This peanut butter cookie recipe was developed specifically for painted cookies. Because it has a dense dough, it works well to paint cookies  before they are baked and leaves a smooth surface if you choose to paint your cookies after baking. Because of the peanut butter in the recipe, the cookie is a bit fragile and will not withstand rough handling.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
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1. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
2. Cream the shortening, peanut butter, and sugars together. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat after the addition of each egg. Continue beating until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and beat them in. The dough should be a soft clay-like consistency. If it is too moist, add a little flour a tablespoon at a time.
3. Form the cookies. You can either roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut shapes with cookie cutters or you can roll the dough into round and long shapes and form characters, animals, flowers or other shapes. If desired, paint them with an edible paint designed for unbaked cookies.
4. Bake cookies on ungreased sheets. Place cookies of similar sizes and thicknesses on the same sheet so that the cookies on each sheet will bake uniformly. Bake them for ten minutes or until done. Move them to wire racks to cool.