After reading a discussion article on the terminology of biscuits and cookies on Frugal Feeding, I am confused whether to call my favourite Anzac Biscuits with tweaks that I bake so often “biscuits” or “cookies“. I think I should call them cookies by his definition, but anyway, I love biscuits and cookies made with oats and I process some of the oats in my pantry to make ground oats as I do for almond flour so that I can sometimes make cookies with smoother texture.
As I am trying to eat healthy, I pay attention to nutritional values of foods and I’ve learned that these tiny seeds are not only tasty, but are very nutritious, too. It’s full of calcium, potassium and zinc. Did you know that a 1/4 cup of sesame seeds have more calcium than a cup of milk?
What is strange, however, sesame seeds have been so underestimated that they are usually sprinkled on food or bread for a garnish. Simit and sesame sticks I like snacking on wouldn’t be so addicting without the sesame seeds. But many of the seeds usually fall off and end up sitting at the bottom of the plates or bowls uneaten. Do you usually eat them by pressing or picking by your fingertips? Yes, I do. In Northern Asian cuisine, sesame oil is common but used sparingly so only a drop or two is used for a tasty smell, which often puts off many westerners as the smell of sesame oil
is very strong. Genuine sesame oil is quite expensive like extra virgin olive oil, about $10 for a 100ml bottle, and black sesame are even more highly valued.
Influenced by my mum, who always grind sesame seeds instead of using them as whole, I tend to do the same. Grind them coarsely and store or crush them in a mortar with a pestle briefly before adding them in cooking.
I had known that tahini was common in Middle East cuisine before I came to Turkey so I was not surprised to find a jar of tahini at $2. Here it is eaten at breakfast, mixed with grape molasses and also, there is Turkish sesame halva, which is made with the sesame paste, tahini, and is really delicious and addictive. So I’ve been trying to take advantage of sesame butter and incorperate it into cooking. I sometimes simply spread it on toast, just like peanut butter, and drizzle some honey and eat it with tea. Nice!But this time I experimented making cookies with it by tweaking my favourite oat cookie recipe. I normally use dried fruits such as sultanas, apricot or cranberries for my oat cookies. But I thought oat, tahini and chocolate might be a good match so I went ahead and made it. And the result? In my opinion, it was a good idea to leave fruity acidity out of
the kingdom of nutty-bitter-sweet cookies.This is one of my many healthy recipes that prove “healthy food tastes good”. It’s full of fiber, zinc and calcium, and a little bites of chocolate decadence. The cookies that had once filled the Turkish Delight container didn’t last long because they were so good! Should I make them with dried fruit next time? Hmm…I feel like a cup of tea right now and look for something sweet, but the cookie container has been empty for a few days now because of the endless of dinner gatherings, so I guesss it should bake some biscuits today. Maybe simple spiced ginger biscuits using the recipe on Frugal Feeding.
Oatmeal Tahini Cookies
Ingredients (makes 36)
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup tahini
• 1/2 cup carob or grape molasses
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 3 cups rolled oats, half ground
• 1/2 cup extra-dark chocolate chunks (adjust the amount to your preference)
• pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, pinch of ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line the baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Mix butter with the tahin, sugar and molasses.
3. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and mix.
4. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Add to the tahin and molasses mixture. Mix well.
5. Add the oats and the chocolate chunks.
6. Form into balls and place on the sheets; flatten a bit quickly with a fork, if desired. until the cookies are puffy and feel somewhat firm.
7. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes untill puffy and firm and then, remove from the oven, cool and enjoy!