1. With a mixer on medium, cream the butter and sugar until they're fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla extract (and almond extract, if you're using it) and mix for another 10 seconds until the extract is incorporated. Add the salt and flour. Set the mixer to low and blend for a few seconds, then increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is well combined, about 30 seconds.
2. Form the dough into two balls and flatten them a bit so that they're about 1 1/2 inches thick. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it for 30 minutes, or freeze it for 15 minutes.
3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees . On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut it into shapes with cookie cutters. Place the shapes on a baking sheet and bake them until done, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.