1 Make the cookie dough: Beat the butter and sugar together for 1 minute. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract, beat until incorporated. Combine dry ingredients and add to batter, stirring to blend.
2 Chill the dough: Divide dough in half, form 2 balls. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
3 Roll out the dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters: Using a rolling pin, roll out dough (about 1/2 of one dough ball at a time) on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8" thickness. Dip cookie cutters into flour; cut out shapes.
4 Bake: Place cookies on silpat lined or lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375°F for 7-8 minutes.
5 Make the icing: Combine the sugar, almond extract and just enough milk (about 1/4 cup) to make the frosting the consistency of thin glue. Pour icing into shallow bowls wide enough for dipping cookies. Add food coloring.
6 Decorate the cookies: To decorate, dip the topside of each cookie into the icing. Remove quickly and let icing drip of excess back into the icing bowl. Let dry. Pour additional colored frosting into pastry piping, or use a plastic sandwich bag with the tip of one corner nicked off. Gently squeeze frosting on to cookies in whatever patterns you choose.
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