I make these cookies for my family and our neighbors every Valentine’s Day. The heart-shaped treats stay soft for at least a week, and they look so pretty frosted bright pink and then piped with lacy frosting.—Carolyn Walton, Smoot, Wyoming
I make these cookie pops often during the year. In the spring, I cut them into flower shapes and insert the pops into a block of foam fitted into a basket or bowl. You can cover the foam with tissue paper or cellophane. Add a bow if you like. They make a great centerpiece or hostess gift. Not only do the cookies look pretty, they taste good, too. —Krissy Fossmeyer, Huntley, Illinois
I take these cookies to family gatherings and socials and give them as gifts to friends. The cinnamon flavor and soft frosting make them special. My mom helped me bake my first batch of cookies when I was 8. She's my role model.
"I've been making these special holiday cookies at Christmastime for almost 30 years," says Linda Nealley of Newburgh, Maine. "They take a while but are worth it, because the teddy bears are so cute and taste delicious."
"A single batch of these mouthwatering cookies is never enough," attests Doris Marshall of Strasburg, Pennsylvania. "I usually make one to give away and two more to keep at home. Adding ricotta cheese to the batter makes the morsels extra moist."—Doris Marshall, Strasburg, Pennsylvania
MY MOTHER is an excellent baker, and this is her recipe. Whether Mom makes these cookies or I do, they always disappear quickly.
Friends rave about them and often ask me to bring them to get-togethers. My young children enjoy all kinds of cookies, but these are their favorites.
-Tracy Betzler, Reston, Virginia
While I usually bake these cookies for Christmas, I'll also make them at Valentine's Day (in the shape of hearts, with messages written in frosting), at Thanksgiving (shaped like turkeys), at Halloween (pumpkins), etc. Children like to help out with the decorating. —Cynthia Ettel, Hutchinson, Minnesota
What makes these cookies the best ever? A delicious cream cheese dough flavored with vanilla, almond and a hint of nutmeg that's wonderfully easy to work with. The adorable decorations don't hurt, either! —Christy Hinrichs, Parkville, Missouri