2 sticks unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons clear or pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Do not chill dough.
Divide dough into 2 balls. On a floured surface (or on a piece of parchment paper), roll each ball into a circle that’s 1/4-inch thick. Dip cookie cutter in flour before each use.
Bake cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet (or on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper) for 8 to 11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.
Makes about 3 dozen 3-inch cookies.
1 1/3 cups solid shortening
2 teaspoons clear vanilla
2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup water
In a large bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. Gradually add water and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
Makes 5 cups.
Poured Cookie Icing
1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
Place sugar and milk in a bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Add corn syrup and mix well. When using this icing on cookies, allow it to dry for 24 hours before stacking cookies.
Makes about 1/2 cup.