Lightly grease cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, stir together the cake flour, crushed vanilla wafers or white cake crumbs, and ground hazelnuts. Set the flour mixture aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, shortening, and butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt; beat until well mixed. Add flour mixture and mix well. (The dough should be sticky, not stiff. If cake crumbs are quite moist, stir in 1/4 cup additional sifted cake flour, If the dough is too sticky to roll out, cover and chill it thoroughly before working with it.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll the cookie dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Use decorative cookie cutters to cut out the rolled dough. Transfer the cutout cookies to the prepared cookie sheets. Decorate with red and green candied cherries, slivered almonds, and/or hazelnut halves.
Bake the cookies in a 350 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm and the edges are just golden. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks. Makes about 60 cookies.
It's easier to halve hazelnuts if you blanch them first in boiling water.