1. Mix and sift together dry ingredients.
  2. Work in the shortening with fingertips or a pastry cutter as you would make a pie crust or biscuits.
  3. Work quickly and keep everything cold.hi
  4. Add liquid gradually and blend only enough to make a soft dough.
  5. Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Roll lightly to 1/2" thickness.
  6. Cut into 3-inch squares or with a round 2 1/2" cookie cutter, or cut into six to seven inch circles for large shortcakes.
  7. Bake in a preheated 450 °F oven until shortcakes are crisp and very light in color, and this will depend on what size the shortcake has been cut; the smallest can be cooked in as little as 10 minutes (possibly fewer), and the largest requiring 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven.
  8. Keep a sharp eye out and watch constantly to avoid scorching.
  9. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool on wire racks, then split into halves as soon as possible.
  10. Serve with a creme filling of whipped cream or pastry cream and top with fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce, and chocolate shavings.
  11. Sprinkle with confectioners Sugar and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
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