Yield: 4 dozen
1 pound margarine or butter (4 sticks)
8 ounces cream cheese (Neufchatel cheese may be used)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (1-pound) container ready-to-spread buttercream (or other favorite flavor) frosting (optional)
Nonpareil decors or other decorative sprinkles (optional)
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Lightly spray a large cookie sheets with no-stick cooking spray.
In an electric mixer, beat together the margarine and cream cheese until smooth.
Beat in sugar, vanilla, and almond extract.
Slowly mix in flour and salt until the dough is smooth.
Use a small capacity (about 2 tablespoon capacity) ice cream-type scoop to drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, allowing about two inches of space between the cookies.
Use fingertips to slightly flatten balls of dough (They will spread very little while baking).
Position the pan in the center of the preheated oven.
Bake for 12 minutes, or until the bottoms and edges of the cookies are straw-colored (The tops will not be browned).
Using a spatula, carefully remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
If desired, spread the tops of the cooled cookies with a thin layer of frosting, then sprinkle with nonpareil decors or other desired sprinkles.
Store cookies in airtight containers.
If frosted, place wax paper between the layers.