12 Days of Cookies: Melissa's Fruit and Nut Holiday Shortbread

By: Melanie Rehak
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It's time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com's annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel's blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

Ten Dollar Dinners host  Melissa d’Arabian is giving jewels to her fans. In a way. Melissa topped her holiday cookies this year with dried cranberries, orange marmalade and chocolate chips, and the  Fruit and Nut Holiday Shortbread cookies that result are as pretty to look at as they are delicious to eat. The cookies themselves are crisp, buttery basics, brought together in baking alchemy: butter, flour and sugar. They're easy to make, and the fruit-and-nut topping is simple to stir together. Set the cookies, decorated in holiday finery, on a candlelit table, where they’ll glisten like little treasures.

Get Melissa's recipe and check out dozens and dozens of batches in 12 Days of Cookies for more sweet ideas. Then tell us what you're baking.

Melanie Rehak, author of Eating for Beginners, has been baking cookies since she was old enough to climb onto the kitchen stool. She and her family are partial to Zimtsterne—cinnamon stars—for the holidays, but love cookies of all kinds all year long.

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