12 Gift-Worthy Cookie Recipes for the Holidays

best cookies’Tis the season for baking.

Aside from whipping up some treats for Santa, a fresh batch of cookies can make for a thoughtful (and affordable) hostess gift, office present or even potluck contribution.

In fact, a recent Capital One survey found that baked goods are the most popular item to D.I.Y. this holiday season, with 43% of Americans planning to make cookies for gift-giving.

But at this hectic time of year, the last thing you want is to turn the joy of baking into a frantic trip to the store to procure a mile-long list of pricey, exotic ingredients that you'll use exactly once.

So we've rounded up 12 of the yummiest, easiest-to-make cookies—all you need are pantry basics and simple seasonal flavors, like peppermint—to exchange and gift in the coming weeks. From gingerbread men to mini hot cocoa cookies, these festive treats are sure to spread holiday cheer.

To see the slides in one long list, click into the slideshow and select "list view."

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  • swimmermom

    If you want to make real-deal biscotti, use this recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Anise-Almond-Biscotti-102706 They are amazing and not hard to make (and SO much cheaper than any you can buy!).

  • Marie

    The double chocolate-peppermint cookies look amaaaazing! That is my absolute favorite dessert flavor combination. I love the mini hot cocoa cookies, too (three cheers for chocolate!).