Cooking

Smooth Operator

Maura Kilpatrick is a dough magician

This month, Tasting Table is sweet on holiday cookies. This is the twelfth in our 12-part series, 12 Days of Cookies.

Tahini, the key ingredient in hummus, is the last ingredient we'd expect to find in our oatmeal cookies.

However, it adds a special flair to the oatmeal cookies at Sofra bakery in Cambridge, MA. And it's not the only dessert that hinges on an unusual ingredient. Pastry chef and co-owner Maura Kilpatrick (who also makes the desserts at sister restaurant Oleana) is a whiz at taking traditional recipes and adding layers of unexpected flavor.

In addition to spiking oatmeal cookies with tahini, she uses clarified butter in place of regular butter in her shortbread, which results in unparalleled softness.

And, for her iteration of ma'amoul (click here to see the recipe), a type of cookie ubiquitous in Middle Eastern cuisine, a basic date-and-almond filling is updated with notes of coffee and orange.

The cookie is a traditional treat for holidays and hosting; with Kilpatrick's delicious interpretation, it's sure to shine at the center of the season's entertaining.

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