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?” (Answer: 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. My, how times have changed.
My initial thought after baking these tahini lime cookies was that they were a light version of peanut butter cookies. The tahini adds a richness that the lime zest brightens up, and the black sesame seeds give the cookies an enjoyable smokiness.
A recent issue of Bon Appetit included a feature that suggested adding more seeds to your diet. 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!
Tahini Lime Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup tahini
2 to 5 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon lime zest (about 2 limes)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons - 1/4 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 vanilla extract.
- Add half of the flour and all of the 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.
The original recipe explains the varying oil content of tahinis will affect how wet or dry the dough is after the first go round. This is why you may or may not use all of the milk. The tahini I used was more on the liquid than the pasty side, so I used only two tablespoons of milk.
The cookies are a bit temperamental when baking; some of mine were perfectly round while others thinned out at the edges. Try to keep the flattened cookies on the thicker side (not pancake thin) to bake up a more attractive cookie.