1Heat oven to 350° F. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9 inch rectangular pan with shortening; lightly flour.
2In large bowl, beat all ingredients except frosting, cookies and licorice with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
3Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
4Spread frosting on top and sides of cake. Decorate with cookies and licorice to look like balloons on strings.