1/3 C. Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature 1/3 C. Shortening 2 C. All-purpose Flour 3/4 C. Sugar 1 Egg 1 tsp. Milk 1 Tbsp. Vanilla 1 tsp. Baking Powder 1/2 tsp. Salt
In a large mixing bowl. Cream the butter and shortening until creamy. All half of the flour and mix well. Add the egg, sugar, milk, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Beat until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rest of flour. Divide dough in half, wrapping each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm; 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to350.
Roll out dough to 1/8" thickness and cut w/cutters into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 9 minutes or until very lightly browned. Let cool on sheets for 1 minute and then remove to cooling racks. Frost, fill or decorate when cool.
The dough can flavored with extracts or fresh lemon juice or lime juice when adding the vanilla. The dough can also be colored with food coloring, a couple of drops at a time after the last of the flour is mixed.
Basic Buttercream Filling for Sandwich Cookies makes enough to fill 1 dozen + cookies
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened at room temperature 2 C. confection's sugar 2 Tbsp. Milk 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
In large mixing bowl place the confectioner's sugar and the butter. Add the milk and mix on low speed until the ingredients are blended together. Mix on high speed 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. If the filling is too dry, add more milk a tsp. at a time.
The buttercream can be flavored with any extract, liqueur, or fruit juice. Just substitute any for the milk and vanilla in the recipe.