...or shall I call these Tahini Treats? If you love the earthy taste of sesame, these guys are for you. They came about from a failed attempt to make halva, in its Middle-eastern guise of sweetened sesame paste. After boiling honey to a soft ball stage, adding in piles of tahini and storing the resulting mass in the fridge, I ended up with what can only be described as sesame fudge. It was, to be certain, delicious sesame fudge but it certainly wasn't halva! The fudgy goop was far too sweet to be enjoyed on its own so, using a simple, reliable sugar biscuit recipe, I decided to use it as a filling.
The result is quite nice: a crumbly cookie with extra sesame-ness added by seeds sprinkled on during baking.
The recipe yields about 12-15 sandwich biscuits
- 1 cup clear honey
- 3/4 cup Tahini
- 1/2 egg, lightly whisked (save the other half for glazing the biscuits)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 110g butter, softened
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Big pinch of salt
- Handful of sesame seeds for sprinkling
For the filling (it's best to make this the day ahead): in a small sturdy pan bring the honey to a soft ball stage (105 degrees Celsius). Set aside to cool somewhat. In another pan, heat the tahini just enough to make it smooth. Add in the warm honey and stir thoroughly. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover, and refridgerate, ideally overnight.
For the biscuits: In a small bowl, lightly whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. the cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla and mix until incorporated. Gradually add the flour, in about three batches, until just mixed in. Tip the crumbly dough onto a length of cling film and press together into a rough flat square. Refridgerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out to about 1/4 inch thick and cutting out using a 1-2 inch round cookie cutter.
Bake in an oven preheated to 170 degrees Celsius until just very lightly browned at the edges, no more than 8 or so minutes. A few minutes into the baking, lightly brush the biscuits with the remaining egg and sprinkle on some sesame seeds. Finish baking, then remove and leave to cool on a rack.
I found the best way to sandwich the biscuits was to scoop out a teaspoon of the tahini filling, roll it out into a little ball between my hands then press the ball between the two biscuits. Best stored in the fridge, as the filling will seep out in warmer temperatures!