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These cookies have a honey-nutty secret hidden deep inside

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These cookies have a delicious secret hidden inside — a crunchy, chewy centre of ground mixed nuts and honey. They are insanely good.

The good news is that they also are easy to make. First, you make a simple dough using flour and hazelnut or almond flour, then form the dough into balls. One at a time, you flatten each ball in your hands, then pop a scoop of ground nuts and honey into the centre. Now just wrap the sides up over the filling and you’re done. Once the cookies have baked and cooled, a roll in powdered sugar gives them a beautiful holiday feel.

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SECRET HONEY NUT COOKIES

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Makes 48 cookies

1 cup mixed unsalted nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans and pistachios

1/4 cup honey

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups hazelnut or almond flour

Powdered sugar, to finish

Heat the oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with kitchen parchment.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the nuts until finely chopped but not powdered. Stir in the honey to make a sticky but malleable dough of sorts. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until well combined. Stir in both flours. Scoop into 48 equal balls of dough, about 1 rounded teaspoonful of dough each. A number 70 cookie scoop works well for this.

Working one at a time, flatten a ball of dough in the palm of your hand, then place 1/2 teaspoonful of the honey-nut mixture in the centre. Fold the dough up and around the honey-nut ball to completely enclose it. Repeat with the remaining dough and honey-nut mixture, arranging them on the prepared baking sheets as you go. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool on the pans.

Roll the cooled cookies in powdered sugar, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week. Roll in powdered sugar again, if desired, just before serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 100 calories; 60 calories from fat (60 per cent of total calories); 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 20 mg sodium; 9 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 2 g protein.

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Alison Ladman is a chef, food writer and recipe developer for The Associated Press. She also owns The Crust and Crumb Baking Company in Concord, New Hampshire.

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