I have an obsession with all things vanilla bean. Vanilla bean gelato. Vanilla bean yogurt. Vanilla bean creme brulee. Cake. Oatmeal. Pudding. Vanilla bean infused buerre blanc. (Yes, I have had it, and it was too good for this Earth.)
I also have phases of being obsessed with tahini. I love how rich and savory it is! It goes extremely well on salads, veggies, eggs, oatmeal, basically anything.
One day about two weeks ago, genius slapped me in the face and screamed WHY HAVE YOU NEVER COMBINED TAHINI AND VANILLA BEAN BEFORE?
And thus, Vanilla Bean Tahini Cookies were born.
After I made these, I googled the name to see if anything came up. Nothing did.
THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE YOU CAN GET THIS RECIPE!
Over the last two weeks, I have made 4 batches of these cookies and basically have 2 very similar versions of the recipe. One is for a denser, more rich cookie (that I preferred) and one is for a more fluffy cookie (all the pictures). I recommend going for the more rich and dense version unless you really prefer fluffier, lighter cookies. I love them. They satisfy my sweet, savory, buttery, and nutty cravings all at once. When I gave the girls in my sorority some to try, they were a hit!
(Hi Sydnie and Megan!)
Recipe: Makes 8 cookies
(I am posting the denser version with the fluffy alterations in parenthesis)
Wet ingredients -
1 tbsp butter, melted (1/2 tbsp butter, melted)
3 tbsp tahini (2 1/2 tbsp tahini)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dry ingredients -
1/4 cup vanilla bean infused sugar + plus extra for rolling in
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp salt
no baking soda (fluffy uses 1/8 tsp baking soda)
1/4 cup sesame seeds (to roll in)
Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all the wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add in the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until well combined. Next, take out a plate and spread the sesame seeds over it. Sprinkle in some extra vanilla bean sugar and salt (if you love it like I do). Take a spoonful of dough and roll into a ball. Roll in the sesame seed/sugar/salt mixture and lightly flatten onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes (1o max). Don’t overcook!
If you don’t have vanilla sugar: scrape the seeds from half a vanilla bean into the wet ingredients and use regular sugar.
If you don’t have vanilla beans: Buy some. Or… if you must, add an extra 2 tsp of vanilla extract
How to make vanilla bean sugar:
Method 1: Take 4 vanilla beans and scrape seeds into 1 pound of sugar. Chop up the bean pods and throw into a food processor with the sugar. Let process until the vanilla bean pods are a homogenous part of the sugar. Store in an air tight container and let flavors meld for 1-2 weeks, if possible.
Method 2: Scrape seeds from 1 vanilla bean into 1-2 cups of sugar. Place the empty bean pod and sugar in a jar and let flavors meld for 1-2 weeks, if possible.
Benefits – HELL YES COOKIES HAVE BENEFITS:
Tahini * a good source of essential unsaturated fatty acids, copper, iron, calcium, fiber and B vitamins. Copper is good for treating some of the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Magnesium can help lower blood pressure and help women going through menopause maintain normal sleeping patterns.
Sesame seeds * have the highest content of phytosterols of all nuts! Phytosterols look similar to cholesterol and are believed to lower cholesterol levels, aid in immunity and decrease the risk of some cancers!
Whole wheat flour * unlike refined flour, whole wheat flour has more B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.
Anddd a Nina photo to get you through today:
And a weekend photo to get you through to Friday:
(Make the cookies.)