Every year for the holidays, I’ll bake hundreds of cookies. For two full days, every flat surface in my house will be covered with ingredients, baking trays, dough, and freshly baked cookies.

It hasn’t always been such a big production at my house. It all started with one cookie: Walnut Cups. I learned how to make them from my aunt, who was more than happy to teach me. When I asked for help, she came over, apron on, ready to go!

Since then, the walnut cups have become my responsibility, and I’ve added many more recipes to my repertoire. A few of my favorites include:

  • Walnut Cups: The crust is buttery and flaky, while the center is sweet and nutty.
  • Lemon Filled: These are my dad’s favorites. They’re simple, sweet, and traditionally Italian. If you don’t like lemon, you can easily switch the jelly flavor.
  • Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate: One of the few recipes I’ve found online that hasn’t failed me. The chocolate is almost overwhelming, but can easily be balanced out by the sea salt—or a glass of milk!

I’ll make all of these and more, and package them into tins.  I’ll give them to family, friends, and coworkers. I haven’t had a complaint yet!

Image credit: Whitney