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1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill dough about 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time to 1/8 inch thick. Use a 2-or 4-inch candy-cane-shape cookie cutter to cut dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. If desired, tint part of the Powdered Sugar Icing and/or Creamy White Frosting bright red with food coloring; decorate cookies with white and red icing and/or frosting, sanding sugar, and candies. Makes 6 to 7 dozen, 2-inch or 4 dozen, 4-inch cookies.
1. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening, vanilla, and almond extract with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add in about half of the powdered sugar, beating well. Add 2 tablespoons of milk. Gradually beat in the remaining of powdered sugar and 1-3 tablespoons more milk to reach spreading consistency.
1. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Stir in additional milk 1 teaspoon at a time until icing reaches desired consistency.