If you've been looking for the best Cut Out Cookies Recipe, this is the one! It's a solid, reliable recipe that's great for decorating.
3cupsunbleached all-purpose flour
1cupsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
3/4tsppure vanilla extract
1/2tsppure almond extract
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.
Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set this mixture aside.
In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until combined and fluffy. Beat in the egg and extracts, mixing until combined.
Add the flour mixture in three parts, mixing on low speed. Scrape down the sides and bottoms of the bowl as needed. After the last addition, the dough will look very thick and crumbly.
Prepare a rolling surface and roll out a portion of the dough. Cut as many shapes from the dough as possible and place them on a prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes. Freezing the cookies will help keep them from spreading. Meanwhile, knead the scraps and remaining dough together and continue the rolling, cutting, and freezing process on a second cookie sheet.
After freezing, immediately bake the cookies on the center rack of your oven for 9 to 12 minutes (for 3.5 to 4-inch cookies), or until they appear done in the center. The baked cookies won’t change much in color.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes. With a thin cookie spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.