- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- colored or coarse sugar, for decorating
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
- Combine the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream until smooth. Slowly add the sugar, beating on medium. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. With a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture 1 cup at a time.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and divide in half. Place each half on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten into disks about 1 inch thick. Wrap separately then refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.
- To bake, preheat oven to 350° F. Roll to 1/8 inch thick on a well-floured surface. Cut into shapes. Sprinkle with the colored sugar, if desired. Using a spatula, transfer to a large greased baking sheet, sugared-side up. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack.