Sunday, August 18, 2013

Yotam Ottolenghi's Tahini Cookies

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds that is used in both sweet and savory dishes.  Tahini smells very similar to peanut butter so when I saw this recipe for tahini cookies in Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook, Jerusalem, I knew I'd have to try them.

 I would describe these cookies as a cross between a shortbread cookie and a peanut butter cookie.  They certainly have the texture of a shortbread cookie, but the mild flavor of a peanut butter cookie.  I enjoyed these cookies because they weren't too sweet and had a pleasant mild flavor.  I would have preferred just a touch more tahini because the flavor was quite subtle, but otherwise I really enjoyed these.  Definitely a fun cookie to make if you have extra tahini on hand!

Tahini Cookies
Adapted from Jerusalem
by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
Makes 30-35 cookies

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
a very full 1/2 cup tahini paste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups plus 1-1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
 ground cinnamon, optional*
extra sugar, optional*

Note: These cookies do benefit from a sprinkling of sugar or cinnamon/sugar prior to baking.

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Place the sugar and butter in a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until just combined but no aerated much. With the machine running, add the tahini, vanilla, and cream, then add the flour and beat for about 1 minute, until the dough comes together.  Transfer to a work surface and knead until smooth.

Pinch off 2/3 oz/20g of the dough and roll into a ball between your palms.  Use the back of a fork to push down lightly on top of the ball so that it flattens just slightly and takes on the marks from the tines.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Continue with the rest of the dough, spacing the cookies 1-1/4 inches apart.  Sprinkle a little cinnamon and/or sugar, or both, on each cookie and then bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden (you have to watch them closely as the bottoms will brown very quickly).  Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.  They will keep in a sealed container for up to 10 days.

Theme: Nuts and Seeds


  1. Very nice cookies Kim. I've never used tahani in a sweet dish. Just one more reason to keep a jar on your shelf.

  2. Dang it! I had these bookmarked and completely forgot about them! Even have extra tahini sitting in the fridge. Sprinkling with sugar and cinnamon sounds like the way to go. Simple, delicious little treats. Your pictures are making me crave cookies...haven't baked in months.

  3. I actually got an extra jar of tahini the last time I was at the grocery store so these are totally happening!! I'm all about incorporating nut butters into cookies!

  4. Hi Kim,
    Lovely cookies! I never thought of making cookies using tahini! Bookmarking this!

  5. I have been meaning to try these--they look like they would be perfect with a cup of tea. So pretty too with the cinnamon on top of some of them. Great pick! ;-)

  6. What gorgeous little treats! Definitely agree to the addition of a little sugar & cinnamon....perfect with a cuppa :)

  7. They look lovely and with them being not too sweet, very appealing to me. Though my family will never tire of Ottolenghi's hummus, it's nice to have another use for tahini.

  8. Wow. These sound wonderful. I love shortbread AND peanut butter cookies, and the flavor of tahini is just wonderful... so these sound like a win-win-win! ;)

  9. what a great idea to use Tahini in cookies - will have to try this one!


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