This calls for using a soldier cookie cutter but, of course, any cutter will do.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup shortening
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Royal Icing (recipe below)
Combine flour, baking powder, soda and nutmeg. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.
Combine eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla; pour into crumb mixture. Stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moist. Shape dough into a ball and chill at least an hour.
Divide dough in half; refrigerate remaining half. Roll half of dough into 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured pastry cloth or board.
Cut dough with toy soldier cookie cutter and transfer to lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.
Spoon Royal Icing into decorating bag and pipe white outline onto cookies if desired or sift with powdered sugar.
3 tablespoons meringue powder (available at most stores)
1 16-ounce package powdered sugar, sifted
5 to 6 tablespoons warm water
Beat meringue powder, powdered sugar and 5 tablespoons of warm water at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add additional water if needed. Beat at high speed until peaks form (8 to 10 minutes).