In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla bean paste, and almond extract at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the ingredients are smooth.
Add the flour mixture and beat the ingredients at low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, a dough forms.
Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the cookie dough for a minimum of 2 hours to allow it to rest and firm up.
Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line two rimmed medium baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the chilled cookie dough from the fridge and divide it in half.
Wrap half of the dough in plastic wrap, and store it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Dust a work surface with the either all purpose flour or confectioners’ sugar. Roll out one half of the cookie dough until it is ¼ inch thick.
Lightly coat cookie cutters of your choice in all purpose flour or confectioners’ sugar, then cut out shapes from the dough.
Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2-3 inches apart.
Place the cookie sheets in the freezer for about 10 minutes to ensure the dough is cold when it goes into the oven. This will helps the cookies maintain their shape and prevent spreading while they bake
Bake the cookies on the oven’s middle rack for 9 to 11 minutes.
The edges of the cookies should begin to slightly turn light gold. Be careful not to over bake the cookies.
Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Then using an a large offset spatula, gently place the cookies directly onto the racks to cool completely.
Repeat with the remaining half of the cookie dough.
Make my Easy Royal Icing Recipe to use for decorating the cooled cookies. Pipe the icing onto the cookies, sprinkle with decorative sugar crystals, then allow the icing 1 hour to set before stacking and storing cookies.