Tahini Shortbread Cookies are the 2017 LA Times Holiday Cookie Contest winner that’s so uniquely delicious and easy to make it’s going to be your new favorite!
Tahini is picking up in popularity. As an Arab, it’s been a staple in our house my entire life. But for those who still aren’t familiar…Tahini is sesame paste. Ground up sesame seeds to make this rich and creamy nutty/seedy type flavored sauce/butter. It’s kinda similar to almond butter. It’s not as rich and thick as peanut, it has a more oily, runny texture like almond, except its very smooth!
So how does tahini make these cookies so amazing!?
The nutty depth of flavor you get from the paste is so rich and velvety. It’s not an overpowering flavor, it’s actually quite subtle. I tried to add enough so that it makes its presence known, but not so much that you’re like, what’s in this!? Unless, you’re saying it in a good way, because everything about this cookie is good…trust me.
Carob molasses!? What’s that?? I quit!
No, wait! You don’t need the carob molasses! But just so you know, it has a rich, chocolate-like flavor and can be used as an ingredient in sweet desserts, or how I grew up combining it with tahini and actually eating it with baby romaine as a dip or on pita….weird sounding I know, but it was soooo good! Plus, it has calcium and iron! Any way, it goes really well with the cookie but not at all necessary in any way. If you have regular molasses, feel free to use that or omit molasses all together. But if you do want to try carob molasses, you can get some here!
I had a lot of people taste the cookie last year, as it was its first debut into my holiday rotation and I got amazing reviews! They’re very thin, flat, chewy cookies. You’ll want to top them with sesame seeds because that adds the greatest texture and crisp! They’re buttery and nutty…and sweet. They’re perfect. They’ve taken on favorite status from a few and I can’t say that I blame them.
- 3/4 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tbsp. carob molasses molasses
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. tahini
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180C). Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.
Add tahini and mix well. Add molasses until evenly combined.
In a separate bowl add flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.
Gradually add to the butter mixture. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 min.
Fill sesame seeds into a bowl. Take a tbsp of dough, roll into a ball and roll in the bowl of sesame seeds until fully covered. Press ball down on baking sheet to flatten. Repeat
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool before transferring or they may break.
Carob molasses are not necessary at all. You can omit it altogether or you can add regular molasses if you have. If you'd like to buy carob molasses you can do so here!