Tahini is a savory condiment often used in hummus, baba ghanoush, sauces, and salad dressings, but it’s the perfect complement to sweet desserts, too. Tahini is made by grinding toasted, hulled sesame seeds to create a creamy, smooth spread. It’s a similar process to making peanut butter. It is staple across the globe, originating in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It is also found in Asian dishes and Greek fare. So easy to make, and extremely irresistible, these Tahini Shortbread Cookies from Salpy’s International Kitchen are buttery, perfectly sweet, and will have you coming back again and again. Flavored with tahini paste, these sophisticated cookies have a pleasing crumbly texture and an intense, almost nutty flavor.
These cookies are perfectly delicious plain or dusted with confectioners’ sugar and served with coffee or tea as a midafternoon snack or fancy dessert. “They melt in your mouth and you’ll be amazed with the nutty flavor coming from the tahini paste. Best of all, they are incredibly easy to make and extremely satisfying,” says Salpy.
The popularity of tahini comes as no surprise to Sarit Packer, co-founder of Honey & Co in London, who has been making tahini desserts with great success for years. The restaurant usually has four tahini-based sweets on the menu at any one time, rotating specialties such as a white chocolate and tahini babka (a molten cake with tahini in the center), tahini sandwich cookies and occasionally, tahini ice-cream. She attributes its new success to three key components: sweetness, nuttiness and a high fat content. “This is by no means a superfood,” she says, “but there is little dairy in Middle Eastern cooking, and if you mix tahini with water it becomes dairy-like.”*
1 egg (white and yolk separated)