These cookies were always the first thing to sell out at the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten's gourmet store in East Hampton, New York.
Cream together butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until mixture is light in color, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add flour, salt, pecans, and almond extract, and mix until combined and the pecans start to break up.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch diameter fluted cookie cutters, cut cookies, and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Return to refrigerator 1 hour more.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle cookies with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.