Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
1. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue creaming, again until light and creamy.
3. In a separate container, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir until moistened. This will make a soft dough.
5. Scrape the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap.
6. Cover and press the dough into a flat disc about ½ inch thick. Chill for 15 minutes. You can chill the cookies after they are cut out. This will change the texture of the cookies, not the taste.
7. Lightly flour your work surface. Unwrap the chilled dough and place onto the floured surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour.
8. With a rolling pin, roll the dough to ¼ inch.
9. Cut with a cookie cutter. Place the cut cookies onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. "Scraps" of dough may be reformed and rolled out again until the dough is used up. Put same sized cookies on same tray to bake.
10. Bake cookies at 375 for 7-8 minutes, till just browned around the edges and the middles have puffed up.
11. Cool on the cookie sheet and then get ready to decorate.