Variations On Shortbread: Coconut and Tahini

I was telling a friend I was going to make Tahini shortbread cookies to use up the tahini I had leftover from the Tahini Walnut Rolls (recipe here). She asked if it was dairy free, because she’d like to make shortbread, but was avoiding dairy.

The original recipe wasn’t, but I thought I’d give it a try with just tahini. And then because I Iove coconut, I thought I’d do the same thing with coconut oil. So both of these are dairy free.  Continue reading

Tahini Walnut Rolls

I have included a little Turkish Cafe in my newest novel Underway (available in June) and I wanted to try out a few pastry recipes to use in the book. This was one of the simpler (and not deep fried) that I decided to give a try.

This is not the definitive recipe – if you Google Tahini Rolls you’ll find dozens of variations. Everyone’s grandma must make her own version. This one seemed the easiest to replicate.

These are much different than I expected. Light, crisp, flaky and not too sweet, they go great with coffee.  I really liked them.  This recipe makes about 2 dozen: Continue reading

A Little Baking: Tahini Rolls

I’ll post the full recipe once I’ve completed this. I like to make sure it works first, LOL.

A friend is coming over for coffee this morning and I wanted to prepare a little treat. Luckily my friends are used to me experimenting on them.  What I realized this morning, I really miss playing with recipes.

But at the moment, there is not a lot of time for that. I did have fun this morning doing this one and playing in the kitchen really is stress relief for me.

Stay tuned for the finished product. Until then…


What the Hell is Hummus?

I know I’ve asked that question a few times.  Nothing answers the question better than making a batch to see and taste.  Here’s my first go at it.

First thing was to make some tahini.  It’s nothing more than a butter made from toasted sesame seeds and olive oil.  I made a small batch before I started on the hummus, just wanted to make sure this important ingredient was going to be good enough to take the experiment farther.  It worked well enough that I was happy to continue.  I’m told that tahini can be bought ready made but I’ve never seen any around here.  The Asian grocer in the next town east may have it but I’ve never looked for it.  They did have the toasted sesame seeds I used today but I was thinking of another use for those.

I didn’t have any canned garbanzo beans like all the recipes called for, but I did have a bag of dried garbanzos so I fast soaked those and then simmered them for an hour or so.  That seemed to be plenty.  I made more beans than I really needed so I took 2 cups of them for the recipe and froze the remainder for later.

OK, here we go:  Dump 2 cups of garbanzo beans in a food processor, add up to a half cup of tahini, add the zest of a lemon, then its juice.  Toss in some crushed cloves of garlic.  Most recipes I looked at said one or two, I used six or seven.  Add some sea salt, a half teaspoon or so.  Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Pulse the mixture to get it all chopped, then process on low for a few minutes until it comes together as a smooth paste.  Add some water sparingly if it seems dry, or add more lemon juice.  (The recipes I looked at all mentioned reserving some of the brine from the canned beans for adding-but some commenters said don’t add the brine.)  Taste and adjust as needed.  Maybe more lemon juice, more salt, or more of the tahini.

The classic use for hummus seems to be as a dip for toasted triangles of pita bread.  I can attest that it works very well for that!


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