In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat or stir in flour.
Divide dough in half. Tint half of the dough as desired with paste food coloring. Leave the remaining half of dough plain or tint with another color.
Pack unchilled dough of both colors into a cookie press fitted with a large star plate, keeping the doughs separate by placing them side by side in the press. Force dough through press onto an ungreased cookie sheet to form wands about 5 inches long.
Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 10 minues or until edges are firm but not brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.
In a heavy small saucepan heat and stir white baking pieces and shortening over low heat until melted.
Dip an end of each cookie into melted white baking pieces, allowing excess to drip off. Sprinkle with colored sugar or multicolored candies. Place on parchment or waxed paper and allow coating to set. Makes about 36 cookies.