1 cup butter, softened (do not substitute)
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
In a large bowl, with mixer set at medium speed, beat the sugar and butter until creamy. That should take about 2 minutes.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in the eggs and vanilla until blended. Gradually beat in the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg until well blended. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and flatten each into a disk. Wrap each dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to roll out, probably about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
On a lightly floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll 1 of the dough disks to 1/8-inch thickness. With floured cookie cutters, cut shapes as desired. Gather up the trimmings, ball up, wrap and refrigerate. Place the cookies about an inch apart on large ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until very lightly browned (do not overbake). Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Repeat the process with the remaining dough, including trimmings, until all the dough is used up.
When cooled, decorate with the ORNAMENTAL FROSTING recipe on this blog, if desired.
Cookies should be stored in airtight container at room temperature. They will keep this way for up to 2 weeks. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.