I know I seem to be saying this ALL the time, but these are seriously the easiest cookies I have ever made. My mom sent me the recipe, which she got from the wonderful Hebrew blog bisim, and I made it quickly after as dessert for the weekend.
The original recipe calls for using only peanut butter, but I literally only had about three tablespoons worth of it, so I used raw tahini to make up for the rest.
By now you probably realize my slightly disturbing obsession with tahini. It’s amazing. I can’t get over it (not that I try). I’m not talking about the ready-made tahini “salad” or “sauce” you buy in tiny quantities. I’m talking about raw tahini – the stuff used to make those salads/sauces and countless other amazing and unexpected things. I use it as a base for curries, in ice-cream, salad dressings, shakes, and, of course: cookies.
Peanut butter is a wee on the expensive side in these parts of the Atlantic, and if you wanna talk about natural peanut butter the price rises even more. In fact, the only reason I had peanut butter at all was because my sister in law left it (along with other surprises) in our apartment when she left for America to make Aliyah from there (so proud of you, sis!).
I don’t know if this is grounded in reality but I have this notion that peanut butter is also slightly less healthy than tahini.
For all these reasons, I decided to make these cookies using only tahini. I use raw tahini made from whole sesame seeds – this is also sometimes called Sesame Butter. It is much richer in flavor and texture, and, quite obviously, much healthier. It’s slightly more expensive but still cheaper than PB and totally worth it.
These also needed to be egg-less for the simple reason that I did not have eggs on hand when I was making them (Mr. Graceful went out shopping for groceries but the baking urge struck long before he came back). I mixed a heaping tablespoon of ground flaxseed with three tablespoons water, let it gel up for a minute, and added it in place of the one egg that the recipe calls for. Worked like a charm.
The result is amazing: soft, crumbly, I’d say even buttery texture, and a great nutty flavor. The kind of cookies that leave a satisfied, lazy smile on your face. These go extremely well with some hot herbal tea, such as mint.
You won’t feel like you did much, because requiring only three ingredients, one bowl, and 12 minutes of baking, these are super-easy to make… But you can tell everyone who ooh’s and aah’s over them that you slaved for hours over these in the hot kitchen, recreating your great-grandmother’s heirloom recipe… Whatever floats your imagination’s boat.
15-Minute Tahini Cookies:
Adapted from bisim
Serves: Makes about 20 small cookies
Estimated Time: 3 minutes work + 12 minutes bake
Kosher Classification: Neutral
1 cup raw tahini (or combination of raw tahini and peanut butter)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. ground flaxseed OR 1 egg
Pre-heat oven to 180° Celsius (350° Fahrenheit).
Mix tahini with sugar in a bowl.
If not making it vegan, add the egg and mix well. If you want to use flax instead, mix the heaping tablespoon of flax with three tablespoons of water in a small cup and let it stand for a minute until it thickens and gels a bit.
Then add it to the tahini-sugar mixture and mix well. The mixture should thicken up substantially by now and become a bit grainy.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using two teaspoons, scoop small globs of the mixture and drop them on the baking sheet. These cookies do not flatten and spread out in baking, which means that a) you don’t need to leave so much space between them and b) you will need to flatten them by yourself to make it look like a cookie as opposed to a baked blob.
Using the back side of a fork, press gently on the back of each little mound to flatten it. It’s okay that the little stripes from the fork stay on – it’s decorative!
Then, using your fingers, gently go around the cookie, rounding it off.
Place baking sheet in hot oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. These bake extremely fast and then they burn, so pay attention!
Let cool for 15 minutes before devouring with a nice, hot cup of tea while watching the raindrops on your window.
In A Nutshell:
- Pre-heat oven to 180° Celsius (350° Fahrenheit).
- Mix 1 cup raw tahini with 1/4 cup sugar. Add 1 egg, or if doing it vegan mix separately 1 Tbs. flaxseed with 3 Tbs. water, let thicken and add to tahini-sugar mixture. Mix well.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper and drop small amounts of mixture on it.
- Flatten gently with the back of a fork and round the edges with your fingers.
- Bake for 10-12 miutes, let cool ,and enjoy.