Here comes the big yellow bus! Kayla could hardly wait to board a real one to go to kindergarten, so I made her birthday cake to look like a school bus. It wasn't very complicated to decorate, yet everyone immediately recognized the sweet vehicle.
-Leslie Miller, Butler, Pennsylvania
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 itor even make itfor 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, Bourbonnais, Illinois
Cutting fun shapes from sweet dough and decorating the cookies with icing and candies is a Christmas-time tradition many families, including Sherry Taylor's. "This easy sugar cookie recipe yields delicious results," assures this Metropolis, Illinois subscriber.
Sweet coconut provides the delicious difference in this fun grilled great from Jodi Rugg of Aurora, Illinois. "Our two children enjoy helping me stuff the yummy filling into the apples," she reports. "It's so easy that sometimes we don't even bother to do the measuring!"
I didn't need a special basketball player cookie cutter to shape these sporty cookies—gingerbread men cutters make the team! I like this cookie's rich taste better than that of a basic sugar cookie. —Sharon Landeen, Tucson, Arizona
A miniature candy bar is the hidden treat inside fun-for-all-ages pops from Martha Hoover of Coatesville, Pennsylvania. "My sons brought these cookies home from school after their teacher made a bunch for her class," Martha relates. "The kids loved nibbling them on a stick. Of course, the taste also was instant hit!"
Furry friends from Julie Todd's party set inspired our home economists to bake a "purrfect" complementary cake. Wait and seeguests are sure to be drawn to this dessert...quicker than a cat to a mouse. Using a standard cake mix to keep their creation on the quick-and-easy side, our kitchen staff simply shaped felines and mittens using Julie's fun patters Then food coloring brightened up old-fashioned frosting to form spots, hearts whiskers and other details. For a final flavorful twist, licorice added scarves for both Mama and baby. It's kittenish treat folks won't be able to keep their "paws" off of. So don't count on these critters lasting nine lives!