Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tahini Honey Chews

So tomorrow is my last day of class for the semester. Then I am free! Free, that is, until the 19th of May when my summer course starts. Oh, and there is that field research report due May 12th. And, of course, the field research itself, which involves riding all around town on my bicycle and drinking beer. (Bike messengers are notoriously mobile and can only be pinned down at their watering holes).

But in between all these fun activities I found the time to invent and test a new recipe, one that I had listed in my journal for over a month now. In Belize when I ate tahini it was always mixed with honey and spread on my Mom's fresh baked bread. I wanted to recreate that, but as a portable dessert. Basically something like a peanut butter cookie, but with sesame. And something that would be sweet, crunchy, but chewy. So I came up with these cookies. They are tiny and delicious and moreish. And they are even, I think, gluten free, so you can serve them with tea to your most discriminating guests.

Tahini Honey Chews

Makes about 32 small cookies, at around 45 calories each.

1/2 cup tahini (if your tahini has separated so there is oil on the top, pour that away into a separate container before you measure)

1/4 cup flax seed meal

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

1/4 cup turbinado sugar (for added crunch)

1/4 cup honey

A pinch of salt if desired


1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit and move the rack to the middle of the oven. Place a silpat or parchment paper on 2 cookie pans. They do not need greasing. Toast the sesame seeds by stirring them in a small skillet over medium low heat until they begin to color slightly.

2. Cream together the tahini and honey. Add the sugar, sesame seeds, salt, if used, and flax meal. Stir together thoroughly.

3. Using a teaspoon, scoop small balls of the mixture and place them on the cookie pans. Tip: keep a small cup of water nearby to dip the teaspoon in as needed, this will make removal of the dough easier.

4. Flatten the cookies slightly with the palm of your hand. Pop in the oven and check after 4 or 5 minutes. If the edges of the cookies are a deepening brown, quickly remove them to cool. The middles may look soft, but they are done. If you wait too long the bottoms will burn before you know it. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for 5 or 10 minutes, then remove to a rack and cool completely before storing. Store in a cookie tin and they will taste just as good a couple days later, if they last that long.

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