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1. In a large mixing bowl beat the shortening and butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or until softened. Add about half of the flour. Then add the granulated sugar, egg, milk, baking powder, the 1 teaspoon vanilla, and salt.
2. Beat until thoroughly combined, scraping the sides of bowl occasionally. Beat or stir in the remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 3 hours or until dough is easy to handle. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using 2-1/2-inch cutters, cut dough into desired shapes.
3. Place 1-inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until the bottoms are very lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Remove cookies and cool on wire racks. If desired, decorate cookies with Powdered Sugar Icing. In a small mixing bowl stir together sifted powdered sugar,1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk (about 1 tablespoon) to make a drizzling or piping consistency. If desired, color with food coloring. Makes about 42.