Tahini cookies

11 Nov

tahini cookies

Like most schools these days, ours is a “nut-free zone”. While peanuts are their main concern, they have banned all nuts to be on the safe side. This has led to considerable confusion about what counts as a nut – are coconuts allowed? Pine nuts? Sunflower seeds?

Strictly speaking they are all seeds – peanuts, almonds, coconuts, sesame seeds, the lot… And which seeds are considered nuts depends on whether you ask a cook or a botanist.

It’s very different to my school days, when half the class brought peanut butter and jelly sandwiches daily, and peanut butter cookies were standard lunchbox fare.

I love peanut butter cookies, but only bake them in the summer holidays. I hoped these Israeli tahini cookies might tick some of the same boxes as good peanut butter cookie, and am pleased to say they do. Crisp, melting, nutty, delicious…

So while sesame seeds are still allowed on the school premises, I’ll be making these on a regular basis. The recipe comes from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook.

Tahini cookies
(makes about 30)

  • 130g caster sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 110g tahini paste
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 25 ml double cream
  • 270g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the tahini, vanilla and cream, then the flour. Beat until the dough comes together in a ball.
  4. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth.
  5. Form walnut-sized balls of dough, and place them on baking sheets lined with baking parchment, 1 1/2″ inches apart. Slightly flatten each ball with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  6. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Allow them to harden for a few minutes on the baking tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

9 Responses to “Tahini cookies”

  1. Cooking Up The Pantry November 11, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    I love the idea of using tahini, brilliant! Ros.

    • Andrea November 11, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      I think it works really well…

  2. Adam Garfunkel November 11, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    These are super satisfying!

  3. Margo November 11, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    I can’t help but wonder how the peanut industry will repurpose itself

    • Andrea November 11, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

      I agree — what a reversal of fortune…

  4. Sheila Jones November 11, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Hello Andrea –

    For some reason my ancient computer is rejecting a total signup with your wordpress. Nevertheless, I persist!

    I’m one of those unfortunates who’s allergic to nuts. But peanuts are legumes; they’re a separate class. And I can eat seeds, no problem. There is a real hierarchy of nuts; walnuts and brazil nuts are pretty lethal, almonds and hazelnuts are relatively benign, especially when toasted.

    I’ve just finished a stint as Cooking Coach at a Farmers’ Market, so I have a passel of recipes I can send your way one of these days, and what good news that your troop is coming our way this summer!



    • Andrea November 11, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

      Nuts are such a minefield – I feel very fortunate that it’s not an issue for us (fingers crossed).

      New recipes always welcome, and I’d love to hear more about what being a Cooking Coach involves!

  5. mydearbakes November 12, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    What a lovely bake! Will be looking forward to your next bake!

    • Andrea November 19, 2014 at 1:43 am #

      Thank you!

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