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Cookie Experimentation Inspired by Crappy Weather.

November 11, 2010

Glum days in Denver!  The bad weather would have to start right when I had four days off work.  Time to hibernate.  And make cookies…?

Due to “scheduling concerns” (laziness) on my part, I haven’t made cookies for a blood drive, or for my co-workers or neighbors.  Up until Tuesday, the only person who’s made cookies around here has been Andy.  Oatmeal raisin walnut, mmm…

Yeah I forgot to mention that aside from a few yuletide batches of confectioner’s sugar-smothered Mexican Wedding cookies (aka “snowballs”) I haven’t made cookies in well over a decade, and I tend to burn the bottoms so now I’m afraid to mess with them.  The only things I can bake with confidence are cupcakes, muffins, and bread.

But on Tuesday I did make an earnest effort to get over my fear.  I made Sesame Shortbread cookies, from Robin Robertson’s recipe in Vegan on the Cheap.  Tahini, brown sugar, vanilla… it looked easy enough.

Of course my version is super-broke-ass: Robertson’s recipe uses cool things I don’t have, such as chocolate chips (her version is dipped in melted chocolate–showoff!) and margarine.  I made do with Crisco, and Mr. Andy made some hot cocoa, which was a good compliment for these nutty, not-so-sweet cookies.  I also used whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose, which was a mistake because I forgot about the HUGE sack of white flour we have.  Damn.  Shows how much I bake.  Hooray, extra fiber!

I suppose you want the recipe, huh?  Well, okay…  But please keep in mind it’s a work in progress.

Whole Wheat Tahini Shortbread Cookies

3/4 cup vegan margarine (yeah I used Crisco, but trust me)
1/4 cup tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups whole-wheat flour
Approx. 1/2 cup water (if necessary)
Toasted sesame seeds and raw sugar, for garnish

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.  In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, tahini, and sugar until smooth.  Add the vanilla, and then slowly add the flour until it is all incorporated.
  2. The dough will probably be very crumbly.  If so, add water, a tablespoonful at a time, until you can form a ball with a handful of dough without it falling apart.  Cover the dough and place it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes; the cooler it is, the easier it will be to work with.
  3. Divide the dough into quarters and shape each portion into inch-thick logs.  (They’ll sort of look like potatoes, haha)  Carefully cut the logs into slices, 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, and arrange them on ungreased cookie sheets.  Sprinkle with raw sugar and sesame seeds.  Bake 15 to 17 minutes.  Let cool on wire racks, if you have them (ha!)

And that’s that.  They aren’t the prettiest-looking cookies but whatev.  The important thing is that I’m one step closer to overcoming my cookie-anxiety.

What kind of cookies should I make next??!?

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