You can make it ahead of time, freeze it, slice it, and bake it fresh for the holiday season. Any nuts can be substituted by the pecans.
- 2 sticks butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon milk
- 1 cup pecans, grounded and toasted.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add milk and vanilla. Beat until just combined.
In another bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder and zest. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and pecans; continue beating until fully combined.
Turn dough out onto a clean work surface, and divide into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into an 8-inch log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap logs in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake until edges are golden, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Remove from oven, and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.