I saw this recipe on the Bon Appetit website and thought they looked like just my kind of cookie – not too complicated and not filled with all kinds of junk. The result is a lovely, cookie that is rich without being cloying and sweet without making your teeth ache. The tahini lends a subtle nutty flavor. The texture goes from a fragile morsel that melts in your mouth when just barely warm to slightly chewy when fully cooled. The real danger in these cookies is that they take no time to prep and bake, so as long as you have the shelf-stable ingredients on hand, you can have these cookies baked and cool enough to eat in about 40 minutes. Can you say instant gratification? Until the cookies are completely cool and have sat out for an hour or so, they remain very fragile. But oh, so delicious! If you plan on transporting them somewhere, you must wait for them to firm up. On the other hand, if you plan on serving them at home, try them when they are still slightly warm. These cookies will hold up well for several days if stored in an airtight container.
Please DO NOT use a butter substitute for this recipe. Sorry vegans, but it just won’t be the same.
Tahini Cookies from Mamaleh’s, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons honey or agave syrup
3/4 cup tahini (I like Soom brand)
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (I used a combination of black and white sesame seeds)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the rack on the middle shelf. Line two large cookie sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter, sugar and honey until fluffy. Beat in the tahini and then add in the dry ingredients, beating slowly so the flour doesn’t fly all over the place. The resulting dough will be quite soft and very slightly sticky.
- Place the sesame seeds in a shallow bowl. Scoop out rounded tablespoons of dough and roll the dough into a ball. Don’t worry about perfection! Carefully roll the top of the dough ball in the sesame seeds and gently lift the dough onto the parchment with the seeds facing up. The dough is very soft so it may smush a bit. Don’t fret. All will be well! The cookies should be about 2-inches apart.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Remove the pan to a rack to cool and repeat with the second pan. Some people like to do two pans at once, rotating them half-way. That never seems to work well for me since I have a crummy oven, but if you want to go for it be my guest. Allow the cookies to cool. They will firm up if allowed to cool completely but are delicious when still slightly warm and pretty soft. But these cookies are not made for keeping – they are made for eating – RIGHT NOW!