Food coloring, optional (see post for more on how I decorated these cookies)
For the Thick Icing:
4cupsconfectioners' sugar, sifted
Food coloring, optional
For the Cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin spice until well combined. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, combine the shortening and sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the flour, mixing just until combined.
Using lightly floured hands, divide the dough in half. It will be a little crumbly, but will easily come together when pressed. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each half to a 1/4-inch thickness for crispy cookies or 3/8-inch thickness for softer cookies.
Cut with 3-inch candy corn and pumpkin shaped cookie cutters. Carefully place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared sheets.
Bake, one sheet at a time, for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the cookies have puffed up and are golden brown at the edges. Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Thin Icing:
In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water, salt, and food coloring (if using); whisk well. If the icing appears too thin to hold its shape, add a little more confectioners' sugar; if the icing appears a little too thick to easily pipe, add a little more water. You can play around here until you reach your preferred consistency.
Pour the icing into a piping bottle and decorate cookies as desired.
For the Thick Icing:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat together the lemon juice and egg whites on low speed until just combined.
Gradually add in the confectioners' sugar, about a 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
Divide the frosting in several bowls, and color as needed.