Monday, June 27, 2016

Tahini cookies, two more ways

In an effort to polish off my jar of tahini before I left San Antonio, I ended up making two recipes for tahini cookies. I know I’ve published similar recipes before, including some great ones in 2010, but my most recent forays had left me dissatisfied. These two recipes were a bit different in that one called for dates, while the other called for almonds, and yet they were still very similar.

The first recipe, from Christelle is Flabbergasting, is vegan but can easily be made non-vegan if that’s more convenient for you. I found that it’s important to purée the dates well, so I’d recommend soaking them in warm water first, then finely chopping them before puréeing them. If you can buy premade date purée, go with that! Also, note that I used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose and whole wheat. The cookies were very good, and surprisingly filling. Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. I got 21 cookies from this recipe.

¾ cup (100 g.) whole wheat flour
1 ¼ cup (150 g.) all-purpose flour
1 pinch fleur de sel
2/3 cup (100 g.) cane sugar
1/3 cup canola or safflower oil (or ½ cup softened margarine or butter), plus more for brushing
½ cup (125 g.) tahini
2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds soaked in 6 Tbsp. warm water for a few minutes (or 2 large eggs)
1 tsp. vanilla
8 large, soft Medjool dates, puréed
white and/or black sesame seeds, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours and fleur de sel. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, and tahini until well mixed. Add the flax seeds and water along with the vanilla and beat again.

Add the flours and fleur de sel and beat until well incorporated. The dough must be somewhat crumbly but still hold together.

Add the date purée and mix well.

Roll the dough into balls roughly the size of a walnut, flatten them slightly and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are very lightly golden (they should still be a bit soft when you pull them out of the oven, since they’ll harden as they cool).

The second recipe is from David Lebovitz’s blog, and he got it in Israel. They would be a great basic cookie with which to tinker, by adding cinnamon or ground cardamom, for instance. I got a total of about 30 cookies, and they keep really well.

1 cup (140 g.) all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (140 g.) whole wheat flour
2 ½ oz. (70 g) ground almonds
5 ½ oz. (150 g.) cold unsalted butter or margarine, cut into cubes
¾ cup (150 g.) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. water
¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. (200 g.) raw tahini paste

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a food processor, blend the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, ground almonds, butter, sugar, vanilla and salt, and process until the mixture looks crumbly.

Add water and tahini and process until a smooth dough begins to form. Remove the dough from the food processor bowl and knead it a few times on the counter until smooth. (If the dough feels very dry, dampen your hands and knead the dough slightly.)

Create small balls of the dough, place them on the baking sheet, then flatten each one slightly with your fingers.

Bake for about 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely and serve.

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