These are just sesame cookies that have been given a facelift with the addition of both black and white tahinis. A few things when you’re working with tahini though-remember to stir your tahini well before using because say you haven’t made hummus, for a while, all the good stuff sinks to the bottom leaving a thin layer of loose fat floating on top.
Other things-remember to keep your ingredients at room temperature. I don’t think I’ve stressed about this enough on here, and I should. Butter must be at room temperature and soft to cream beautifully. I read this trick on America’s Test Kitchen where you heat a glass in the microwave, then cover a piece of butter with the glass to bring up the temperature. I’m too scared of trying this though, so I’d recommend you do things the old fashioned way.
The resting time for the cookies is a minimum of one hour. This means, you could keep it in the refrigerator overnight as well, then take it out the next morning, wait for a few minutes to bring the dough to a malleable rolling consistency, then proceed with the recipe. The closest comparison I can give you here would be to work this cookie like you do pie crust, so you want the dough to be cool enough to handle, but not soft enough that it’s a mess to work with. It’s not a very forgiving dough once it’s marbled, and that marble finish will just start getting more smudged, the more you work the dough, so work quickly. A snail’s pace in the Indian sun means you’ll be left with a hot sticky mess, and cookies are supposed to be relaxing. Turn on the air conditioner if it helps.
Marbled Tahini Cookies
Yield 25 cookies
Sometimes plain ol’ tahini wont do, you gotta up the sesame game with two varieties for layers of flavour. Since it’s a plain, sweet cookie, the two tahinis add tons of complexity making this a delightfully crumbly and delicious tea-time treat.
Salted butter 226g, soft and at room temperature
Caster sugar 200g
All-purpose flour 375g
Baking powder 1 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp, iodised (1/2 tsp if not)
Egg 1, room temperature
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Tahini 1/4 cup
Black tahini 1/4 cup (I used the black tahini from Urban Platter, which you can buy off Amazon)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed till it is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides as necessary with a spatula.
With the motor still running, add the egg followed by the vanilla and let the machine run till the egg is incorporated. Reduce the stand mixer’s speed to low.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and add it to the bowl of the stand mixer, a few spoonfuls at a time to incorporate it into the batter. Do this till all the flour has been used up. Stop the machine and scrape out half of the dough into a bowl. You can measure and do this too as I did.
To the half that’s still in the Kitchenaid bowl, add the regular tahini and beat on low speed till incorporated. Scrape this batter out and repeat with the black tahini. Keep both the cookie dough batters in the refrigerator to chill for one hour at least. This is when you could leave the cookie in the refrigerator itself and come back to it the next morning.
After an hour of chilling, bring both doughs out of the refrigerator and divide both batters into 3 equal parts.
You should be left with 3 white tahini cookie dough balls and 3 black tahini cookie dough balls. Place the dough balls in pairs of two stuck to each other with alternating sides like the 6 on a dice roll. Very gently knead this dough together to get the marble effect, only a few times. Any more and the colours will all start blending into one another. Roll out the dough if sufficiently chilled right away, else place in the refrigerator for another 15-30 minutes before proceeding to roll out the cookies.
Roll the cookie dough to 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface and cut out the cookie circles using a floured cookie cutter. Place them on a lined baking sheet/cookie sheet. You should be able to fit about 12 per cookie sheet, giving them a bit of space on the sides.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Transfer the cookie tray to the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges but still pale in the centre. You also want to rotate the cookie sheet halfway through the baking. This is important for even colouring of the cookies since we all have warm spots in our ovens so certain bits may brown more than the rest. Let the cookies cool on their baking sheet completely.
Repeat with the second cookie tray.