This recipe comes from my family cookbook growing up and it's been a family tradition in my own home since my kids were little. The recipe makes two disks of dough, so if you're planning cookie plates to give away, make and bake the entire recipe. Alternatively, plan to freeze one of the disks of dough for a fun project at a later date - snowflakes in January or hearts in February.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add milk and vanilla and mix until combined.
With the mixer on low, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Shape dough into two disks and wrap each in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 400°
Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
On floured surface, roll one of the disks till ⅛” to ¼” thick. Keep extra dough in the refrigerator until ready to use.
With floured cookie cutters, cut into various shapes. Gather scraps and re-roll dough to cut out more cookies.
Place them on cookie sheets, ½” apart.
Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until very lightly browned.
Move cookies to baking rack and cool completely before frosting.
Combine confectioners' sugar, butter, extract and milk, beating until creamy.
If necessary, add a few more drops of milk to reach desired spreading consistency.
Divide frosting into as many bowls as you want colors. Mix in food coloring as desired.
Spread frosting over cooled cookies and add any additional sprinkles or decorations when frosting is still wet.