1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 C salted butter, softened
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
2/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste OR 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. In a bowl whisk flour and baking soda. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
2. Add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap (I shape press my dough into a ball then flatten into a 1-inch thick disk). Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
3. On a floured surface, roll the dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut out into shapes with your favourite cookie cutters. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 325 for about 12 minutes or until set, but not brown. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
For the icing:
2 C icing sugar, sifted
2 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla bean paste OR pure vanilla extract
1. Whisk together sugar, egg whites and vanilla until completely smooth. Add more sugar if the mixture is too thin.
2. Add a few drops of food colouring paste to colour the icing. If you use food colouring drops they may thin out your icing so keep some extra icing sugar on hand just in case.