Wow partygoers with these festive recipes. 

By Real Simple
Updated December 04, 2015
Credit: Lew Robertson/Getty Images

Sorry, pie-lovers, but it's officially cookie season. Whether you prefer to spend time in the kitchen alone or gather 'round the counter with family and friends, baking is a must in December.

In this week’s episode of “Things Cooks Know,” hosts and Real Simple editors Sarah Humphreys and Sarah Karnasiewicz discuss their favorite baking traditions (Humphreys is known for her sugar cookies with buttercream frosting, Karnasiewicz loves twisting dough into candy cane cookies), and introduce new recipes that are just as delightful.

Some standouts? Pumpkin Seed and Cocoa Nib Toffee, Double Vanilla Drops, and a gingerbread cookie Christmas tree that might be more fun to make than a gingerbread house (but don't just take our word for it).

For more expert baking advice, listen to the full episode below. Don't forget to review and subscribe on iTunes!