This one is an oldie. My aunt shared it with my mom back in 1974, and it’s been Mom’s go-to cutout cookie recipe ever since.
I generally follow the instructions. And then I get mad because chilling the dough thoroughly means that it has to sit out for at least 30 minutes before it softens enough to roll out. Grrr. This time, I chilled the dough for only 30 minutes, while I cleaned up the mixer and did a few dishes. They rolled out fine. So, yeah, the original chill time is a little excessive.
There are 2 spices listed: nutmeg and cardamom. The original recipe called for nutmeg. Mom uses cardamom when she wants a cookie that’s a little more exotic-tasting, or when she doesn’t want the little flecks of nutmeg to show in the finished cookies. You could use whatever spice you like. Same for the extract – use lemon or almond instead of vanilla. And for heaven’s sake, if you’re using nutmeg and you have it, use fresh-grated!