Tahini and Milk Chocolate Chip CookiesI’m a tahini fan, yet I always forget about it. Or I don’t incorporate it into my life as much as I should. So now, I’ve made the “Tahini & Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies,” from the September/October 2017 issue of Bake from Scratch, and I’ve redeemed myself. Thank you.

Tahini & Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies
Bake From Scratch, September/October 2017
Makes about 48 cookies

1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup tahini
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, large
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt, kosher
3/4 tsp. baking soda
9 oz. high-quality milk chocolate, roughly chopped
sesame seeds for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, tahini, melted butter and vanilla with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add eggs, and stir until combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the sugar/tahini mixture, stirring until combined. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon, scoop dough, and roll into smooth balls. Lightly press each ball with the palm of your hand, and sprinkle with a pinch of sesame seeds, if desired

Bake until set and lightly browned at the edge, 10 -15 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom at the halfway point. Let cool on the pans for 1 minute. Remove and let cool completely on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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After its overnight chill in the refrigerator, this dough gets rock-hard. You’ll then scrape it with a tablespoon and fist it into balls. I made 46 cookies with this recipe.

The cookies taste salty and sandy, with that addictive tahini. These are memorable.

PREP TIME: overnight chill in fridge, shape cookies and bake in less than 15 minutes
TASTE: sandy, salty, tahini

Next time, I’m ready to dip into the newest Sweet cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, to make the alluring “Vineyard Cake” (recipe below). Come back next week, to witness my delights.

Vineyard Cake (aka Cleopatra Cake)
Sweet, Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh
Serves 12
This cake must be made in an angel food cake or chiffon pan. The cake is so large that it’s only this kind of pan — with a hole built into the middle — that will enable an even bake. Bundt pans will not work because you want the sugar crust and grapes to remain on top when the cake is served, which would not be possible as the Bundt pan is inverted.
This cake will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons (2 tsp.)
Finely grated zest of 1 orange (2 tsp.)
Scraped seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups Carte Or Muscat de Beaumes de Venise wine, at room temperature
3 1/2 oz. seedless red grapes, washed and halved lengthwise

For Sugar Crust Topping:
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 oz. seedless red grapes, washed and halved lengthwise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch round, 4-inch-deep angel food cake or chiffon pan, tapping away any excess flour.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside.

Place the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Add the butter, olive oil, lemon zest, orange zest and vanilla seeds and beat for 2 minutes on medium-high speed, until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the speed to low and add a third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the wine. Repeat with the remaining flour and wine, finishing with the final third of flour and continuing to beat on a low speed. Once combined, pour into the prepared cake pan and scatter the grapes evenly on top. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

To make the sugar crust topping: While the cake is in the oven, place the butter and sugar in a small bowl and beat with a wooden spoon to form a thick paste. When the cake has been in the oven for 20 minutes, quickly but gently remove it and dot the sugar crust evenly over the top, breaking it into small pieces as you go. Scatter the grapes evenly over the top and return it to the oven.

Immediately lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for another 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. The cake can either be served straightaway or stored in an airtight container.