Five years ago we spent the summer in Edinburgh, Scotland. We were there for my husband’s masters writing program and since I have the summers off, I was free to tag along and explore while he was in class.
I quickly established a schedule of my own once we got settled in Edinburgh. Run the park in the morning, explore a new neighborhood or site by day, and close out the late afternoon to rest my legs by curling up with a good book and a cup of tea. And shortbread.
Around the corner from our rented apartment was the tiniest, most wonderful little bakery. In its big square window sat dazzling pastries, biscuits, and the most perfect, buttery squares of shortbread. Tired, slightly cold, and usually somewhat wet from the day’s rain, I’d scrounge for change in my pocket and go in to get a few pieces before returning home.
Needless to say, the frequency in which I visited that little bakery probably had the owner wondering if there was a shortbread shortage in the United States. Its comforting, buttery-sweet taste is one I will always go back to, and it never disappoints. These tahini shortbread cookies that I’m sharing today have the same buttery flavor, sweetened with coconut sugar, and made slightly nutty by the addition of tahini.
Tahini adds a richness without the need for more butter, and the health benefits it boasts don’t hurt either. After using tahini in these chocolate cookies, I am excited to have another sweet application for the humble sesame seed paste.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- ½ cup tahini (stir well before measuring)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips, melted, for dipping
- sesame seeds, for sprinkling
- Grease an 8-inch square pan with butter or coconut oil, then line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides.
- In a large bowl, cream butter, vanilla, and coconut sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add tahini and mix until combined. Add almond flour, brown rice flour, and salt. Mix on low speed until completely incorporated.
- Press the dough evenly into prepared pan. Freeze for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once dough has chilled, with a knife, score shortbread into 18 pieces. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden. At the 30 minute mark, lightly cover with foil to keep from over-browning.
- Allow shortbread to cool completely in pan on wire rack. Using parchment flaps, remove from pan to cutting board. Cut into scored pieces. Dip cookies into melted chocolate, place on a piece of parchment. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Allow chocolate to harden before storing in airtight container.