One of the best parts of Valentine's Day is showering those we love with affection — and gifts. Whether you spend it by sending a cute card to a parent, gifting an elaborate food bouquet to a best friend or spending a steamy date night in with a significant other, this Hallmark holiday can be special with or without a love interest.
That's why the 3rd Hour of TODAY co-hosts got together for a special gift exchange. Drawing inspiration from Secret Santa, the co-hosts decided to do a Coworker Cupid. Al Roker, Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin and Dylan Dreyer each got assigned their own person to hit with Cupid's arrow. The only prerequisite was that the gift had to be homemade.
On Thursday, when they unveiled their identities to their gift recipients, Craig admitted he strayed slightly from the rules and got Dylan a Nintendo gift card. Given that Dylan and her family have been all about the Nintendo Switch, Craig got a pass.
Dylan went the sentimental route and framed the script and photos from when Craig experienced one of his dreams: interviewing Michael Jordan.
"I was so excited to give this to you," said Dylan.
Sheinelle illustrated a family photo of she and her co-workers and framed it alongside a set of wooden bowls for her pal Al. And Al, given his passion for cooking, whipped up some shortbread cookies for Sheinelle.
"Did you make cookies?" Sheinelle asked him, excitedly. "Can I eat them now?"
Sheinelle resisted to the urge to devour the beautiful cookies on air, but considering Al used Ina Garten's go-to shortbread cookie recipe, we can imagine how hard it was to hold back.
With a foolproof 20-minute prep and just five ingredients — butter, sugar, vanilla, flour and a little salt — this recipe makes the perfect "I appreciate you" treat.
"They are the quintessence of shortbread and have been my all-time favorite cookie since the first time I tried one, over fifteen years ago," Garten has said of the recipe, which she got from Eli Zabar, son of the founders of the famed New York grocer, Zabar's. "We also use the dough for lots of variations on this recipe — Linzer cookies, pecan shortbread and even raspberry tart."
Al created his own variation to honor Sheinelle on Valentine's Day: Instead of cutting the dough into heart shapes the way Garten does, Al went an extra step and spelled out the word "LOVE" in all caps. Then he added an extra touch of sweetness by dipping the tips of each letter in melted chocolate.
"And by the way, I didn't want you to be left out, so I made them for you guys," Al told Craig and Dylan.
"Al Roker is next-level class," Craig commented.
Let's just say we all know who we want to be our Secret Santa come the holidays!