Stir together first 3 ingredients; let stand 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.
Stir together eggs and 3/4 cup whipping cream; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 or 4 times. Pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Place shortcakes on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 425° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Beat remaining 1 1/2 cups whipping cream with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Stir in vanilla.
Split shortcakes. Place 1 cake bottom on each of 8 individual serving plates. Spoon half of whipped cream mixture over shortcakes. Top with strawberry mixture, and dollop with remaining whipped cream. Add cake tops, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Note: To make 1 large shortcake, pat dough into 2 lightly greased 9-inch cakepans. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool. Place one cake on a serving plate; top with half each of strawberries and whipped cream. Top with second cake and remaining berries and cream.