I’ve been invited to a Women’s League cookie exchange this week, which means my typical “let bakeries be good at what they do” mantra is being put on the shelf for a more hands-on approach. Buckle up foodies, this week I’ve been baking. God help us all.
Baking does not come naturally to me. I like to improvise, which as any advanced baker will tell you, is not a good mindset if you’re inexperienced. When it comes to cooking I can visualize the process, but baking is an entirely different animal. I don’t know the terminology, like “cream” the butter.
Didn’t it used to be cream?! Why are we doing it again? Then there’s the whole issue of butter temperature. Why does it have to be room temperature? All my butter is in the freezer!
To circumvent my baking issue, I searched for a recipe that met the following criteria:
1) I knew all the words
2) It didn’t take longer than 30 minutes
3) It wasn’t going to compete with someone’s “famous” recipe
I found this very intriguing recipe in Bon Appetit Magazine that looked like a traditional tea cookie but used tahini. For those of you who are unfamiliar, tahini is pureed sesame seeds. Think peanut butter but a little bitter and more luxurious. Joyva is my favorite brand and makes a roasted variety.
Foodie note: The oil separates from the dense sesame paste (again, think natural peanut butter). To remarry the two substances, use a fork and gently stir/scrape the sesame paste back into the oil. The first time you open the canister and integrate the oil, it will take about 5 minutes to do this. After that, a quick stir with a fork should be enough. Also, I used a large flake sea salt instead of a fine grain; it adds an enjoyable bit of salty pop.
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
Servings: Makes about 15 cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup tahini (see foodie note)
1/4 cup room-terperature unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon large flake sea salt
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
2 tablespoons demerara sugar (or any larger crystal sugar)
1) Preheat oven to 350 *F
2) Add ingredients from flour to sea salt into a food processor. Blend until a dough forms around the blade.
3) In a small bowl, mix sesame seeds and sugar crystals.
4) Form dough into 1″ balls and roll in sesame seed mixture. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Slightly flatten dough ball with the back of a spoon; space cookies 2″ apart. Bake until lightly golden, about 20-25 minutes.