Monday, 17 February 2014

Tahin-Pekmez Cookies




On our most recent trip to Turkey, my dad introduced me to tahin-pekmez, a thick paste of tahini and molasses that makes for a filling breakfast spread.

Tahin-pekmez is such a simple dish that it hardly requires a recipe: you simply mix grape molasses (üzüm pekmez) into tahini. (And now you can see where the name comes from.)

You don't even need to measure anything. Start with some tahini, add the pekmez a little at a time, and stop when it looks and tastes like something you'd enjoy eating. I find about ⅓ to ½ the amount of pekmez compared to the tahini is about right, for me, but it's a matter of personal preference. If you have a local middle eastern grocery store, you should be able to find grape molasses there, or failing that you can get it on Amazon (in a glass jar - don't be fooled into buying 'grape molasses flavour' tobacco...).

Anyway, having become a big fan of these flavours, I started thinking that this might make a good basis for a cookie. I'm not claiming any Turkish baker has ever made cookies quite like these, but it's a very Turkish flavour. The end result isn't overly sweet, but you can really taste the sesame and the molasses.


Tahin-Pekmez Cookies
Makes 12

125g (1 US stick) butter
250g (1½cup) plain flour
85g (½cup) light brown molasses sugar
½tsp baking powder
1 egg
120ml (½cup) tahini
4tbsp (¼cup) pekmez
1tsp sesame seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).
  2. Melt the butter and set aside to return to room temperature.
  3. Mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder together, breaking up any lumps.
  4. Break the egg into a well in the middle of the flour, and muddle with a fork to break up the yolk.
  5. Add the butter, tahini, and pekmez, and fold together with a spatula.
  6. Knead the mixture until no dry patches remain.
  7. The dough should be soft, but just solid enough to be workable; if it's too sticky, pop it in the fridge for a few minutes.
  8. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, and roll into balls.
  9. Press each ball lightly onto a cookie tray, leaving space for them to spread in the oven.
  10. Sprinkle a small pinch of sesame seeds onto each cookie, and press lightly into the surface so they don't all fall off after baking.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes, or until beginning to brown (which, I confess, is hard to measure on a cookie of this colour).


6 comments:

Rachel said...

An intriguing idea, and a great way to make further use for a flavour you already like. After all, you can have cookies any time of day!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Those look interesting.

Heather Duff said...

These look really good!

Rhondda Mol said...

It is exciting to learn about new taste combinations - I would never have thought tahini could be used to create a cookie! and I have never heard of grape molasses. Visiting from SITS :) Have a great weekend, Rhondda

mypixieblog said...

Ohhh, this looks good! And I actually have all of the ingredients on hand…

Robin Rabiya Garip said...

I've used pekmez with tahini and sugar as a spread on pizza dough for an interesting twist and the pie was gone in no time! I live in Turkey 😊 as an American cook it's fun to play with traditional Turkish foods and American flair.

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