Lemon Sugar Sandwich Cookies

Original Recipe HERE
I made these for *N*'s birthday celebration at school.  Because the class had a Flag Day celebration the same day, I colored half the dough red and the other half blue.  Along with the white filing, they had "American Cookies."
I thought they were good and certainly could've eaten the whole batch myself, but I was underwhelmed at the portions.  The cookies were thinner than I expected (though they looked like the picture from the original page) , as well as so chewy and delicate that I had to be very careful about spreading the filling.  So I thought they wouldn't be a big hit with seven-year olds and was hoping *N* wouldn't be disappointed (or embarrassed) by what her mom brought in.  Turns out that many of the kids in the class loved them - a few even telling her that they were the best cookies they'd ever had.  So, into the permanent file this recipe goes.
I would like to make the cookies more substantial but am not sure how to go about that.  An extra half-cup of flour?  Chill the dough for longer (which the original recipe doesn't call for, but I did anyway) so it doesn't flatten out as much?  More baking soda or powder to have them rise?  This calls for more research, but the cookies are still great as-is.

* For cookies:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
sugar for rolling cookie dough, optional [I did not use]
* For filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice [I did not use; I substituted half-n-half or heavy cream]
* For cookies:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) In a medium bowl, sift or whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3) Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4) Add egg, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla to butter mixture. Mix until combined.
5) Add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Mix slowly until completely combined.
6) Chill dough for at least half an hour.
7) Spoon out dough with a 1-tablespoon scoop.  Roll dough in sugar to coat (I did not do).
8) Place dough balls on baking sheet about 2" apart. Bake 8-10 minutes (do not allow to brown).
9) Let cookies firm up on baking sheet for about 2 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
10) Spread a layer of filling on one cookie and sandwich with another.
* For filling:
1) In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, cream butter.
2) Mix in sugar and lemon juice or cream.
3) Add a few drops of yellow food coloring (optional).
Kid Participation:
* Measure dry ingredients
* Measure wet ingredients
* Run mixer (make sure they don't accidentally crank it up to full speed right away and create a flour explosion)
* Scoop dough
* Roll dough balls in sugar

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