It’s fun to watch trends come and go and when a particular trend reappears, the recipes using the current ingredient are often uniquely different. For the past eight months I’ve noticed tahini in a large assortment of recipes. However this cookie comes by it honestly as it comes to us from Mamaleh’s, a new incarnation of the classic Jewish Deli, in Cambridge MA. Rachel Sundet, pastry chef at Mamaleh’s claims the honey keeps these shortbread cookies really soft.
No, I didn’t go to Cambridge just to eat at Mamaleh’s though I would have in a flash had the opportunity presented itself. I discovered both the recipe and mention of Mamaleh’s in Bon Appetit’s best new restaurants of 2017 write-up.
Because I used gluten-free flour and because the liquid to dry ingredients ratio made me concerned that the cookies might crumble apart, I added a little extra xanthan gum. My cookies ended up a bit more crisp than “melt-in-your mouth crumbly.” The next time I make them, and I do plan to as the tahini flavor is hauntingly delicate, I will skip the extra xanthan gum and see if there’s a noticeable difference.
I also made these cookies for friends who are vegan. Easy to do as I simply substituted Miyako’s vegan butter (which I highly recommend!) for dairy butter. So much nicer than the salty Earth Balance. However, it is pricey. If you live near a Trader Joe’s, I found it there for $2.00 less than our local natural foods store. However you make these cookies, just do it!