Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
Add buttermilk and bacon drippings to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a large Dutch oven; heat to 350°.
Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into oil, and fry, in batches, 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.
* 1/2 teaspoon onion powder may be substituted for onion.