Holiday Sugar Cookies
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 box (1 pound) confectioners sugar
5 to 6 tablespoons milk
Food coloring, as desired
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place butter and granulated sugar in the large bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add eggs and almond extract and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture until fully combined.
Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and add an additional piece of plastic wrap on top. Press down to form a disk about 8 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Remove chilled dough from refrigerator, and plastic. Sprinkle rolling pin with flour and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
Cut out as many cookies as possible using a 2½ inch cookie cutter in your favorite shapes; place dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until cookies are golden brown on the edges and pale to light brown in the center.
Cool cookies completely on the baking sheet before icing.
Make the icing by whisking the confectioners sugar and milk in a medium bowl. If the icing is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of milk. (But you don’t want the icing to be too thin).
Divide the frosting equally into bowls and add 1 to 2 drops of food coloring until you reach desired hue.
Transfer icing to a sealable plastic bag and snip bottom corner to decorate.