Ah yes. What to do with leftover tahini. You know, the stuff you bought to make houmus and then didn’t get round to it. Or did, and no-one ate it because it didn’t taste like the shop-bought one they were weaned on. You could make a different dip (white bean and anchovy, anyone?) with no precendent to live up to. Or a salad dressing (tahini-lime-red onion?).
Or some cookies. Really.
If you think about it, tahini is just sesame “butter” thus no more weird in a cookie than peanut (or indeed cashew) butter. It works brilliantly with almonds, though unlike most recipes for tahini and almond cookies, I’ve used half ground almonds and half gram flour to re place traditional biscuit flour.
Tahini and almonds always conjure images of middle-Eastern blue skies so to carry on that theme I’ve flavoured with honey, lemon and rosewater. Maybe deep down I had Turkish Delight on my mind. Or it could be the roses in full bloom everywhere in my little Surrey village right now that triggered it. .
Anyway, back to hovering near the Mediterranean, I’ve used light olive oil instead of any butter or butter substitutes. But you only need a little for a crunchy, crumbly cookie since there are lots of (healthy) fats in the sesame and almonds too. Who needs butter anyway when you have these amazing sources of flavoursome healthy fats?
In case you were thinking these are a health food, they aren’t. I’ve used caster sugar as an extra sweetener so as not to drown out the delicate rosewater and honey. So they are a treat. A lovely, delicate, crunchy, crumbly, slightly chewy, melt-in-the-mouth treat.
But that didn’t stop me having one before breakfast.
Makes about 20, easily doubled:
- 40g tahini
- 30g honey
- zest of half a lemon (optional)
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) rosewater
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) light olive oil
- 70g caster sugar
- 60g gram flour
- 60g ground almonds
- pinch of salt
- half a teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- Put the tahini, honey, zest, juice, rosewater and olive oil in a bowl and mix well.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix well again to form a sticky dough.
- Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or more.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (160C fan)
- Roll into about 20 small balls and flatten them slightly with a wet fork (the water helps stop the fork sticking to the dough)
- Bake for ten minutes or until lightly browned.
- Leave to firm up for 20 minutes or so then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Have short-lived grand ideas about serving dusted in icing sugar scattered with organic rose petals.
- Realise you aren’t going to and make a cup of tea instead whilst you enjoy them straight from the cooling rack.