Rich, buttery, and made with lots of vanilla, these cookies are simple to make. Use a cookie press -- a hollow tube fitted with a decorative nozzle at one end and a plunger at the other -- to press the cookies directly onto the baking sheet.
Of all the cookies that grace Christine Albano's table at Christmas, the lemon ring-shaped ones -- ciambelle, in Italian -- are the most popular. Balance is key: Lemon zest is added to the buttery base, and lemon juice enlivens the nonpareil-flecked glaze. "We serve a big pile, and they're gone by the end of the meal."
Older children can use their hand to outline the cookies, drawing around it on the dough with a skewer and using a knife tip to cut along the line. If your child can't participate, make a pattern from a manila folder. Translucent parchment works well for the heart stencil; it will allow you to see the shape of the cookie through it.