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Sift together flour (3cups/430grams), baking powder (1 teaspoon) add salt (1/2 teaspoon), set aside.
In a mixing bowl cream together room temperature butter (1 cup / 226 grams) and sugar (1 cup/200 grams), about 5 minutes, scrape the bowl twice. Butter creamed with sugar should be light and creamy in color.
In a small dish whisk together egg(and vanilla extract(1 tablespoon). If using, whisk in almond (1/2 teaspoon) and lemon extract(1/2 teaspoon), set aside.
Gradually add egg mixture into butter mixture. Beating well, till combined about a minute.
Lower the speed of your mixer to low. Gradually in 3 additions add flour mixture. Scrape the bowl well after the last addition and beat on low speed until flour is blended in. At this stage you'll see chucks of cookie dough.
Dust a a large mixing bowl with 1 tbs flour. Scrape the cookie dough into a bowl. Gather dough together. Using your hands knead the cookie dough for about 10-20 seconds, until dough comes together. Shape into a disk.TIP : If dough appears too wet add 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour.
Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. Or speed up the process by placing it into the freeze for 30 minutes to an hour.TIP : If yo
Preheat oven to 375F
If you find that dough is hard as a rock, don’t panic. Quarter the dough. Take one piece and microwave on high for 5-8 seconds to soften it up a little. It shouldn't be super soft, just soft enough so you can roll it out, you’ll still need to apply little bit of pressure. Cut up remaining dough into smaller pieces, set aside. Place microwaved piece between your rolling guides, either between 2 pieces of parchment or if you have large silicone mat you can use it also ( for the guides you can use 2 painter's sticks glued together on each side, or 2 pieces of 1/4 inch wood rods will work great, too).
Cut out as many cookies as you can. Gather scraps and to the scraps add a fresh piece of cut up cookie dough you set aside. Re-roll and repeat until you are done with all the cookies. Place the cookies on a light colored baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill the cut outs in the fridge for about 10 minutes, or in the freezer for 5.
Bake for 10-11 minutes, depending on the oven, turn the sheet once half way through the baking.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-7 minutes, transfer to cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze undecorated cookies between pieces of wax paper in a large freeze safe container, for up to 3 months.
Decorate cookies as desired with royal icing or other medium that you use.