Ginger Pecan Shortbread

This is a rich, aromatic, soft and crumbly cookie or small cake that goes perfectly with a hot drink—coffee, tea, even mulled wine—and it’s so simple a child can make it. Cream 1 stick softened butter (no substitutes!) with a half cup of confectioner’s sugar, blend in 1 cup plain flour sifted with a quarter teaspoon of baking powder, 1 cup chopped pecans and 2 teaspoons ground ginger. (I have tried this recipe with freshly-grated ginger, and it simply does not work well at all with so much butter.) This mixture makes a soft, elastic dough that you have to work with flour-dusted hands to form into a ball. Pat or roll the dough ball out into an 8” round, score into six wedges and crimp the edges with a fork. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 until the edges are just brown. Cut and serve. This recipe can be doubled or tripled and cut into cookies as well.