1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup half-and-half
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted,for glazing (optional)
2/3 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp. milk (or half-and-half or whipping cream)
1 tsp. vanilla
Food coloring, if desired
In large bowl of electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Blend in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla and almond extracts and half and half.
Combine all the ingredients together and stir into the creamed mixture. On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into 2 disks. (May be easier to form the two disks directly on some plastic wrap or waxed paper, rather than on a floured surface, before chilling). Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350º. On lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4- or 1/3-inch thick. Cut with cookie cutter. Gather the scraps, roll again and cut more cookies.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (or watch then) until barely golden on edges or per your taste. Let cool and dip in melted chocolate, if using, or frost with frosting below. Yield: 3 to 4 dozen cookies.
Frosting: In medium bowl, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and milk or half-and-half, until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and food coloring. Frost cookies lightly.