This is my favorite sugar cookie recipe, though I usually spend way too much time decorating the cookies, only to see them rapidly disappear. I just wish these would last longer. ;) However, because I do like to make these so much, I also have collected quite a few cookie cutters, so now I don't just make them for Christmas, but I also use this recipe for heart for Valentine's Day or leaves in the autumn.
Sugar Cookie Roll outs
1 1/2 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Cream the powdered sugar with the butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix again thoroughly. Add the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Mix until just combined. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. This dough warms up quickly, so only remove a portion at a time while you roll out the cookies, so that it remains easy to work with.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly flour a surface to roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Do not add too much flour while working the dough. Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes; watch closely to adjust to your oven as you don't want the cookies to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for a minute on the cookie sheet. After a minute, remove to a wire rack to continue to cool completely.
Once completely cooled, make a powdered sugar, butter and milk frosting to frost the cookies...or you can cheat and buy pre-made icing and color with food coloring to achieve the colors you need to frost the cookies.