These cookies are very special to me as my Grandmother gave it to me in 1974. She would have been 101 years old this year. Grandma used to give these cookies as Christmas gifts to all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She would begin baking in November and freeze them in order to have enough ready for Christmas.
Beat together the shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla with mixer, then by hand mix in remaining ingredients. The dough will be fairly sticky.
Generously flour board. Scoop out smaller portions of dough, pat out with your hand to 1/4"-1/2" thickness. Flour cookie cutter, cut and place on ungreased cookie sheet. (I use a round jelly glass to cut out the cookies). Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let cool a couple of minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
NOTE: You can decorate with colored sugars or sprinkles or even place a nut or raisin in the center of the cookie before baking or frost after cooling.