Double sesame cookies.

Halva is all the rage right now, but when I was a little girl it was just a dad-approved semi-healthy dessert snack.
If you can’t get your hands on some — or you can’t keep it in the house because it just keeps disappearing — these sweet and chewy sesame cookies are the next best thing.

Tahini

{ Recipe from an old notebook I kept in university. }

Gather:
2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds¹

3/4 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup tahini²
1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup caster sugar

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Then:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170° C/340ºF.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and sesame seeds. Stir with a fork, then set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with hand beaters), cream together the butter, tahini and both sugars for around 3–5 minutes.
  4. Still mixing, add in the egg and vanilla, and mix til combined.
  5. Slow down the mixer, and gradually add the flour etc. until fully combined.
  6. Scoop out heaped teaspoons of dough onto a baking sheet (no more than 12 to the largest tray), then bake (in batches) for about 8 minutes, or until the cookies have spread³ and are just golden at the edges and just dry in the middle — you’ll get crispy edges and chewy centres.
  7. Allow to cool at room temperature. Serve with milky tea, or as part of some delightful ice-cream + halva + baklava sundae I’m yet to create IRL.

Notes:
¹ A mix of black and white, if you can get both. If they’re not already toasted, just give them a couple of minutes in a hot skillet — until they just start to brown and you can smell that toasty flavour, but don}t overdo it. You can do this just before you mix the seeds with the flour — no need to cool down in advance.

² I adore black tahini — it’s heaven in a jar — but the regular kind will do just fine.

³ If they don’t, never fear. Just give them a gentle squoosh with a spatula halfway through the bake.

 

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