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
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
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
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
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