Cream your shortening and sugar together in a large mixing bowl using a hand or stand mixer. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into the bowl. Mix until combined.
Chill in the bowl, covered, for at least one hour.
Heat oven to 400º F.
Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface to about ?” thick. The thicker the dough, the cakier the cookie; the thinner the dough, the better the crunch.
Cut with cookie cutters of your choice. If you don’t have any handy, a jar lid or glass rim will do the trick. As your dough gets cut out, combine the scrap dough, re-roll, and repeat until as much of the dough is used as possible. (Or keep a little extra for the family tradition I mention below!)
Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites of two eggs. Lightly brush the cookies with the egg wash.
Sprinkle with sugar or colored sprinkles of your choice.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until delicately golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
To quote my Nana’s recipe exactly: “Makes about four dozen—if you don’t eat the dough!” (At least we’re honest in this family, right?)