Cutout Sugar Cookies by cucinagirl

1 cup unsalted butter, softened 
1 egg 
1 ½ tsp almond extract 
1 cup sugar 
2 Tbsp milk 
3/4 tsp baking powder 
2 ½ cups flour
Colored sugar, glaze, or frosting for decorating (optional)

Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, milk, and almond extract. Beat until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Add flour and baking powder. Beat on low speed until well mixed.

Divide dough into quarters. Wrap quarters in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour (preferably 3 hours and up to 2 days).

When dough has chilled preheat oven to 400°F. Working with one piece of dough at a time on a floured surface, roll to desired thickness (1/8” to 1/4”) with a floured rolling pin. Cut with cookie cutters and place 1” apart on a cookie sheet (use parchment paper, if desired).

Bake for 7-9 minutes. Cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.

Decorating: You can use one or both of the frostings below. If using both, let the glaze dry before decorating with the buttercream.

Glaze
3 cups Powdered sugar 
3-4 Tbsp Milk 
1 tsp Vanilla extract (or to taste) 
1 tsp Almond extract (or to taste) 
Food coloring, if desired

Add milk until desired consistency is reached. Glaze should be thin enough that you can drizzle it over the cookies, but not too thin or it will just run off or make the cookies soggy.
I’ve discovered that the neatest and easiest way to apply the glaze is using a pastry brush. (I use a different one for each color). You can also drizzle it over the cookies or pour the glaze onto a plate and dip the tops of the cookies in it.
Also, feel free to add other extracts to flavor the glaze (orange and lemon are both good).

Buttercream Frosting
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened 
3 cups confectioner’s sugar 
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 
1-2 tablespoons milk 
1 tsp Almond extract (optional) 
Food coloring

Blend first two ingredients; then add the vanilla and milk. Separate frosting into smaller bowls and mix in food coloring. Put frosting in decorating bags and pipe onto cookies!
(Add more or less milk for desired consistency – a slightly stiffer frosting is better for piping.)