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1. 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 bowl. 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 with a wooden spoon.
2. Force unchilled dough through a cookie press into Xs and 0s onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with coarse or colored sugar, if desired.
3. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm but not brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.