1) Place all the cookie dough ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until a soft, smooth dough is formed. Remove from the bowl, and shape into a 3/4" thick disc. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes, or as long as overnight.
2) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape the dough into small balls, about the size of a large gumball (a teaspoon cookie scoop is a huge help here). Space evenly on the cookie sheet, leaving about 2" between cookies. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes. Watch the cookies carefully to avoid scorching the bottoms.
3) Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool slightly on the pans while you prepare the glaze. For the glaze, blend the sifted confectioners' sugar with the heavy cream and vanilla bean paste. This glaze will be thick, almost icing consistency. If you use half and half (or milk) and vanilla extract, the glaze will be much thinner and not as rich.
4) Using a teaspoon, portion the glaze over the barely warm cookies. You can pipe the glaze from a piping bag or zip-top bag with a corner cut off as well. Top with chocolate pearls, slivers of maraschino cherry, or chocolate sprinkles. Store any leftovers at room temperature for up to a week.