These delicious cookies are something between the Greek «halva», Cypriot tahini pies and butter biscuits. They are crunchy, intensely flavoured with tahini and a lovely almond crunch. I particularly like the hint of cinnamon and sea salt in every bite. They are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. Best part, they can be mixed entirely in a food processor in no time. These sweet temptations improve in taste and texture the next day. They can be kept in a biscuit tin or airtight container for weeks. If they last that long.
- ½ cup raw almonds with skin
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 150 grams unsalted butter
- ½ cup tahini paste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 Tbs water
- About ¼ cup sesame seeds for coating
Preheat oven at 175 C. Roast almonds for 6 minutes until fragrant.
In a bowl of a food processor put flour, roasted almonds, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until almonds are chopped (not turned into powder. You want the almonds to have some bite).
Add the butter and pulse again until mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the tahini paste, vanilla and 2 tablespoons water. Pulse until dough forms. If it’s too dry add some more water. The final quantity of water you will need depends on the density of the tahini.
Place a bowl of water on the kitchen counter. Put the sesame seeds on a plate. Wet your hands and form small balls of dough, the size of a walnut. Roll them in the sesame seeds and press down with your palms to flatten slightly. Place on parchment (or silpat) covered baking trays. Bake for 20-25 minutes until they reach a light golden colour. Cool completely on wire racks. Cookies will be soft and fragile as they come out of the oven but they will become crunchy when completely cool.