A bit thicker than the norm, this sugar cookie is just like one you might find at a good bakery. My children often request these sweet treats for their birthdays and are always happy to help me decorate. —Heather Biedler, Martinsburg, West Virginia
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
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
Not only are these pretty cookies fun to serve, but they bake up delicate and flaky and taste wonderful. Even the dough is a treat to work with - so easy to roll out and cut.
-Marlys Benning, Ackley, Iowa
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."
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
Ho ho ho! St. Nick can drop in any time at all when you bake these cute-as-can-be treats. To create them, our kitchen staff followed a scrumptious cookie recipe from Jill Boruff of Soap Lake, Washington and formed Santas with heart-shaped cookie cutters.—Jill Boruff, Soap Lake, Washington