Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. In another bowl, beat shortening until light and then add sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add dry ingredients about 1/3 at a time beating well after each addition. When dough is mixed well, remove it from bowl. It will be sticky. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp cinnamon in a bowl. For patriotic cookies, mix colored sugar and sprinkles in separate bowls too. When dough is chilled, remove from plastic wrap. Remove pieces of dough and roll into balls. Dip the bottom half of the ball in the cinnamon/sugar mix and the top in the sugar/sprinkle mix. Place dough on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Place dough 1-2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cookies will seem soft; leave them on the baking sheet to continue baking for 1-2 minutes. The longer the cookies remain in the oven and on the baking sheet, the harder they will become. For soft and chewy cookies, remove cookies to cooling wrack after a couple of minutes on the baking sheet.