I love the feeling of setting out measuring cups, butter to soften, jars of flour and wooden spoons. Seeing baking ingredients spread across my counter is a happy sight, and since baking is May’s theme for Tasting Jerusalem I was delighted to jump in and try something new and different.
I’ve been playing with different flours lately, and when I spotted the tahini cookies in Jerusalem I thought the flavors might work well with almond and coconut flour in place of the all-purpose flour. I’m also using coconut sugar quite a bit now, as I like its caramelized, earthy flavor so I pulled out that jar, too.
Tahini is a paste made of ground sesame seeds and is very popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. It can be made into a dip on its own, or it features prominently in halvah, hummus and baba ghanoush. In addition to the different flours and sugar, I added a generous amount of Maldon salt and mixed cinnamon into the dough. I scooped and rolled the dough, topped each with a slivered almond and popped the baking pan into the oven.
The cookies emerged fragrant and toasty brown. Rich from the tahini and butter, they almost taste like peanut butter cookies, with a texture rather like a shortbread biscuit. Perfumed with cinnamon, slightly sweet, and with a little hint of salt in each bite, these tiny gems made a terrific after-school snack with a glass of milk. And this morning, I nibbled a couple with my coffee for a satisfying breakfast treat.
Makes about 42 small cookies
Adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook
By Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
2/3 cup coconut sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup tahini paste
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
5 teaspoons cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup blanced, slivered almonds (to top)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Beat the sugar and butter together in a stand mixer or with an electric hand beater until combined. Add the tahini, vanilla, salt, cream and cinnamon and mix, then add the flours and mix further until a dough forms. It will be soft.
Using a small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop little balls of dough onto the cookie sheet (use half the dough to make about 20). Gently roll each into a smooth ball and place an almond sliver on top. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Repeat with the remaining dough.
The cookies will keep in a covered container for a few days.