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.

Royal Icing
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).


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