New York Magazine

Tout Sweets! With a little clever packaging, homemade cookies and candies make great holiday gifts (the most critical ingredient may be your own self-restraint).
Want to give a gift that shows how much you care? Then put down that fruitcake catalogue. For a personal touch -- and a relaxing, get-in-the-spirit couple of hours -- consider baking a batch of cookies from scratch. Not just run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter Christmas confections, mind you, but festive holiday sweets from the likes of François Payard (chocolate-coated candied citrus peels), Fauchon's Florian Bellanger (orange-glazed cocoa-almond shooting stars), and Citarella's Bill Yosses (nut-studded, sugar-dusted Russian tea cakes with a cardamom zing). A recipe for buttery sablés au citron comes from Paris (via cookbook writer Dorie Greenspan). And Craft's Karen DeMasco gets in the sugar-and-spice spirit with a trio of temptations -- crunchy peanut brittle, zest-laced linzer cookies, and the thinnest, spiciest ginger snaps we've ever had. Tie them up in a tumbler or nestle them in wooden boxes, and they're perfect to bring to a holiday party. That is, if you've been able to resist devouring them yourself.
Cookie Recipes
Candied Citrus Dipped in Dark Chocolate
François Payard of Payard
  Chocolate-Orange Shooting-Star Cookies
Florian Bellanger of Fauchon.
Karen DeMasco of Craft and Craftbar.
  Lemon Butter Cookies
From Paris Sweets, by Dorie Greenspan
Linzer Cookies
Karen DeMasco of Craft and Craftbar.
  Peanut Brittle
Karen DeMasco of Craft and Craftbar.
Russian Tea Cakes
Bill Yosses of Citarella.