You want a cookie that holds its shape, looks pretty but also tastes awesome. I hear you. These No-Fail Sugar Cookies are exactly what you've been looking for. They're ideal for decorating and so hard to stop eating.
3cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
8ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract
Sift flour and salt together into a small mixing bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar on medium high for about five minutes. Your butter mixture will become very pale and fluffy.
Add in the egg and beat until combined.
Turn your mixer as low as it will go and slowly add the flour, mixing until thoroughly combined. Mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts and crank your mixer up to medium for about 10 seconds to make sure everything is well blended.
Carefully dump your dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and press it together into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk, cover completely and put the dough into the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
Clear a space in your kitchen to roll out your dough. Unwrap your chilled dough and place it on a sheet of parchment, then put another sheet of parchment on top. Roll your dough to between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Some rolling pin bands are a greath tool here to make sure your dough is an even thickness throughout. Slide something stiff under your rolled out dough, and transport it back to the refrigerator to chill for another 15 minutes. You may need to roll your dough in a few batches.
Preheat your oven to 325 F (160F).
Remove your rolled dough from the fridge, cut the shapes you want, place the cut dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, and then put the cookie sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Bake your cookies for 12 to 15 minutes. They'll still be quite pale, but you want them to set enough that they won't crumble when you try to frost them.
Let the cookies cool on the pan for another 10 minutes, then remove them to wire racks to cool completely before decorating. Or not. They're totally awesome eaten plain.