سمسم [simsim]: For centuries, the heavenly seeds of sesame have constituted an indispensable ingredient in the pantry of the levantine household. Let it be seeds, paste (tahiné) or oil, with a light nutty flavour to them, sesame seeds are an important component for the making of many of the levantine dishes.
The famous tahiné, which is made out of sesame seeds, is a wonderful thick and rich runny paste used for the preparation of different levantine dishes varying from sweet to savoury. Tahiné is a traditionally versatile ingredient, and so, while it can work its magic in sweets, it is also a wonderful companion of savoury dishes such as fish and meat.
And besides all the magic that comes along with tahiné, it happens to be one of my favourite ingredients to use in the preparation of different kind of foods. And I can tell you our pantry never runs out of tahiné, things are that serious! 🙂
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup tahiné (sesame paste)
3 tbsp maple syrup
50 g unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup sesame seeds
- Using a handheld electronic mixer, beat the eggs and sugar till mixture is fluffy and of pale colour. Pour in the vanilla extract, tahiné, maple syrup, and butter. Continue beating till mixture is well combined and smooth.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Then add the dry ingredients into the tahiné mixture. Using a large metal spoon, stir till just well combined (don’t over mix). Wrap mixture with cling wrap and refrigerate for a few hours (preferably over night).
- Preheat oven to 170°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Form the dough into small balls (2 -2.5 cm), then roll them onto the sugar or sesame seeds in order to completely coat each ball.
- Place the balls onto the baking tray placing them 2-3 cm apart.
- Bake cookies for about 15 – 20 minutes or till cracks start to show on the cookies surface, (remember you dont want to over bake the cookies since you want the cookies to still be soft on the inside). Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire-wrack.
- Stored in a cool and airtight container, these beauties will keep for a few days from baking. Enjoy!