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1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 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 you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill dough about 3 hours or until easy to handle.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until 1/8 inch thick. Using desired-shape cookie cutters, cut out dough (see instructions below). Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Paint with Egg Paint as directed below.
3. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until the bottoms are light brown. Let stand for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Decorate with Snow Frosting, Powdered Sugar Icing, and/or decorative candies as desired. Let stand until set. Makes 40 cookies.
1. In a small bowl stir together egg yolk and water. Stir in paste food coloring to make a paint of desired color. Brush paint on cookies before baking so the egg mixture cooks fully.
1. In a medium bowl stir together powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to make an icing of drizzling consistency. Tint icing as desired with paste food coloring.
1. In a small mixing bowl beat shortening and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually beat in 1-1/3 cups of the powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in 1 tablespoon of the milk. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar and enough milk to make frosting a piping consistency. Tint frosting as desired with food coloring.