These Sephardic Jewish cookies are usually served at Shabbat (Sabbath) dinners and on holidays. We loved the savory sesame flavor so much that we added tahini to the dough to help showcase it. They store well, so they're excellent cookies to keep around in case of unexpected guests.
- 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 large whole eggs, at room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 cup hulled raw sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment, or coat them with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
Beat the eggs and yolks with the sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the tahini, oil and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until combined to make a soft dough. Cover the dough and set aside for 5 minutes before forming into rings.
Pinch off a walnut-sized piece of dough and roll it into a rope that is about 5 inches long and 3/8-inch thick. (Dust your hands and the parchment lightly with flour if the dough is sticky.) Pinch the ends of the rope together to form a ring. Repeat until all the dough has been formed into rings.
To glaze the cookies: Put the sesame seeds on a small plate. Whisk the egg white and honey together, and then brush each ring with the mixture. Then immediately dip the ring into the sesame seeds. Place the rings seeds side up, on the prepared baking sheet at least 1 inch apart.
Bake rings until lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Serve.
Busy baker's tips: These cookies keep for a couple weeks stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They can also be double-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to a month.
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