This is the recipe—originally borrowed from the Betty Crocker Cookie Book—Phyllis uses to make the Christmas cookies that Blaine House in Augusta, Maine, sends to the 1,000 Augusta-area Head Start children each year. She multiplies the recipe as needed in several big batches; then, as time permits, bakes up what she can. Another staff member decorates the cookies, after which they are hidden so that the staff and who knows, maybe even the governor—can’t find them before Christmas.
Cream shortening and sugar; beat in eggs and flavoring. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and blend into egg mixture. Chill dough for at least 1 hour.
Roll out dough to ⅛-inch thickness on a floured board. Cut into desired shapes and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees F, until cookies are a delicate golden color.