3 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk well. Set aside.
Using electric mixer, mix butter and sugar in large bowl into light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until a soft dough is formed. Divide dough into thirds. Form each third into a fattened disk. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill until firm, at least 2 hours up to 3 days ahead.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line one or more large baking sheets with parchment paper or with silicone baking mats, if you have them.
Flour a clean, dry, work surface and rolling pin. Place one unwrapped disk on the work surface. Turn the dough over to coat both sides with flour. Roll out dough to 1/4 -inch thickness, lifting and turning the dough to prevent sticking. Use cookie cutters dipped into flour to cut out cookies. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet, at 1/2 -inch apart. Gather dough scraps together and repeat the process.
Bake until cookies turn lightly brown on edges, about 12-15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking pan for at least 2 minutes before transfering them (using a small spatula) to racks to cool thoroughly.
Makes 3-4 dozen, 3-inch cookies
1/4 cup milk
6 to 8 cups powdered sugar
Assorted food colorings (such as blue, red, yellow and green)
Place milk in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in half the powdered sugar. Whisk in remaining, a little at a time, to form icing for brushing or dipping cookies. For stiffer icing (to pipe decorations), add more sugar. Divide remaining icing equally among smaller bowls to mix-in food coloring by drops into each bowl, tinting icing to desired shade.