3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. kosher or fine salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. granulated white sugar
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
Directions: Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder, set aside. In another bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, and then vanilla extract until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough in half, wrapping each half in plastic wrap and place in fridge for about an hour or until firm enough to roll. Preheat oven to 350° and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place in freezer to keep cold. Remove one half of the chilled dough - on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch or so. Remove baking sheets from freezer. Cut out (or you can slice and bake) desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter, put on baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes to chill the dough to prevent spreading. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes or until they are slightly browned around the edges. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing (can be piped as well), if desired.
Note: *If you do not want to ice these cookies and would rather sprinkle with colored sugar - sprinkle the colored sugar before you bake them so it bakes into the cookie.