart-Stayner


    At less than 50 calories each, these fragrant Italian cookies are a sophisticated choice for anyone watching their waistline. Include them in a gift basket with a pound of Italian-roast coffee beans.

    Recipe: Amaretti

  • Dark Chocolate-Dipped Anise Biscotti
    Iain Bagwell; Melanie J. Clarke

    Dark Chocolate-Dipped Anise Biscotti

    Present this deliciously grown-up treat in a festive glass cookie jar. An airtight seal will help keep the biscotti fresh for up to a week.

    Recipe: Dark Chocolate-Dipped Anise Biscotti

  • Cheddar Cookies
    Oxmoor House

    Cheddar Cookies

    These spicy cheese wafers are a tasty and easier twist on the traditional cheese straw. For less spice, decrease the amount of red pepper. Press a toasted pecan into the center of each cookie for a decorative and delicious touch.

    Recipe: Cheddar Cookies

  • Noel Pound Cake Loaf

    Noel Pound Cake Loaf

    Move over, fruitcake. This moist, sour cream-enriched beauty will banish any memories of leaden loaves, so wrap it in colorful cellophane and give with confidence.

    Recipe: Noel Pound Cake Loaf

  • Christmas Sugar Wafers with Vanilla Icing

    Christmas Sugar Wafers with Vanilla Icing

    Say "Happy Holidays" with a batch of decorated sugar cookies. For maximum visual impact, package these pretty vanilla-scented shapes in clear plastic bags tied with coordinating ribbons.

    Recipe: Christmas Sugar Wafers with Vanilla Icing

  • Sour Cream Raspberry Swirl Loaf
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Fonda Shaia

    Sour Cream Raspberry Swirl Loaf

    Revealing a jewel-red ribbon of raspberry jam when sliced, this tasty stunner will have friends begging for the recipe. This cake freezes well for up to two months, so keep it in mind when baking make-ahead treats.

    Recipe: Sour Cream Raspberry Swirl Loaf

  • Sugared Vanilla Cookies
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Sugared Vanilla Cookies

    Keep logs of this classic sugar cookie dough in the freezer to simplify holiday baking. At a moment's notice, just roll in sprinkles and slice for a cheery wintertime gift.

    Recipe: Sugared Vanilla Cookies

  • Bourbon-Cream Cheese Brownies
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Bourbon-Cream Cheese Brownies

    A little splash of bourbon adds another depth of flavor to these rich cream cheese brownies. And because brownies are sturdy bar cookies, they are a great choice for packaging as a gift.
  • Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Bourbon Ganache
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Bourbon Ganache

    Delight your friends with these chocolate chip sandwich cookies filled with a creamy chocolate filling that’s flavored with bourbon.
  • Bourbon Balls
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Bourbon Balls

    In the South, no holiday dessert buffet is complete without these tasty little no-cook cookies, so they will always be a much-welcomed gift.
  • Pecan-Toffee Shortbread
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Pecan-Toffee Shortbread

    Instead of being sliced into rounds or rectangles, this shortbread is baked in one large rectangle, then topped with chocolate and a sugary pecan mixture, then broken into pieces.
  • Butter-Pecan Granola
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Butter-Pecan Granola

    Package this sweet and crunch granola in decorate boxes or jars and attach a tag with serving suggestions.
  • Cranberry-Pecan Cheese Wafers
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Cranberry-Pecan Cheese Wafers

    These savory cheese wafers are more festive with the addition of sweetened dried cranberries and make a lovely gift packaged with a bottle of wine.

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