Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tahini & Almond Cookies

People who frequently bake will also frequently be faced with this problem: what the hell am I supposed to do with the rest of that [insert rarely used ingredient that you spent quite a lot of money on for one specific recipe only] now?!

It's the bane of my baking existence.  And this is not only for rare ingredients either, but also for common ingredients with short shelf lives - any dairy products, for that matter.  I have thrown away only the baking gods know how many half full cartons of cream and buttermilk after having used it for one recipe.  I'm not proud of it.

A little while ago I found myself left with a jar of what is, in my house, a rare ingredient - tahini.  I'd bought it to make some hummus, and while I suppose I could have gone on making countless hummus dishes, that didn't really fit my bill.  I'd left it so that there was one week left before its use-by date.  Oops.

And then lo and behold, I go on foodgawker and right on the first page there were these amazingly delectable looking Almond & Tahini Cookies.  And there in my cupboard was almond meal and tahini.

Obviously, this was meant to be.

These cookies are soft, delicate and crumbly as well as being a cinch to make; I packaged some of these cookies up for some friends who all gave positive reviews.  I've never tried almond & tahini cookies from Israel so I have no idea if these are authentic or not, but they are delicious.  Their texture reminds me slightly of Chinese peanut cookies, melting in your mouth and just begging to be paired with a cup of milky hot tea, so if you're looking for a chewy chocolate chip type cookie, this isn't it - but I hope you'll give these a go anyway.  Especially if you've got that half empty jar of tahini sitting on the counter.  

Tahini & Almond Cookies
Adapted from Eat, Little Bird who adapted it from David Lebovitz [original recipe provided by]

Note:  If you don't have a food processor, you can make it just as easily by hand by mixing together all the ingredients except the butter, vanilla, water and tahini, and then using your fingers to rub the butter into the flour mixture.  Once it's crumbly, stir in the vanilla, water and tahini until a dough forms.

2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
70g almond meal
150g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 tbsp water
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (200g) raw tahini paste

Preheat oven to 175ยบC.  Line two baking sheets with baking paper.

In a food processor, combine the flour, almond meal, butter, sugar, vanilla and salt, and process until the mixture looks crumbly.

Add water and tahini and process until a smooth dough begins to form.  Remove the dough from the food processor and onto a clean surface, knead it a few times until smooth.

Create small tablespoon sized balls of dough (you can use a cookie scoop for this), place them on the baking sheet and flatten each one slightly with your fingers.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until light golden.  Be careful not to over-bake.

Cool on a wire rack and serve.


  1. I'm so happy to read that you tried these cookies! They are delicious, aren't they? Now when I make hummus, I think of making these cookies too.

    1. Definitely delicious! Thanks for the recipe!


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