A combination of nuts and dried fruits with a rich chocolate coating makes these cookies, from Gramercy Tavern pastry chef Claudia Fleming, a delectable holiday treat.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine honey, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the temperature reaches 238 degrees (the soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine nuts, dried fruit, flour, and spices.
Pour honey-sugar mixture over contents in large bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine. When cool enough to handle, form into 1-inch balls with hands coated with vegetable shortening to prevent sticking. Place on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat mat or parchment paper, and flatten into balls with the palm of your hand. Bake until bubbled on top, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate: In the top of a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stir chocolate with a spatula until smooth. Working quickly, using a small offset spatula, spread a thick layer of chocolate on the back of each cooled cookie. Place cookies, chocolate side up, on a wire rack until chocolate is hardened. Store between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container.
To toast hazelnuts, roast them in a 350-degree oven just until you smell a toasted aroma. Then, rub the skins off with a tea towel.