In a medium bowl, cream butter. Add sugar, scraping bowl as needed, until smooth. Add vanilla and mix until creamy. Add flour. Gather dough into two balls, flatten into a disk and put in a plastic bag. Let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until firm.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough on a floured board and cut into desired shapes. Place on cookie sheet about 1/2 inch apart and bake about 15 minutes until just starting to turn brown.
Let cool completely and decorate with icing if desired.