Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, sugars, eggs, vanilla and food coloring.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture and beating until fully combined..
Stir in nuts by hand, if using. Another option as an alternative to nuts: 1 cup of chocolate or white chocolate chips can be added if desired as well.
Option #1: Using a large cookie scoop divide the dough placing 3" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 12-14 minutes.
Option #2: If using powdered sugar as a coating, using large cookie scoop to divide dough, roll into balls, then roll in powdered sugar, place on baking sheet, flatten slightly before baking.
For both options: Remove from oven allow to cool on pan 2 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely.
*If using powdered sugar, remove from oven and transfer to cooling racks, sprinkle with more powdered sugar while still warm if desired.
Frosting for Option #1 : Cream butter and cream cheese, add vanilla, powdered sugar and 3Tbsp milk mixing until smooth. Add more milk as needed, to reach desired spreading consistency. Frost cooled cookies.
These cookies are best when after you frost them, you place into a sealed container and allow to rest for a few hours or overnight.