4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. vanilla (you can use other flavors, too---I like a mix of citrus fruit juice, especially at Easter)
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Cream the butter and sugar until light yellow and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add flour, with speed set on low, and mix until well-combined. Add vanilla. Form into 2 disks and wrap in plastic. Chill half an hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough out to about 1/8" thick, on a floured surface, one disk at a time. Cut out with cookie cutters and place on ungreased baking sheets. Chill about 15 minutes, so they're nice & firm. You can decorate them with sanding sugar before baking, if you want. Otherwise, use your favorite icing once they're baked. I like royal icing for these, but plain old powdered sugar icing is great, too. Anyway, bake these until the edges just start to brown, 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks before decorating. These are also good without any icing, sanding sugar, or anything. Makes about 30 2 1/2" cookies---or 15 larger ones.