Total time: 40 minutes, plus chilling time
Servings: About 4 dozen cookies
Note: To make cinnamon sugar, mix 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (or to taste) with a quarter cup of granulated sugar.
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly between each addition.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add to the shortening mixture, beating well. Gather the dough in a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Tear off walnut-size pieces of dough and roll each into a ball. Dust with cinnamon sugar and place on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are light brown and firm on top, 10 to 15 minutes; the tops will be deeply cracked, and the centers will still be somewhat soft.
4. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish. Store in an airtight container.