First, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and turn the oven on to 325 degrees. Grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
In a medium size bowl mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
Using a stand mixer, beat shortening and sugar on medium speed until it turns fluffy and creamy, for about 3 minutes. Add egg and orange zest or vanilla and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture one cup at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough will become a little stiff. If you don’t have a stand mixer, mix the ingredients in the same order in a large bowl using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. I had made them using a stand mixer and by hand and both methods work fine. Of course, it will be faster using the stand mixer.
Divide the dough in half forming a disc with each piece of dough. Roll each disk of dough into a large circle using your rolling pin, about ⅓ inch thick, on the lightly floured surface. Using the 3 ¼ biscuit cutter, cut out 8 circles, re-rolling dough scraps just once to form more circles. Roll out the second disk of dough and proceed to form the rest of the circle as you did with the first tone.
Place dough circles on prepared baking sheets spacing the cookies ½ inch apart. Dust center of the cookies with granulated sugar. Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 18 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking time. Let the cookies cool on sheets on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling wire racks.
When baking cakes, bread or cookies, I prefer to use grams instead of ounces or cups, tablespoons or teaspoons. When using grams, your measurement of ingredients will be more precise every time. Baking is a little bit of science and art, and every time you change the amount of an ingredient the results are going to be different. Kitchen scales are not expensive and are a very useful tool for your baking.