Yields 31/2 dozen cookies. Recipe by Joy Nell Griffin. These teacakes can be flavored with almond extract with or in place of the vanilla; and you may add lemon or orange zest, if desired.
1 cup butter-flavored shortening
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla flavoring
5-6 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoon baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Allow ingredients to come to room temperature. Cream shortening and sugar with electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, 5 cups flour, salt and baking powder. In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine buttermilk and soda, stirring to mix well. Set aside.
2. Combine dry ingredients and milk mixture with egg mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Mixture will be soft.
3. Working with one-third of the dough at a time, place dough on a well-floured surface. Sprinkle with flour and knead dough to mix in extra flour. Fold and knead at least two times. Press or roll out on floured board to slightly more than 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with a 3-inch cookie cutter or glass rim. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart.
4. Bake 13 minutes, more or less depending on thickness of dough. When they begin to brown slightly around the edges, they are done. Do not let them brown on the top unless you want a crisp cookie. These teacakes should have a softer, dense texture and taste just a tad sweet. Store at room temperature, sealed in an air tight plastic bag or sealed cookie jar.