Suzy Karadsheh, creator of The Mediterranean Dish, explains how she simply cannot live without tahini. “Being Egyptian, tahini is a staple ingredient that my mother used in so many ways. And now I, too, use it in both savory and sweet dishes,” says Karadsheh.
Quality tahini is made from roasted and pressed sesame seeds, which will add a delicious earthy, nutty flavor — and a thick, creamy texture — to recipes. It also contains a multitude of nutritional benefits: it is an excellent source of vegetable protein, antioxidants, vitamins such as B12 and E and minerals such as zinc. Since sesame seeds are 55% oil and 20% protein, tahini also provides you with a source of heart-healthy fat (which is essential for maintaining cognitive health as you age. ) and essential amino acids (which help build healthy skin, strong bones and muscle mass). One study even found that sesame seeds have a high absorption rate for compounds like tocopherol, which is found in inflammation-fighting vitamin E. than their counterparts.
According to Karadsheh, one of the easiest ways to use tahini is to whisk it with chopped garlic and a drizzle of fresh lime juice and pour it over skewers or fish. She also loves tossing a generous dollop of tahini into her butternut squash soup, which gives it a luxurious mouthfeel and deliciously toasty flavor that complements that sweetness of the squash perfectly.
Speaking of sweetness, Karadsheh highly recommends incorporating tahini into baked goods. “It adds a nutty richness and silky texture,” she says. “And for those who can’t use peanut butter due to allergies or other reasons, tahini is the perfect replacement when baking.” It can also serve as a nutrient-rich butter substitute, which is a game-changer for those following a vegan or plant-based diet.
Needless to say, tahini is the star of Karadsheh’s favorite easy cookie recipe. “This makes them soft, chewy and full of flavor and nutritional benefits,” says Karadsheh. “Even if you’re not an avid baker, these tahini cookies are so simple to make and are perfect to accompany a cup of coffee or tea. Once you try them, you’ll know that tahini has the ability to take a dessert from average to a special treat brimming with complexity and spunk.
Ready to start cooking with tahini? Find Karadsheh’s full tahini cookies recipe below and be sure to use these helpful tips she shared while you cook.
Tips for Perfectly Baking Tahini Cookies
1. Using quality tahini is key.
“Always bake with high-quality tahini, otherwise your cookies will taste bitter and a bit funky,” says Karadsheh. When it comes to buying tahini, Karadsheh recommends stocking up on a place that restocks it frequently, rather than where it might have sat on the shelf for too long. “If you’re looking for a premium brand, Soom is a great option.” Soom is a women-founded company and offers a wide range of premium, super-fresh organic tahini spreads, including fun flavors like vanilla bean and chocolate, perfect for making nutrient-dense desserts.
2. Refrigerate cookie dough.
Let your cookie dough cool for at least an hour before baking. “Cooling the dough is an essential step, and you can do it for just an hour or overnight. You can also make the dough ahead of time and store it in the freezer for up to two months,” says Karadsheh.
3. Allow them to cool before storing.
Make sure the tahini cookies are completely cooled before transferring them to an airtight container or box. “Make sure you cover them well,” adds Karadsheh. They will keep for up to a week at room temperature. “Or, if you want to enjoy them months from now, you can store them in the freezer for up to six months. Just make sure the cookies are well protected.”
5 Ingredient Tahini Cookies Recipe by Suzy Karadsheh
1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
1 cup tahini paste
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt, optional
Powdered sugar, optional
1. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Using a hand mixer on medium speed, mix until light and fluffy. Now add the tahini and continue mixing on medium speed until well incorporated.
2. In another mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Transfer the dry ingredients to the tahini mixture and mix until well incorporated into a paste.
3. Take the tahini cookie dough out of the bowl and roll it into a log (about 2 inches in diameter). Place the log on the short end of a large piece of plastic wrap. Roll the film, twisting the ends in the opposite direction so that the log of dough is well wrapped. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut dough into 1/3 to 1/2 inch rounds and arrange on a very large baking sheet (or two baking sheets) lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes until the cookies are light brown around the edges and set.
6. Remove from heat and let cookies in baking sheets cool briefly, about 10 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Ready to keep cooking with tahini? Then try making Karadsheh’s delicious tahini brownies.
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