1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, vanilla, and, if desired, almond extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.
2. Force unchilled dough through a cookie press onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If desired, sprinkle cookies with colored sugar. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm but not brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. If desired, drizzle cookies with Powdered Sugar Icing.
3. Makes about 84 cookies
Chocolate Spritz: Prepare as above, except reduce flour to 3-1/4 cups and add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder with the sugar.
Nutty Spritz: Prepare as above, except reduce sugar to 2/3 cup and flour to 3-1/4 cups. After adding flour, stir in 1 cup finely ground toasted almonds or hazelnuts (filberts).
Peppermint Spritz: Prepare as above, except substitute with 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract or 14 drops of peppermint oil for the vanilla and almond extracts. If desired, drizzle cookies with Powdered Sugar Icing and immediately sprinkle with finely crushed striped round peppermint candies.