Can't Eat Peanut Butter? Try Tahini--in Cookies
I love peanut butter, but I understand that not everyone does and that many people simply can't eat peanut butter or peanut butter cookies, for various reasons. So, instead, why not try Tahini Cookies? They're great. They're so good that I may even have to make room in my cookie pantheon for them. Admittedly, I came up with the cookies, not because I wanted to deal with nut allergies, but because I had tahini--which is a smooth paste of toasted sesame seeds--left over from another project, and I wanted to use the tahini up. The cookies turned out slightly soft in the middle, crunchy on the edges, and with a buttery, deep, slightly earthy taste. Not peanut butter, different, unique. Addictive. I sprinkled the dough with sesame seeds before baking it, and the seeds added a nice crunch and additional texture and flavor to the cookies. The Tahini Cookies are just as easy to make as peanut butter cookies, and they make great accompaniments to milk, tea, coffee, or ice cream. Tahini is generally available at most major supermarkets and Trader Joes, but I buy mine from international grocery stores, which tend to have larger, less expensive containers of tahini.
Tahini Cookies -- Makes 24
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter or Smart or Earth Balance, softened
1/2 cup of tahini (stirred well before measuring)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 large egg
3/4 cup of white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat cookies sheets with non-stick cooking spray or line them with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the sugars and butter and cream them well. Beat in the tahini, vanilla, and egg until well combined. Stir in the flours, baking soda, and salt until no white streaks remain. Form balls about 1 inch in diameter and place them at least 2 inches apart on the prepared cookies sheets. It's best not to put more than 9 cookies on each sheet, as the cookies will spread a lot. Flatten the balls a bit with the heel of your hand and sprinkle some of the sesame seeds on top of each cookie mound. Don't worry if the seeds fall off (they will). As the cookies spread, the seeds will be incorporated into the bottoms of the cookies. Or you can just lift the cookie mounds and press the excess seeds into the bottoms of the mounds. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes or until set and slightly browned. Let the cookies cool a few minutes on the sheets and then remove them to cool completely. The cookies will be thin and a little fragile.
My husband really likes the cookies, too!