Come holiday time, Joyce Berry rolls out dozens of these buttery cutout cookies in her Sandpoint, Idaho country kitchen. "The basic sugar cookie recipe is my mother's," she informs, "and I came up with the sweet 'surprise' inside."
Although they take some time to decorate, I enjoy giving these cookies to family and friends. You can also make them for Christmas using different cookie cutters. —Alison Benke, Chetwynd, British Columbia
To celebrate the pitter-patter of tiny feet (or any occasion), crisp buttery sugar cookies like these are a hit, hands down! They cut wonderfully into delicate shapes and look festive decorated with pink and blue sugar.
-Joyce Leach, Armstrong, Iowa
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
I've used this recipe for almost 40 years and love it because it's a little different than most. My mom always made Santa cookies, and we'd put them into little clear bags tied with ribbon to hang on the tree.—Ann Bush, Colorado City, Colorado
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
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
Cut the dough for these crisp cookies into heart shapes...or form into letters to spell out sweet nothings to your sweetie. "These are our favorite sugar cookies," writes Marilyn Wheeler of Ellijay, Georgia. "They're one of the homemade treats I love to bake for friends and neighbors."
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