Open sesame

My post this week has been inspired by all things sesame. I love sesame products . . . . sesame seeds, sesame oil and tahini. I wanted to use tahini in a biscuit and thought a shortbread recipe would be a good place to start.

Tahini is a ground sesame seed paste, and is a versatile ingredient to have in the kitchen. It can be used to make homemade hummus, in salad dressings or spread on toast. There are a couple of different sorts of tahini, some using hulled seeds, some using unhulled. Feel free use whichever you can get your hands on or is your preference in this recipe (I used hulled). For more details on the ins and outs of tahini, check out this blog post at Limes & Lycopene. One tip I will mention is that it is a good idea to stir your jar of tahini before use because there is usually a layer of oil on the top that has separated out of the paste.

Sesame seeds come in black and white varieties. I used white sesame seeds to decorate my biscuits, but black would also be a good choice and provide a nice contrast (or you could use a mix of both).

I used a food processor to make these biscuits. If you don’t have one you can make them by hand, you may just need to put some muscle into it. I got 14 biscuits out of my mixture, you may get more or less depending on how thick and what size your biscuits are.

The biscuits turned out light and crumbly, with a delicious sesame flavour. They are quite delicate however, so be gentle when handling.

Sesame Shortbread

* This recipe was adapted from a shortbread recipe in Leiths Baking Bible by Susan Spaull and Fiona Burrell. I have modified and adapted it to come up with the below reincarnation.


  • 65g tahini
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 55g sugar, plus 1 teaspoon extra to sprinkle on top of your biscuits
  • 115g plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Generous pinch of salt


  • Add the tahini, butter, sugar and salt to the food processor. Mix until combined.
  • Add the flour and mix until everything is just incorporated or comes together.

  • Tip your mixture out onto some plastic wrap.
  • Form your mixture into a log shape, wrap in plastic wrap and place into the fridge to chill.
  • When you are ready to cook your biscuits, heat oven to 170°C.
  • Unwrap your biscuit log, and roll in the sesame seeds so that the outside is coated.

  • Slice your log into biscuits, approximately 1cm thick.
  • Place biscuits on a non-stick tray or well greased tray.
  • Sprinkle over any extra sesame seeds you may have and the extra sugar.

  • Cook in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Remove biscuits from oven and allow to cool.
  • Once your biscuits are cool, they are ready to serve or store in an air-tight container. Enjoy.

What is your favourite biscuit recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?



Filed under Baking, Biscuits, Recipes, Sesame, Sweet, Tahini, Vegetarian

5 responses to “Open sesame

  1. I like the looks of these. I’m a sesame lover too. Love tahini and currants on rice cakes and those little sesame chews with honey (and probably dextrose). Always have a lot of sesame seeds in my muesli too. Why not shortbread. Great idea.

  2. These look absolutely divine!! I will definitely give them a try!

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