I seem to become easily obsessed with ingredients, some become short lived obsessions some stick around for years. Tahini has become my most recent obsession, I have been sneaking it into as many recipes as I can. The recipe that started this love affair was a chocolate tahini bundt cake that I developed for Olive Magazine (it's still one of my favourites). The combo of chocoalte and tahini is magical, it just works. If you've never had tahini in a sweet recipe think of it playing a similar role to peanut butter, it has a deep roasted sesame flavour and works beautifully in sweet recipes. This cookie recipe was inspired by a picture of shortbread from a bakery in the states; it was thick and simply served, no adornment, no filling, just simply served sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds. In my mind this turned into what we have here, a crisp tahini shortbread sandwiched together with a salted honey ganache and like most recipes that sit on that line of sweet and savoury they're incredibly moreish, they're also slice and bake cookies making them quick and easy to make.
Tahini Shortbread Cookies with Salted Honey Ganache
Makes about 35 cookies
200g unsalted butter, room temperature
100g caster sugar
75g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
385g plain flour
Salted Honey Ganache
100g dark chocolate (65-75% cocoa solids)
100g double cream
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp flaked sea salt
1 large egg white
a mix of black and white sesame seeds (2/3 white 1/3 black)
To make the cookies place the butter and sugars into the bowl of a stand mixer, along with the vanilla and salt. With the paddle attachment beat together for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape in the tahini and mix briefly to combine. Add the flour and mix briefly just until combined, you want to avoid over mixing at this point as the cookies will come out tough. Tip the dough out onto the worksurface and use your hands to bring together into a uniform dough.
Cut the dough in half and form into thick sausage shapes, roughly 5cm thick. As these are slice and bake cookies you want to get these logs as round as possible, if you want to learn a nice tip on how to do this you can watch the video. Wrap the logs of dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for about 4 hours until firm.
Preheat the oven to 180C 350F and line three baking trays with parchment paper.
Using a thin sharp knife cut the cookies into rounds, about 4-5mm thick and place onto the prepared baking trays. Dont worry too much about the cookies spreading, you can leave just a couple cm's between each cookie. Lightly brush each cookie with egg white and sprinkle liberally with the sesame seed mix. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on the baking trays.
For the filling place the cream, honey, tahini and salt into a small saucepan and over medium heat bring to a simmer. Make sure to stir this mixture regularly as the honey will sink to the bottom of the pan catching and burning quite quickly. Once at a simmer pour the cream mixture into a bowl with the chocolate and sit for a couple minutes before stirring together to form a silky smooth ganache. Set aside until thickened enough to hold its shape then scrape into a piping back and pine rounds of ganache onto half of the cookies, sandwiching together with a second cookie.
Over the time the ganache will soften the cookies so I prefer to keep these in a sealed container in the fridge, where they will keep for up to four days.