For my first recipe post of 2018, I wanted to try using a new baking ingredient. Given all the tahini-hype over the past two years, I decided that I would start with a simple tahini cookie. Tahini is on regular rotation for savoury family meals at my home and I have heard some people liken it to peanut butter. I am not particular to one brand but I think I am still getting accustomed to recognizing quality tahini and figuring out where to source it. Do you have any suggestions?
Before I move onto the recipe, I wanted to link to my first blog post of the year in which I stated that I have forgone New Year’s resolutions. Instead of resolutions, I looked back at 2017 to see what was working for me. Specifically, the practices that bring joy to my life or offer some small benefit if practiced regularly. I identified several habits that I began at different points during last year. These are actions that fit my life right now, in this moment.
Warm water with lemon. After getting dressed for the day, I fill the kettle with water and slice a lemon. I pour the hot water (not boiling) over the lemon to the halfway point of a large mug. Then, I put a dash of cool, filtered water so that I can enjoy it as I prepare breakfast for the children and pack lunches. This little ritual is calming and allows me to have enough energy to do the school run before coming home to put the baby to bed.
Yoga plus Core-strengthening
I have been practicing yoga since I was 17. Through my practice I have had both physical and mental breakthroughs but as of late, l I have been stagnant in my practice. In the fall, I began an online program that focused on core strengthening for mothers called Momma Strong. Through a daily, 15-minute exercise routine, I have gained stability that I don't think I would have if I had just continued with yoga. The instructor/entrepreneur, Courtney Wyckoff, has made it easy to get a workout in that well, actually works. Plus, she shows you how to get it done with children and pets and late nights and all of the things that mommas do.
Three years ago I purchased Mom’s One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book. Big and small news are recorded. Everyday. Then read and reread a year or two later. It is similar to the current trend of a gratitude journal and helps to ground me when I stressed about things being beyond my control.
Evening Chore Podcast
After the children are in bed, I finish up the house work and get organized for the next day. This typically involves folding a load or two of laundry and doing the washing up. I used to loathe the mindlessness of these tasks but I started listening to podcasts as I worked. In the autumn, I subscribed to the Startup Pregnant Podcast by Sarah K. Peck. “Startup Pregnant is a place to mix work and family, to talk shop about business and birthing, to recognize that we thrive better when we collaborate across these cultural phenomena that have been strangely isolated from each other.” I highly recommend it as Sarah has loads of interesting guests and discusses far reaching issues that no one has has been willing to tackle.
Just four intentional things that I do on a weekly, if not daily basis. What are your practices? What actions add that bit of oomph that makes your day just that much better?
This recipe creates small, 3-4 bite cookies that have a subtle tahini flavour. They are quite a bit smaller than the current giant chocolate chip cookie craze (consider that these cookies are about 20 g pre-baked whereas bakery style cookies are often 100 g of cookie dough). Another bonus is that this is truly a whip-it-together-at-the-last-minute sort of recipe as the dough requires no resting or chilling.
Time: Prep Time (20 minutes) + Baking time (15 minutes)
Makes: 24 cookies, depending on size
2/3 cup (130 g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (150 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
scant ½ cup (110 g) tahini paste
½ tsp vanilla extract
5 tsp (25 ml) whipping cream
2 cups plus 1 ½ tbsp. (270 g) all-purpose flour
½ tsp cinnamon (for sprinkling)
1. Line 1 large or 2 smaller baking trays with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for one minute. Add the tahini, vanilla extract and whipping cream and mix well. Add the flour and mix on low speed until combined. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead several times.
3. Measure about 1 ½ tbsps. (20 g) of dough and form into a ball. Continue with the remaining dough and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Press down slightly with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle each with the cinnamon. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes and then allow to cool on a wire rack.
Enjoy with a hot beverage to warm you up!
Slightly adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Store the cookies in a sealed container for up to 10 days.