Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. If you find the cookies a little soft, place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.
Bake cookies for about 8 - 10 minutes (depending on size) or until they are brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing and sparking sugar, if desired. Be sure to let the royal icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours.)