Wednesday, August 24

the best sesame cookies

These cookies are the kind that just seem too good to be true. Especially if you like sesame. They're really scrummy and really moreish - like halva in bakery form. And if you don't know what halva is, you haven't lived!

My dad loves sesame and so I've grown up with tahini. Tahini sauce with falafel, tahini added to houmous, tahini on toast, tahini spoonfuls from the jar. Tahini is a relatively guilt-free ingredient because it's full of 'good fats' as well as vitamin B and calcium.

But I only recently realised how perfect tahini would be for using in baking - it has a smooth silky texture and like peanut butter, is not explicitly sweet nor explicitly savoury, but is satisfyingly tasty.

So I did a quick google search and found a recipe for sesame tahini cookies. The result? Delicious cookies, not too sweet but moreish in their own way, crisp round the edges with a gooey, melty texture in the middle. Hard to resist eating a second.

Here are the best sesame cookies in all their glory.


1/2 cup (4oz) butter
1/2 cup (3oz) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (4oz) soft brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup tahini paste
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/3 cup (6oz) flour (I used half plain, half self raising, as the latter makes the cookies a bit more cake-like)
1/3 cup (2oz) sesame seeds
and a pinch of salt

1. Add the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl and cream/beat together until fluffy.
2. Add the egg and beat in quickly.
3. Slowly add the tahini, baking powder and salt.
4. Mix in the flour until well-combined.
5. Fold in the sesame seeds.
6. Spoon out the cookie dough onto a lined baking tray in balls evenly spread apart - use about a heaped dessert spoon's worth of dough per ball.
7. Bake at 175 degrees celsius for 10-12 minutes.
Recipe adapted from here

This recipe makes about 18 cookies and is very quick and easy to make.

Try them and let me know how they turn out!

Tuesday, August 23

on returning home, and leaving it

...well, I've been back a week, but sshh.

Cornwall was great, a week and a half of not having to think about life, and instead enjoying coastal rambles and scrambles, hot pasties, blackberry picking, homely traditions, my gran's crumble and a brief dip in the icy sea.

We stayed mainly on the Lizard and visited lots of beaches and coastal towns including St Ives. I will probably write some posts up about each place instead rushing through it all - but I don't want to bore anybody with 'holiday snaps'. (Although I love to nosey at other people's holiday photos - I mean, that's what Facebook's for.)

On returning to London I spent the rest of the week doing homely things with my mum while she was off work. We made lots of bread, and lots of jars of bramble jelly (blackberry jam really). We did a lot of gardening, went shopping, enjoyed a lot of coffee and cake.

I'm trying to make the most of the time I have to potter at home, because *deep breath* last Thursday my place at university was confirmed which means that in less than four weeks time I'll be moving out and trekking up north with a car full of all my crap to study BA English Language and Literature. So now my days are filled with lots of boring things, like completing student finance forms and new bank accounts, and buying pots and pans and cheese graters, and trying to remember how to write an essay. I am a homebird leaving her home. This is scary. And exciting.

(Annoyingly I got the same mark in the resit exam I was stressing over for most of the year and didn't get my first choice of Bristol, which is less north. But at least this way I get proper snow!)

I don't know what will happen to this blog when I move, mainly because my everyday life is about to change dramatically, and therefore so will my posts. I don't want to scare my future flatmates off with habits of taking photos of food and partaking in granny activities. So we'll see!

Anyway here are some of the first photos from my Cornwall trip.

We stayed in a cottage in the mysterious grounds of an old manor hall, nestled in a hidden valley in the rambling Cornish countryside. Think acres of overgrown woodland and gardens, old carriage tracks almost buried by grass and and brambles, everything very wild, very quiet, very romantic. It was like something out of a novel. Almost-tame rabbits would watch you from every corner, and peacocks walked about the lanes loftily admiring the views. A peahen and her peachick made their home in the doorway of our cottage and became our friends. Peachicks make the sweetest noise!

And this is a cake I baked and decorated for my aunt's birthday. It took me three hours, and much 'spare' icing was consumed in the process...