A great holiday gift (not as good as a gift certificate for a Cook with Class cooking lesson, though) is "Martha Stewart's Cookies," an excellent book with recipes for 175 different cookies.
I've made a handful—oatmeal raisin cookies, whole-wheat date bars, peanut butter and jelly bars, carrot cake cookies and cakey chocolate chip cookies—and they all have been delicious. Just as important, most of the book's recipes are straightforward and easy enough to make even if you hardly bake or are in prison. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
Last night I made chocolate crackles (photo, below); they were really !$#@% good. The more nuanced Marthaspeak description: "A variegated pattern of deep dark chocolate and pure white powdered sugar makes these crinkly cookies a striking study in contrast. Roll balls of the rich dough first in granulated sugar, then in confectioners' sugar. The first layer ensures that the second one retains its snowy white appearance." Whatever.
Remember, cookies and other desserts aren't necessarily bad for us. If we use organic chocolate, whole wheat flour, butter from pastured cows, eggs from pastured hens and organic pure cane sugar, our sweets will be healthier (and safer) than any "low-fat" packaged foodstuff championed by Big Food.