Black Sesame-Studded Tahini Cookies

I've shared peanut butter cookies.  I've shared almond butter cookies.  Today I am sharing tahini (ground sesame seed) cookies.

Tahini?  In a cookie???  Yes, Dear Reader.   A savory cookie for you to savor. 

Around a month ago,  I opened an email from the Secret Recipe Club.  That's the group where each month members select and showcase a recipe from an assigned fellow blogger.  And almost fell over when I read who my assigned blogger was.  Camilla, hostess of Group, B!  The bestest SRC group EVAH!  Woo-HOO!!!!! 

When Camilla is not working on Culinary Adventures with Camilla or doing heavy SRC lifting-type stuff, she is writing and photographing for Edible Monterey Bay (a magazine about local food culture) and reviewing cookbooks for various publishers.  Tres cool!

Camilla shares two types of recipes, those that make you want to drag out the good tablecloths and crystal, and more "ordinary" recipes with unique twists that make you want to drag out the good tablecloths and crystal anyway.  Even her picnic foods border on the stratosphere.  Yet all are totally doable.  Nothing, at least the recipes I drooled over, have you slaving over a hot stove for hours.  Even her otherwise simple roasted beets, for example, were anything but, what with the gourmet addition of golden beets, enhancing yet contrasting with the more ordinary crimson-type.

And take these sesame cookies, where a lesser person would simply grab the jar of Skippy (no, wait ... that's usually me again).  Instead, she uses tahini (sesame paste) for the base.  And you know ... it's all about the base.

Despite following the recipe pretty much as written, the dough simply refused to come together. My tahini must have been of a thicker consistency than the brand Camilla uses.   Or maybe it was due to my omitting the rose water (because I really didn't want to buy a whole bottle just for the quarter-teaspoon the recipe required).  Then I remembered the toasted sesame oil in the pantry.  I added it, droplets at a time, and the dough magically began to cooperate.  Score!

There's not much sugar in the cookies, so kids might shy away.  Which allows you to enjoy the whole batch yourself.  And remember, Dear Reader, sesame seeds and almonds are superfoods.  Which totally balances out the 1/2 stick o'butter.  I read that someplace on the internet, so it must be true.

Black Sesame-Studded Tahini Cookies
Adapted from: Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Yield:  About 18-20 cookies

2 Tbl. black sesame seeds
2 Tbl. granulated white sugar
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds (or your favorite nut/seed, I used sunflower seeds)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter or margarine, cubed
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
up to 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil, if needed

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine sesame seeds and sugar.  Set both aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, nuts and powdered sugar.  Using a pastry cutter (or two knives held together), cut the butter into the flour mixture until pea-sized chunks form. Add tahini; work it in with your hands,  pressing mixture into a ball.  If the ball refuses to come together, add toasted sesame seed oil, a few drops at a time, until the dough cooperates.

Divide dough into 1" or so balls, then roll each in the sesame seed mixture, coating all sides. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet, spacing at least 1 inch apart.  Flatten each cookie slightly with your thumb.
One cookie flipped to show the golden brownness.

Bake 18-25 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden brown around the edges.   Remove cookie sheet from oven; slide cookies, still on parchment, onto a cooling rack.  Let cool completely before serving.

Serve with tea or your favorite beverage.

Store cookies in a tightly sealed container at room temperature up to a few days.


Renee Paj said…
Tahini tastes an awful lot like a nut butter to me, so I can see how it would be perfect in these cookies!
Camilla Mann said…
Oh, my!! I'm blushing over here. Thank you for all the wonderful words...and,e especially, for reminding me about these cookies!! I'll have to give it a try again soon. And, yes, my tahini is pretty liquid-y. I love your solution. Genius!
This sounds so intriguing...and I have a half jar of tahini just languishing in the fridge....
Jeanie said…
So interesting. I had you and it was fun!

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