In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, beat the shortening at low speed until fluffy. Add the sugar and corn syrup and beat until well blended, then add the egg and the vanilla, beating continuously on low. Slowly add the flour mixture, about 2 tablespoons at a time. (If you are not using a heavy-duty mixer
, the dough may become too stiff for the mixer to handle. If so, you may have to add the last of the flour by hand, kneading the dough until all of the flour is fully incorporated.)
Put the dough in a large plastic bag and refrigerate for 2 hours.
To make decorated cutout cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out the chilled dough
to about 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut out the dough using tree, snowflake, star, and bird patterns. Place the cookies
on greased cookie sheets and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on racks before decorating.
To decorate, tint a recipe of royal icing to your desired colors. Keep the icing covered with a damp towel while you are working to prevent it from drying out. To cover a cookie with icing, thin some of the icing with a little water and spread it on the cookie with a knife or metal spatula
. Leave some of the icing thick for piping borders or other designs, using the #2 tip. Add dragees, edible glitter, colored sprinkles, or other decorations to the wet icing. To attach candies to un-iced cookies, brush a thin layer of clear piping gel on the cookie with a small paintbrush and add decorations.