If you've ever been to a Kosher deli or supermarket, you should know what Halva is. It's a Middle Eastern candy made from tahini paste and it's got a wonderfully unique flavor. A few weeks ago, a coworker came back from Israel and brought some authentic Halva back with her. It was melt-in-your-mouth amazing and inspired me to dig up this recipe and try to make Halva cookies!
After they baked and cooled, the tahini/halva flavor was a little less pronounced than I would have liked, so next time I'll add in more. Overall, though, these were a delicious cookie to dip in a cup of tea.
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 TBS tahini (sesame paste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour (I didn't have this so I just used regular)
1 2/3 cup regular flour
1/3 cup sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 375, rack in the middle position. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Using either a hand-mixer or stand-mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar, baking powder, and nutmeg; beat until combined. Beat in the egg, tahini, and vanilla. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just encorporated. Use a wooden spoon to mix in any streaks of flour and the sesame seeds.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Flatten eath ball by pressing with the tines of a fork in a criss-cross position. Dip your fork in flour or sugar to prevent it from sticking.
Bake until lightly browned, 7-10 minutes. Remove from baking sheets and allow to cool on a rack.