Beat butter and shortening in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt; beat until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon.
Divide dough into portions, one for each desired color. Place each portion in a self-sealing plastic bag; add food coloring. Close bag and squeeze until dough is evenly colored.
Heat oven to 300 degree F. Roll dough into balls, then combine balls into animal shapes. Flatten shapes so they are no more than 1/2 inch thick. Add details shaped from small balls of dough. Place shapes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Insert a crafts stick into each shape, pressing dough around stick.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are firm. Carefully transfer to wire racks and cool. (Do not lift by sticks until completely cooled.) Makes 24 to 30 cookies.