This is one of those recipes that, if not for blogging, would have ever caught my eye. My pre-blogger self would have started off wondering, “what the heck is Tahini?” (It’s a paste of ground sesame seeds.) Then I would have thought something like, “What is cornstarch doing in a cookie, and do I have to use shortening or will butter work?” Not having the answers, I would have scrapped the whole thing. Fortunately, times have changed.
My initial thought after baking tahini lime cookies was that they are a light version of peanut butter cookies. However, I am not about to put lime in a peanut butter cookie, so the “peanut butter light” description was not exactly it. The tahini adds a richness that the lime zest brightens up while at the same time the black sesame seeds lend a smokiness that you probably would not recognize until it was gone, and then you would really miss it. I have enjoyed a cookie with a cup of tea over the past few afternoons, and the whole experience was lovely.
Over the weekend, I caught up on some of my reading. The June issue (I wasn’t kidding about catching up) of Bon Appetit included a feature that suggested adding more seeds to your diet.
The idea is these little flavor powerhouses add a punch of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats to salads, yogurt, vegetables or whatever else you wish to sprinkle them over. Somehow, I don’t think cookies are exactly what the nutritionist who wrote the feature had in mind, but I’m good with it. Enjoy!
- ½ cup shortening
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 to 5 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon lime zest (about 2 limes)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons – ¼ cup black sesame seeds
- Cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the tahini, two tablespoons of milk, lime zest and pure vanilla extract.
- Add half of the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Mix well, then stir in the remaining flour. At this point, the dough should hold together when squeezed. If it is too crumbly, add another tablespoon of milk. Continue to add milk a tablespoon at a time until it holds.
- Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball, then flatten with the palm of your hand.
- Place the cookie on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat this process until all the dough is used.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden brown along the edges.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for another 8-10 minutes or so (if you try to move them too soon, they will crumble into pieces) then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.