oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cookies: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to
the butter and egg mixture and beat until combined.
dough on a lightly floured surface and, with a floured rolling pan, roll out the
dough to a thickness of
1/2 inch (1.25 cm). Using a round 2 - 2 1/2 inch (5 - 6 cm) cookie cutter, cut the dough into
circles. Save the scraps and reroll. Transfer the cookies to the prepared
baking sheet, spacing them a few inches apart.
approximately 10-12 minutes (baking time will vary depending on the size and
shape of cookies) or until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cookies
have completely cooled, frost with icing.
In an electric mixer, cream
the butter until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract. With the
mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk
beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add
a little more milk or sugar, if needed. Tint the
frosting with desired food color (I use the paste food coloring that is
available at cake decorating stores and party stores).