We had been making this recipe for years. It was extremely rich and we loved eating the cookies, but the dough was soft and could be difficult to work with if not chilled well enough (we had to put it back in the fridge between batches). When I was in my late teens, my mother came across another sugar cookie recipe and said "hey, this is almost the same as great-grandmas, except that instead of 1 cup of butter, it has 1 cube..." ...and then the light came on. Somewhere along the line someone had written "1c" instead of 1 cube, and ever since then we'd been doing a double portion of butter in the cookies. Since then I have opted to use 3/4 cup of butter--halfway in between the two. It maintains the rich flavor of our old recipe, but is much easier to work with.
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
a dash of almond extract if desired
2 1/2 cups flour
Cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Add flour.
Chill thoroughly (at least an hour). Keep firm in order to handle (any portion you are not working with should be put back in the fridge). Roll out about 1/4" thick and cut with cookie cutters. Place on a very lightly greased cookie sheet with space between cookies (dough will spread a little). Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.
Cookies can be frosted, but I prefer to sprinkle them with colored sugar (or sprinkles) before cooking...they are rich enough without frosting, and sugar is just as pretty without the mess!