For the cookies:
4½ cups all-purpose flour
4½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp. vanilla extract
For the frosting:
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
7-8 tbsp. milk (plus more, as needed)
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients together. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated and evenly mixed. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.
Scoop a scant quarter cup of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart. Bake about 10-12 minutes or just until set. Don’t over-bake!!! The cookies may be slightly brown on the edges…but no more than that. Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk in additional milk as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.Add food coloring if you would like and use an offset spatula or spoon to frost the cooled cookies. Decorate and keep in an airtight container!