Well, as you can see in the picture I used this recipe to make Christmas cookies this year, but I've used this recipe numerous times and have always been impressed.
85g of butter
100g of white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
150g of flour
tiny pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg white
1 and a half c. icing sugar
Food colouring (if you want)
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, beat in the egg until the mixture gets nice and thick (takes maybe a minute) and then beat in the vanilla. Sprinkle the salt in (distribute it evenly or you end up with a very salty cookie somewhere), sift in the flour and baking powder and beat the mix all together.
Now the mix should look like it's too sticky to make out roll out cookies and that's good. Turn it out onto a floured surface and incorporate enough flour so that the dough still has a lovely soft texture, but is not too sticky and is, well, a dough. Then cover it in glad wrap and chill it for about 20 minutes to half and hour.
Once this refrigeration time is up, you can preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius while you cut the shapes. Unwrap the dough and use a floured surface to gently knead it (it's really only to incorporate enough flour), before cutting a third of the dough off and rolling it out on a floured surface. Sprinkle some flour on the surface of the dough and on the rolling pin to stop it sticking (but you should have added enough flour for it to not stick too much, if not just add some more). Cut out whichever shapes you would like and put them on a baking tray covered with baking paper then put them in the oven for 6-8 minutes until they are firm and slightly brown underneath.
When the last batch is in the oven (it makes about 4 trays worth or about 40 cookies I'd say), you can start making the icing. Simply beat the egg white until frothy and gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar. Once all the icing sugar is in, beat it a few minutes longer and it should be lovely and glossy. Separate it into bowls and add colouring if you so desire, and once the cookies are all cool you can spread it on and decorate.
Once the cookies are all beautiful, leave them for a few hours (covered) and the icing will harden and they'll be ready for transportation, storage, or more likely, for eating. Enjoy!