1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Sift together first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs; stir in cheese and jalapeño. Add buttermilk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Gather dough scraps together, and repeat. Bake at 450° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.