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Insanely Good Tahini Shortbread

f you think of tahini as a sauce served exclusively with shawarma and falafel then you're missing out. This silken, sesame paste is sublime when draped over roast vegetables. It's simply delicious stirred into balsamic salad dressing where it softens the vinegar tang. In addition, it can be mixed with melted, dark chocolate and cocoa, and used as filling for a yeast dough babka. It can even be combined with silan and spooned over vanilla ice-cream where it tastes much like a less indulgent version of halva. My absolute favorite use for tahini, however, is by incorporating it into these melt-in-your-mouth cookies which I've most aptly named 'Middle Eastern Shortbread'. While I've tried many more indulgent tahini cookie recipes, this is my absolute favorite, and the one I make most often. I urge even non-tahini fans to give it a try. You're just a few, easy-to-find ingredients - and minimal investment of effort - from sheer cookie perfection.

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) plain flour 1/2 cup (125 ml) white sugar 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Maldon salt* 100 - 115 grams butter, melted (see notes) 1/2 cup (125 ml) tahini paste (tahini golmi) * Maldon salt is the best here as it's never over-powering and the delicate crystals add so much. Use less than 1 teaspoon if using another salt. 1: Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. 2: Mix in the melted butter and tahini by hand till well combined. Do not over-mix. The mixture will be a bit crumbly but will come together when rolled. 3: Roll mixture into small balls and bake at 180 C for approximately 15 - 17 minutes till just beginning to color and the surface cracks. 4: Allow to cool completely before removing from tray as cookies are fragile when warm.

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