With a fresh breeze, my longtime-favorite sugar cookie recipe got under way on a new track. I cut out sailboats and frisky fish, frosting them brightly for the nautical gathering. My guests ate their limit!
-Martha Conaway, Pataskala, Ohio
These soft, cake-like cookies have a pleasant anise flavor that's distinct but not overpowering. I add red and green sprinkles for Christmas, but you could decorate them to suit any occasion.—Janice Eanni, Willowick, Ohio
I rely on this mix for these light sugar cookies for years, even selling it at bazaars. I package it in a plastic bag tied with pretty ribbon and attach a cookie cutter and copy of the recipe. —Eneatha Attig Secrest, Mattoon, Illinois
With their tender golden crust and tempting pear and raisin filling, these fabulous bars stand out on any buffet table. Substitute apples for the pears, and you'll still get yummy results!
-Jeanne Allen, Rye, Colorado
Katie Koziolek of Hartland, Minnesota adds a hint of lemon to these delightful sugar cookies. For make-ahead convenience, freeze the dough up to three months, then thaw in the fridge before baking and decorating them.
To add bushels of fall flavor to your birthday bash, try baking up this cookie scarecrow shaped and decorated by the Crafting Traditions kitchen crew. It starts with Vickie's sugar cookies. "The recipe is a winner with my family and friends," Vickie says. "I am always asked to bring it—or even make it—for people." The scarecrow's easily adapted for other themes besides. For example, try a clown with bouncing balls or an athlete with baseballs instead.—Vickie Wade, Bourbo