Two Saturdays ago, we took off across the bridge and drove up into the mountains with some rented snowshoes and a couple of friends. There had been avalanche warnings that morning and I was a teensy bit nervous as we passed the red warning sign at the bottom of the mountain trail, but a few feet into the snow and trees and quiet, and I forgot all about the potential danger. I should point out that we were assured by the employees over at the ski hill that we would be totally fine as long as we stuck to the trails. And we did. Safe & sound!
We made it all the way up to the summit and despite it being an overcast day, it was gorgeous – like being stuck inside a snow globe. Quiet and still and despite all the snow, we were warm and sweaty. That’s what a steep climb in snowshoes will do. At the summit we were greeted by a couple of cute fluffy whiskey jacks and the biggest ravens I ever did see.
I should point out that cookies involved.
These sesame tahini cookies that I had baked up the night before helped to take us up to the summit and kept our energy and spirits up. Cornelius thought they tasted a bit like Christmas shortbread cookies and I know exactly what he means. The texture is delicate and tender and they tasted rich and buttery. Perfect for snacking with a cuppa and a great accompaniment on a snowy climb.
There’s no reason to doubt the awesomeness of tahini in cookies. Plus with the sesame seeds sprinkled throughout and the crunch of the raw sugar on top, these cookies are really easy to fall in love with. However, I should point out that Cornelius nor my friends couldn’t guess what they were made with. I thought the sesame taste was quite evident, but everyone was kind of clueless until I told them. Whateves, my friends clearly have inferior taste buds but they loved these cookies as much as I did.
I’m not one to drink milk with cookies, but I think these would make a fine candidate. Got egg issues? No problem because there are no eggs involved. Want to make these vegan? Sub out the honey with agave or maple syrup and use vegan margarine instead. No problemo!
sesame tahini cookies
(adapted from A Sweet Spoonful)
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c well-stirred tahini
1 T honey
1 t pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sesame seeds (I used toasted)
2 T raw sugar
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine the butter, sugar, tahini, honey and vanilla until well blended. Add the flour in 2 additions, mixing slowly but surely. Stir in the sesame seeds and when those look combined into the dough, dump the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper and flatten slightly. Wrap tightly and chill in the fridge for about an hour or so.
When the dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350F and move oven racks to the middle. Pour the raw sugar into a small dish and roll out a spoonful of dough, dip into the raw sugar and slightly flatten each ball before setting them onto a silpat or parchment-covered baking sheet. Fill 2 sheets with cookies (don’t worry, the cookies will not spread) and bake for 12-14 minutes until slightly golden and crackly. Cool cookies completely on sheets before transferring, as the cookies are very delicate out of the oven. Makes about 24-28 cookies.