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
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
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
My husband's grandmother made a variety of cookies every year for her grandkids at Christmastime. She would box them up and give each child his or her own box. This crisp, orange flavored cookie is one of my favorites from her collection.—Heather McKillip, Aurora, Illinois
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.
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 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