In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until butter turns light brown. Pour butter into a large bowl and chill for 30 minutes. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat browned butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, cream of tartar, baking soda, cardamom, vanilla, and salt until combined. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place colored sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough in one inch balls and roll in sugar mixture to coat. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet; bake for 9-12 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool 1-2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack. If you are going to decorate with royal icing, do not roll in sugar. Place dough balls directly on the cookie sheet for baking. Makes about 48 cookies.
Dough can also be rolled out and cut with cookie cutters in festive graduation shapes.
Approximate Nutrient Analysis per serving (without icing):
90 calories, 4 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol,75 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 1 g protein
Approximate Nutrient Analysis per serving (with Royal icing):
110 calories, 4 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol,80 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 1 g protein