Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas and dough is crumbly. Stir in cheese. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 to 4 times. Place dough in a bowl, cover and chill 1 hour.
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll dough to 1 inch thickness; cut with a 1 1/2 inch round cutter and place on parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.
You can stir in one of the following flavor combos with the Cheddar Cheese and prepare the above recipe as directed.
1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese and 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary.
1/3 cup finely chopped sweetened dried cranberries and toasted pecans.
1/2 cup finely chopped cooked bacon and 1/4 cup minced green onion.
1/2 cup finely shopped baked ham and 1/3 cup finely chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives.
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