from the Darby Family Recipe Files, Charleston, SC
2 sticks butter, softened
½ cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of baking soda
6 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Milk or beaten egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and 3 cups flour. Beat until well blended.
Stir in remaining flour or enough to make a soft dough. Knead dough a few minutes. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into pencil-like strands, about 5 inches long and less than ½ inch thick. Shape each strand into a circle, overlapping ends. May also roll pieces of dough into 7-inch stands, fold over, and twist into a rope.
Place 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Brush with milk or beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.