Do you like tahini? Many years ago now (well, I was still in the morning sickness stage with my Gabe, who is 22), we had breakfast with some of our best friends, the Bryants, at a little hippie café in Seattle. I ordered Tahitian Toast with a glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. I think I expected it was going to involve pineapple in some form, but it was two thick, moist slices of French toast with a slathering of tahini in the middle, like a French toast sandwich. With maple syrup drizzled over the top and the tart citrus juice on the side, I fell in love with the bitter nuttiness of tahini and sesame seeds, in general. I always have French toast with tahini now and freshly squeezed citrus when I can get it, which these days is pretty often.
Sesame seeds are next in the ingredient line-up (see Cookies Till They Come) and I didn’t want to hide them. I wanted them to be toasted and slightly bitter in a crispy cookie. This recipe is by Martha Stewart.
Sesame Seed Cookies
Martha Stewart Living, October 2000http://www.marthastewart.com/353559/sesame-seed-cookies
o 1 cup all-purpose flour
o 1/2 teaspoon salt
o 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
o 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
o 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
o 1 large egg
o 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
o 1 cup hulled sesame seeds, toasted
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda, and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add reserved flour mixture, and beat until combined. Add toasted sesame seeds, and beat until incorporated.
- Using a spoon, drop cookie batter, about 1 tablespoon at a time, onto prepared baking sheets, allowing at least 2 inches between cookies for spreading.
- Bake until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack.
These are a little chewier than crisp. They are simple, but the flavor is fantastic: buttery, toasty, bitter and the seeds crunch in little bursts in your mouth. I would always prefer these now to peanut butter cookies.