Gingerbread shortcakes

You can eat these any time, for breakfast or as a snack or with a meal, but they make a brilliant basis for strawberry shortcake. For a variation, try replacing the ginger with a teaspoon or two of cardamom.

    • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon lightly packed freshly grated nutmeg, or 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    Whisk together in a large bowl.

    • ½ cup light brown sugar
    • ¼ pound butter, cut in pieces

    Rub into the dry ingredients with your fingers and/or the palms of your hands.

    • 1 egg
    • ¾ cup buttermilk

    Stir in the egg with a fork. Add about ⅔ cup of the buttermilk and stir in, then gradually add enough of the rest until the mixture will come together as a dough.

    Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a minute or two until the dough is smooth. (It will still be a little tacky.)

  1. Pat the dough out with your fingers about 1/4-inch thick and cut into shapes — rounds with a biscuit cutter, or simply cut squares or triangles with a knife. (Don’t use a glass to cut rounds, or you’ll compress the edges of the cakes and they won’t rise properly.)

  2. Place the cakes on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on racks.