Use your favorite cookie cutter shapes to suit the occasion.
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond) extract
3 eggs, well-beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cream butter; add sugar and vanilla and continue creaming until light. Beat eggs and add to butter mixture. Blend well.
Sift flour, measure; sift with salt and add to dough, using more flour if necessary to make stiff dough. Chill 30 minutes. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness.
Cut with cookie cutter and bake on lightly greased cookie sheet in hot oven, 400°F for about ten minutes. (If desired, sprinkle with sugar or colorful sprinkles before baking.)
Remove from pans and use a spatula to transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. Pack in airtight containers.
Makes 5 to 6 dozen.