Cream together the brown sugar and shortening (I didn’t have any Crisco or lard, so I used margarine instead once, and the cookies were fine). Add the eggs and stir.
Then add everything else except the flour, and stir again. When all is nicely blended, add the flour in and stir with a spatula or spoon until you need to get in there with your hands to get this to a soft-dough stage.
Split the dough into 2-3 pieces for easier handling. Lay down a piece of plastic wrap and put the dough on it in the shape of a loaf; wrap with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
When ready, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Slice the dough “loaf” and lay the slices on a cookie sheet – the dough cuts better if you dip your knife in a glass of water between each slice. Be sure to leave some room around the dough on the sheet, as the cookies will need space to expand.
Bake for 8-10 minutes; the cookies will be oblong in shape and look like a moccasin footprint in sand. Don’t overbake, or they won’t be waxy.
Once you try them, you’ll agree it’s worth the effort to make these from-scratch cookies. Don’t be surprised if some of your mild-mannered diners turn into cookie monsters before your eyes.