Sesame Oatmeal Cookies

Tahini is that one ingredient that’s constantly on rotation in my kitchen. I love to use it in salad dressings, drizzle it on roasted vegetables, or mix it in carob molasses for a quick dessert. I’ve also been experimenting with it in pastries and found that the sesame taste overpowers neutral-ish ingredients like a carrot or zucchini. However, it sometimes compliments and enhances dominant ingredients wonderfully like this chocolate soufflé cake. Or it can also add unexpected notes of nuttiness and bold flavors in these oatmeal raisin cookies.

Recipe adapted from Melissa Clarke

180g (1 cup) golden raisins
160ml (⅔ cup) rum for soaking (substitute with apple juice, or any other liquor)

180g (1½ cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp fine grain salt
226g (1 cup, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g (1¼ cup) light brown sugar
50g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, cold
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp tahini
1 tsp rum
300g (3 cups) thick rolled oats
15g (2 Tbsp) sesame seeds

1. Optional: Soak the raisins in the rum for at least an hour. Lightly toast the rolled oats and sesame seeds on a baking sheet until lightly golden (6-8 minutes in a 350°F/180°C oven).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes until pale and creamy. Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. On low speed, beat in the eggs, tahini, and vanilla until well incorporated.
4. Add the flour mixture and mix until barely combined. Drain the raisin (reserve the rum for another use or add in a splash in the batter!) and mix that in with the oats until just combined.
5. Put the bowl in the fridge for 30 min until the dough firms up.
6. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 350°F/180°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
7. Scoop 1 tablespoon portions of the batter and place them 2 in./ 5 cm apart.
8. Bake for 9-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking, until the edges are golden and the tops look underdone. After 2 minutes of taking them out of the oven, transfer to wire racks to cool completely and firm up.
9. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days (they can also be frozen for up to a month).

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