2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Food color, if desired
Combine all cookie ingredients in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Divide dough in half. Wrap in plastic food wrap; refrigerate 1-2 hours or until firm.
Heat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated) to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 2 to 3-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 6-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, combine 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup butter and vanilla in small bowl. Beat at low speed, adding enough milk and scraping bowl often, until desired spreading consistancy. Tint frosting with food color, if desired. Decorate cookies with frosting. Decorate with sprinkles or decorator candies, if desired. .
If making hanging cookie ornaments, while cookies are still warm, use toothpick to make hole for ribbon. Cool completely.