1Mix shortening, sugar, eggs & vanilla thoroughly. Gradually blend in flour, Baking powder & salt. Divide into halves and wrap in plastic wrap. Refridgerate at least 1 hour.
2Heat oven to 400. Roll one half of dough onto floured surface, about 1/4 inch thick using a non-stick (or flour covered) rolling pin. Cut desired shapes with cookie cutters, transfer shapes onto ungreased cookie sheet. Knead remaining dough, re-roll and cut again, until first cookie sheet is full. (Cookies can be closely placed, needing only about 1/2 inch between cookies).
3Bake cookies for 8 minutes, removing promptly to avoid over-cooking (and making them crunchy). Cookies will be light in color, if you want soft, chewy cookies DO NOT wait for browning!
4Repeat steps 2 & 3 until cookie dough is gone.
5IF USING COLORED SUGAR TOPPING: Sprinkle cookies BEFORE baking, pressing sugar lightly into dough.
6IF USING CHOCOLATE/FLAVORED CHIP TOPPING: AFTER baking, place several chips on hot cookies, and let sit for about 30 seconds. Once soft, spread chips over top of cookies. Allow to sit untouched until topping has hardened.