Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Honey Tahini Cookies

Zach, Anatole, and me on Lonstrup dunes

I intended to make these tahini cookies when my brother was here, but I baked a batch tonight--after we dropped him at the airport--while simultaneously making dinner for Anatole, who sat patiently watching an Elmo DVD.  I've caught a cold, am tired from a week of fun, and you don't even want to see my house right now--which is why I needed to bake something.  For me it's the ultimate therapy.  And maybe it distracted me from the bitter sweetness of my brother's departure.

With all due respect, this recipe makes me laugh. It calls for honey (I mean, it's in the name of the recipe, right?) and yet a note at the bottom of the instructions says that honey should not be cooked if it is to maintain its healthful properties.  Alrighty then.  I found it on the blog Fran's House of Ayurveda, and there is even a comment by the author that states cooked honey "becomes toxic and leads to ill-health." Not only did I cook the honey, but I ate the cookies!  Somehow I think I'll survive.  

My motivation was a beautiful jar of organic tahini that's been sitting in my fridge.  I've had tahini before, but never anything this delicious.  It's a darker color as if the sesame seeds were roasted, and it's just the right saltiness. Since the label is not in English, I'm not exactly sure what's in it (!), but even my poor Danish tells me it's simply sesame seeds and salt.  Even better, it comes from Urtekram, a Danish natural foods company just 13 kilometers from my house. 

I modified the recipe in several ways:  I used a scant 3/4 cup of honey (maybe the effects will be less toxic?) and the cookies were plenty sweet, substituted currants for the raisins (no chopping required!), added the currant water to the batter to thin it slightly (it's a THICK mixture), and baked them for up to 20 minutes.  I found the first batch--baked 10 minutes--to be a little too chewy and soft.  I prefer them darker and crisper, but it's really a matter of preference.

Honey Tahini Cookies

1c tahini
1c honey
1t vanilla
1t cinnamon
1/2c raisins or prunes, chopped, soaked in 1/2c water, and drained
3c quick cooking oats
1c chopped walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, or some of each (I used 1/2 c of sesame seeds only)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Either grease or use parchment lined cookie sheet.

1.  Stir together the tahini, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and fruit (with water).  Mix in nuts and/or seeds and oats and stir until well blended.

2.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheet and flatten slightly with wet fingers.

3.  Bake for 10 minutes for light golden brown, chewy cookies or 20 minutes for darker, crisper cookies.

The cookies are delightful with a cup of milky black vanilla tea.

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