Spiced pecan shortbread

Spiced pecan shortbread

My darling daughter turned 9 months last week. I sometimes look at her and cannot believe that this little angel being is my own child. And now, 9 months have passed since that day in November 2010 when I gave birth for the first time. It has been the most amazing journey we have been on since then. And now more than ever I am so thankful to be blessed with a healthy, beautiful, happy child.

Another special celebration this past week was Women’s Day on the 9th of August. Now that I have a little girl, the two of us outweight the only boy in the household – my poor husband. That means that we baked scones with strawberry jam and loads of whipped cream, ate huge scoops of colourful ice-cream, sipped strawberry milkshakes and made tea ceremoniously. I also made spiced pecan shortbread over the weekend and photographed it on a pink place mat – my tribute to strong and fabulous women worldwide. It was the first time I came across this recipe, and it is simply wonderful: sinfully buttery, really nutty, very crispy.

I’m also starting to understand my own Mother’s intense love for me. She is a seriously strong, loving, wonderful mother to the 4 of us. She lost a child in a terrible accident many years ago (my younger brother, then aged 3), and the fact that she could find the strength to go on and still give her everything to the rest of us, is just amazing. She is a rock to us all. And I love her very, very much.

Cheers to extraordinary women all over the world!


175 g butter

100 g caster sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla essense

200 g cake flour

100 g pecan nuts, toasted and finely ground

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons granulated sugar (regular white sugar)


  1. Grease a 23 cm shallow baking dish (round for wedges or square for fingers)
  2. Cut the butter into cubes and melt gently over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in caster sugar and vanilla essence.
  3. Sift flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together, add ground pecans and stir into butter/sugar mixture.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly into the dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or untill firm.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Bake for 60 minutes or untill golden brown, remove from oven and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Cut into squares or wedges, and cool in the pan. The shortbread will only harden when completely cooled. Store in an airtight container for 5-7 days.

Recipe adapted from “500 Cookies” by Philippa Vanstone.

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