In a large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together.
Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender. Alternately you could pulse all the ingredients in a food processor until mixtures resembles cornmeal.
Mix in the milk and vanilla (and molasses if using). Refer to the pictures, the dough should not come together completely until you press it together. Add more milk if you need to, the dough is NOT as dry as a pie crust, if you grab a ball and squeeze, it should come together easily.
Form balls roughly the size of golf balls, place on cookie sheet and flatten. There is no leavening in these, so make them look like a cooked cookie would look before they go into the oven!
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 14-15 minutes until just golden, this way they will be crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside.