Earlier this month, before embarking on trips to Madeira, Bilbao and Brussels that have kept me busy and out of kitchen, I spent a few hours baking cookies to take to my south London baking club, Band of Bakers.
The cookies I decided to make were these tahini shortbreads filled with salted honey chocolate ganache, a fantastic recipe by Edd Kimber. If you don’t know him already, Edd is a exceptional baker, food writer, cookbook author, photographer and former Great British Bake Off winner, also known as The Boy Who Bakes.
I love a good shortbread recipe: it’s something quite simple to make, but very satisfying (like the Salted Butter & Chocolate Chunk Shortbreads I made recently). I love the smell of freshly-baked butter cookies filling up my kitchen.
Here, tahini is added to the cookie dough too add that distinctive (and addictive) salty flavour of sesame seeds. I only started using tahini in sweets recently (with these tahini brownies), but I’m obsessed already. It’s such a delicious ingredient to add flavour to cakes and cookies.
You can eat these tahini shortbread cookies just as they are, or sandwich them together with a filling of salted honey dark chocolate ganache, as per Edd’s recipe.
I suppose, if you wanted to, you could change the filling to raspberry jam, coffee buttercream, peanut butter, Nutella or even ice cream would work here. However, I strongly recommend you to try these cookies exactly as they are meant to be: with a sweet and salty dark chocolate ganache and sesame seeds sprinkled on top.
Usually, when I choose to make a recipe from a cookbook or a food blog, I will try to adapt it changing the ingredients and flavours to adapt it to my taste. I didn’t make any changes to the original recipe this time, because I wanted to taste these cookies exactly as they are meant to be. Edd would have tasted this recipe over and over until perfection, so I made sure I didn’t change a thing.
I am sharing here Edd’s original recipe. Please take the time to visit Edd’s YouTube channel to watch his video on how to make these cookies. I watched the video as I baked and found it really useful, especially the trick on how to make a perfectly round cookie log.
Makes about 35 cookies
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g caster sugar
- 75g light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100g tahini
- 385g plain flour
For the filling
- 100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 100g double cream
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
For the topping
- 1 egg white
- handful of sesame seeds
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, vanilla and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy for about 3–5 minutes. Scrape in the tahini and mix briefly to combine. Add the flour and mix briefly just until combined (don’t over mix at this stage). Transfer the cookie mixture onto a kitchen counter and use your hands to bring together into a uniform dough.
Divide the cookie dough in two parts. Shape the dough into a log shape, roughly 5cm thick (try to get these logs as round as possible). Wrap the logs of dough in clingfilm and refrigerate until firm (at least 4 hours or overnight).
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line three baking trays with baking paper.
Using a thin sharp knife, slice the cookies into rounds (about 4mm thick). Arrange on the prepared baking trays about 2cm apart.
Lightly brush half of the cookies with egg white and sprinkle with the sesame seeds (leave the other half plain, you will use them for the base of the cookie sandwich).
Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on the baking trays.
To make the ganache, combine the cream, honey, tahini and salt into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring regularly. Once at a simmer, pour the cream mixture into a glass or metal bowl with the chocolate and leave for a couple minutes. Stir together to form a smooth ganache. Set aside until cool and thickened.
Scrape the ganache into a piping back and pipe one dollop onto each of the plain cookies. Top them up with the sesame seed cookies.
Store the cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.