From the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving to the Buche de Noel or yule log, 'tis the season to be eating. And for many of us, the easiest sweet to nibble or share is a Christmas cookie.
We searched the WRAL recipe database, asked our friends and then simply went shopping to identify the treats that will make you the star of your next cookie swap.
If you're baking, you are probably including the kids, and the Stained Glass Cookie recipe shared by our friends at Lil' Chef Kids Cooking Studio is easy and unique. Use standard shortbread dough or even a mix, then light it up with melted Jolly Ranchers. They are light and fruity.
For a more sophisticated palate, Bill Leslie shared a family recipe that mixes lavender into shortbread.
If you prefer to purchase your treats, there are options there as well.
Shop local and impress for less with Monster Cookies & Cakes. One "monster" goes a long way You can cater to everyone on your gift list with their variety of flavors from the Christmas-y mint chocolate and to the summer-y sweet tea with lemon.
I could spend hours in Chapel Hill's classic A Southern Season and have yet to strike out with their gift baskets and cookie tins. Send foot-shaped sugar cookies dipped in chocolate to your favorite Tar Heels. Or blow one sweet recipient away with the Giant Gingerbread Boy.
Finally, there is La Farm. They set the standard for baked goods in the Triangle and their holiday goodies live up to the reputation. Their cookie and brownie platter serves a dozen people, or order a beautiful Buche de Noel in vanilla-raspberry, chocolate or praline and really turn their heads.