There's nothing wrong with traditional sugar cookies, but if you're looking for a way to set yourself apart at the cookie swap, consider incorporating some spice-infused browned butter.
Photo by Chelsea Kyle, prop styling by Alex Brannian, food styling by Ali Nardi.
Epicurious has a few fantastic tips for spicing up your holiday baked goods (check them out by clicking the link below), but my favourite is their suggestion to not only brown your baking butter, but infuse it with tasty spices. The best part? This can be done with any recipe that calls for melted butter. Simply throw it in a pan along with some spices and let everyone get to know each other until it's golden and fragrant. (Green cardamom pods, whole cloves, broken cinnamon sticks, and halved vanilla beans are all good options.) The hot liquid butter will extract the flavorful oils, resulting in a cooking fat with a whole lot of deep and toasty flavour.
How to Spice Up Your Christmas Cookies (Literally) [Epicurious]