I’ve concurrently discovered my ultimate cookie recipe as well as my ultimate dessert recipe. It’s a big call, I know. I can’t lay claim to the cookies…this recipe comes care of my favourite recipe book, Jerusalem, which you should of course be proud owners of by now (shame on you if not). I’m going to post the cookie recipe anyway, simply because you need them to create the dessert. And you need this dessert in your life. And the cookies, mind you.
I wouldn’t dare tamper with the Tahini Cookies recipe, it’s perfection in and of itself. If you’re a fan of halva you will go crazy for these delectable little treats. They’re crispy and light in texture, moreish and finger-licking in flavour. I usually make myself feel sick whilst making them for all the cookie dough I consume. One for the tray…one for me…one for the…no, another one for me.
The dessert is something I dreamt up in a blinding moment of indulgent inspiration. Once you have the cookies ready and waiting in the cookie jar this dessert takes minutes to prepare. And seconds to demolish…
One thing I will make pains to mention…when it comes to baking the cookies, be very careful to set a timer and avoid over-cooking. They have a high fat content thanks to the butter and tahini and literally every time I’ve made a batch the bums of the cookies on the lower tray get burnt. That’s usually the cue for me to descend into tears because believe me when I say you will not want to waste a crumb. The recipe makes enough cookies to warrant two baking trays so the last time I made a batch I baked each tray individually, on the centre-most oven rack. I still had to watch them like a hawk, but this did improve my burn-ratio.
If you do have the misfortune of burning some rear ends, don’t throw them out. The dessert recipe calls for crumbled cookies so you can just saw off the burnt bits and save yourself some heartache.
130g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter – at room temperature
110g hulled tahini
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
270g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon (for dusting)
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line two oven trays with baking paper.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until just combined but not too aerated (approximately one minute at medium speed).
3. While the machine is still running, add the tahini, vanilla and cream and beat for another couple of minutes at medium speed until smooth and creamy.
4. Turn the motor speed down to its lowest setting and carefully add the flour. Stop stirring as soon as the dough comes together.
5. Roll the dough into balls, approximately 20g each in weight. Place on the baking trays and flatten slightly with a fork then sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of cinnamon.
6. Bake each tray individually for 15 minutes until lightly golden. You can bake both trays at same time if you feel confident you can keep an eye on them. If you decide to do this, switch the trays half way through cooking.
7. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. These cookies keep beautifully for a week.
8 tahini cookies (2 per person)
3/4 cup plain yoghurt
3/4 cup mascarpone – at room temperature
Rind of a large lemon (reserve a few strips of rind to garnish)
1. Whisk together the yoghurt and marscarpone until well combined and smooth.
2. Add the lemon rind and stir through.
3. Divide the yoghut and mascarpone mix between four bowls. Crush two cookies per bowl with your hands into chunky crumbs and sprinkle on top. Garnish with the reserved strips of lemon rind. Serve immediately.