A staple ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, tahini is a rich sesame paste that you've probably eaten in hummus. However, with a high fat content (good fat, of course), it works wonders in baking as well. Tahini adds an intense nuttiness to these cookies, as well as their chocolate ganache filling.
A word of warning: This is a dessert that requires patience. Waiting for the ganache to cool completely and set will allow it to pipe cleanly onto the cookies. Make sure your cookies are completely cooled as well; if they are still warm, the ganache will melt, and you'll have a mess on your hands.
To learn more, read "Sesame Street."
Tahini Shortbread Sandwich Cookies
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 20 sandwich cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes, plus cooling time
For the Cookies:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup tahini, stirred
⅔ cup sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ cup sesame seeds
For the Ganache:
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup tahini
¼ cup honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1½ cups heavy cream
1. Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, tahini, sugar and salt. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the mixture until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the flour and mix until a dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the ganache: In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate chips, tahini, honey and kosher salt. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer, then pour the cream over the chocolate mixture. Let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let cool completely then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 14-inch circle, ⅓ inch thick. With a 2¼-inch round cutter, cut out 40 circles, rerolling scraps as needed. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, 1 inch apart, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake until lightly golden, 18 to 20 minutes.
4. Pipe 3 tablespoons cooled ganache onto half of the cookies, then top with the remaining cookies to sandwich together and serve.
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