Recipe: Melissa Clark's Spiced Nut Sandies

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Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies


1/2 cup toasted nuts, any kind or a mix (cashews, peanuts, and hazelnuts work particularly well)

1 tablespoon peanut, coconut or olive oil

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 1/2 cups (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup raw (demerara) sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Using a food process or blender, process the nuts and oil until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times as you go. This is your nut butter.

2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, spices and salt.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Beat in the nut butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat well. Beat in the egg and vanilla until fully incorporated. Stop and scrape down the bowl. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients.

4. Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper. Shape the dough into a 12-inch long log. Wrap the dough in the plastic, using the wrap to help form the most uniform-sized log possible. Transfer dough to the refrigerator and chill at least two hours.

5. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350° F. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and transfer them to an ungreased baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Bake cookies until lightly colored and semi-firm, about 15 minutes; rotate sheets halfway through baking. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.