1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place sheets of foil on countertop for cooling cookies.
2. Combine sugar and shortening in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, syrup and vanilla. Beat until well blended and fluffy.
3. Combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add gradually to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix until well blended. Divide dough into 4 quarters. Tip: if dough is too sticky or too soft to roll then wrap each quarter of dough with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
4. Spread 1 tablespoon of flour on large sheet of waxed paper. Place 1/4 of dough on floured paper. Flatted slightly with hands. Turn dough over and cover with another large sheet of waxed paper. Roll dough to 1/4" thickness. Cut out with floured cutter. Transfer to ungreased baking seet with large pancake turner. Place 2" apart. Sprinkle with granulated sugar or colored sugar crystals or leave plain to frost when cooled.
5. Bake one baking sheet at a time for 5-9 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies (bake smaller, thinner cookies closer to 5 minutes; larger cookies closer to 9 minutes). Do not overbake. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to foil to cool completely, then frost if desired.
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