February 17, 2009

I don't know much about tahini outside of the deliciousness factor. There appear to be different types, but, well, actually I have no idea. I have had a jar in the cupboard (actually in two cupboards and a trunk, it's taken quite a tour of the Park Slope/Boerum Hill area) since purchasing it in the "ethnic foods" aisle of this deceptively nondescript goldmine of cheap sundry goods when I was working down the street. Tahini is also available at the co-op but, though I haven't done the research or read all the articles (spoken like a true liberal arts major), it doesn't seem like the same stuff. It seems thicker, more spread-like. Anyway, maybe I'll get around to googling that soon but in the meantime, I feel pretty confidant in suggesting that any tahini you can get your hands on will do just fine in the following recipe.

I'd originally purchased the tahini with the intention of making this, and I'd like to follow through on that but am in the middle of a mini-cookie roll at the moment. The hazelnut crackles were a smash hit I decided I needed to reach for success once more. The following did not disappoint. The combination of sesame and cranberry was inspired and yes, they were the perfect size. I might have to issue a decree that no doughballs shall exceed 1 tsp within 100 feet of my kitchen.

Cranberry Oatmeal Sesame Crisps
a riff on these, from the as-yet infallible Celine

a note: Celine calls for half brown sesame seeds and half black sesame seeds. I didn't want to spring for the black sesame seeds but I loved the way the black specks looked in her cookies so I used some poppy seeds instead, thinking they wouldn't add much of a flavor component. Fortuitously, since I love poppy seeds, they did lend a great flavor so I'm inserting them in the recipe. They don't give the same visual pop that the black sesame seeds would have, so next time I think I'll use both colors of sesame seeds and still include some poppy seeds so that's how I've listed the ingredients below. I think these would also be really good with chocolate, chopped walnuts, or raisins in place of cranberries.

Makes about 100 cookies depending on the twee levels in your kitchen.
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbl poppy seeds
5 Tbl brown sesame seeds
5 Tbl black sesame seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup tahini
3 Tbl canola oil
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk in sesame and poppy seeds and oats and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk almond milk, tahini, oil, vanilla and sugar together into a paste-like mixture.

Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, whisking consistently and adding more soy milk if necessary to incorporate dry. Fold in the cranberries.

Evenly place doughballs of 1/2 to 1 tsp in size on a parchment-lined baking sheet and gently flatten them. You can dust them with sugar if you want, I did so to a few and didn't have a preference.

Bake for 9-10 minutes (like the hazelnut cookies, you'll know when they're the right shade of brown) and remove from the oven. If possible, leave them on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before putting them on a rack to cool (otherwise they stick a bit to the rack, which was only a little bit annoying and certainly not disastrous).


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