My imagination when it comes to cookies is fairly limited. I am usually seduced by a good, gooey chocolate chip cookie or ones stuffed full of nuts and dried fruit, and while there will always be a place in my head, heart and stomach for cookies like that, I get excited when I see something I have never thought of before, especially when it comes from a source as deliciously reliable as Yotam Ottolenghi. I have to say, Jerusalem is still my favourite cookbook that I have. My collection is not vast but I always go to it for some inspiration when I am in a rut. I have cooked tons of his savoury dishes, some of which I have shared here (often with very few adaptations). But I got sucked in to his wonderful dessert chapter and these cookies really stood out to me for a bunch of reasons.
First, I’ve been wanting to try tahini in a sweet dish for a while. I love sesame and knew that the nutty flavor would be great sweet. What’s the difference between eating other sweet nut and seed butter? Nothing. But I never would have thought about it on my own. Second, I loved the short list of ingredients, all of which I had on hand. That’s pretty much the best case scenario when you are trying a new recipe, am I right? Last, I have tried other cookie recipes of his before and they may be one of my favourite cookies of all time. Enough said, cookies were getting made.
The end result were small, cute cookies that are very shortbread-esque. I loved the ridges in them that you make with the fork (it’s the little things that make me happy). They are crunchy, but still tender. They hold together perfectly and are not crumbly at all. Definitely not a chewy cookie if that is what you are looking for. They are the perfect size for a nice afternoon snack with a cup of tea. The tahini flavor was very subtle to me. I probably would never have known that it was in the cookie if I hadn’t made them myself. They are just perfectly sweet, sprinkled with a hint of cinnamon and vaguely nutty. Maybe this is how all sweets with tahini taste? It’s hard to be sure, but either way, the flavor is lovely. I think this is actually the perfect cookie to bring to a dinner party in a little tin, as a gift (they’re definitely a crowd pleaser). A nice, easy, simple cookie, with some great crunchy texture, which is sometimes exactly what you need.
Recipe from Ottolenghi's cookbook Jerusalem
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until just combined (about 1 minute).
While the mixer is running, add the tahini, vanilla extract, and heavy cream.
Add flour and beat for one more minute until the dough just comes together.
On a countertop, knead gently until the dough is smooth.
Roll 20g (about 1 inch diameter) of dough between your palms.
Using the back of a fork, flatten the cookies slightly, giving it a ridged effect.
Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart.
Sprinkle each cookie with cinnamon and bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Tahini Cookies was last modified: March 9, 2015 by