1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a couple of rimmed cookie sheets lined with parchment paper ready to go. Set aside for now.
2.In a medium to large mixing bowl, using a wire whisk, mix the butter until fluffy. Switch to a rubber spatula and mix in the sugar, egg, and, vanilla. Mix until combined.
3.In a separate mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Add flour mix slowly to the wet ingredients. Mix well. Dig down to combine all the dry ingredients into the wet. The dough will be stiff. (Do not put in fridge)
4.Grab the dough and form into a round ball. Place on a nonstick surface or use parchment paper and roll out. The dough should be on the thicker side. Maybe between a 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. Using any cookie cutter of choice, start cutting them out. Place each one on the cookie sheets. With the remaining dough, roll back into a ball and then roll out again.
5.Bake for about 7 to 10 minutes. They should only have a slight browning on top. Take out of oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack. When firm enough to handle, transfer each cookie to the wire rack to cool completely. While the cookies are cooling, start your icing.
6.In a medium mixing bowl, add sifted sugar with water or milk. Whisk. Add in vanilla and salt. Whisk until nice and smooth. If needed add more liquid. When smooth, add food coloring. A little at a time for desired color.
7.Frost with a small offset spatula, butter knife, or small rubber spatula. While still wet, add the sugar pearls if using. Enjoy!