12/05/2015 07:09 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

11 Holiday Cookies That Make Great Gifts

Avoid the crowds at the mall this holiday season -- the very best gifts come from your own kitchen. These cookies are all guaranteed to make your friends, neighbors and teachers smile. The only challenge will be keeping yourself and your family from gobbling them up straight out of the oven!

1. Crispy Ginger Cookies


These are the perfect ginger cookies: they have just the right balance of spices -- think ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and black pepper -- and a wonderful buttery-crisp texture. Plus, they look so pretty stacked and tied with a bow. GET THE RECIPE

2. Almond Biscotti


These Italian-style cookies are made by forming a fragrant, almond-studded dough into loaves, partially baking it, slicing it and then baking it again. They're everything you want biscotti to be: buttery, lightly sweet, crunchy but not tooth-shattering -- and as good with your morning coffee as they are with afternoon tea or ice cream. GET THE RECIPE

3. Chocolate Fudge Crinkles


Crisp and powdery on the outside, and soft and fudgy in the center: if you can imagine what a brownie would taste like in cookie form, this is it. GET THE RECIPE

4. Crave-Worthy Sugar Cookies


These sugar cookies are truly crave-worthy: buttery and rich in flavor, with a crisp and sparkly exterior and tender-chewy interior. I discovered the recipe years ago on the King Arthur Flour website, and it's been my go-to for sugar cookies ever since. GET THE RECIPE

5. Coconut Macaroons


Chewy and moist on the inside, crispy and golden on the outside, these cookies are delicious plain but even more irresistible dipped in chocolate. They also keep well for days, which makes them the perfect cookie to make ahead or give as gifts during the holidays. GET THE RECIPE

6. Banana Oatmeal Cookies


These oatmeal cookies taste just like banana bread. Seriously. GET THE RECIPE

7. Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans


These chocolate cookies stuffed with chocolate chips and pecans emerge from the oven puffy, gooey, chewy and crunchy every single time. GET THE RECIPE

8. Nutty Jam Thumbprints


These Nutty Jam Thumbprints could win a cookie contest on looks alone. The cookie is actually a Mexican Wedding Cake (AKA Russian Tea Cake, Viennese Crescent or Snowball), which makes the perfect shortbread-like base for a dollop of luscious fruit preserves. GET THE RECIPE

9. Toffee Almond Sandies


Don't be fooled by their plain appearance. When you bite into these cookies, you'll discover a buttery and sweet shortbread studded with melted toffee bits and crunchy almonds. Delicious! GET THE RECIPE

10. Double Chocolate Biscotti


My son calls these biscotti "crunchy brownies." But when you dunk them, they soften, becoming rich, chocolaty and decadent. They keep well, which makes them perfect for gift gifting. GET THE RECIPE

11. Snickerdoodles


Snickerdoodles are sweet, buttery sugar cookies lightly dusted with cinnamon. With their whimsical name and crackly tops, I don't know anyone who can resist them! Plus, they make a great family baking project -- kids love to form the squishy dough into balls and roll them in cinnamon-sugar. GET THE RECIPE