Tahini Thumbprints Cookies With Dulce de Leche
Pleasantly bitter tahini and rich, sweet dulce de leche make a perfect pair in these charming little cookies. The tahini gives the baked dough a fudgy, halvahlike texture and flavor, and a chewiness that’s totally irresistible. Top the dulce de leche centers with a sprinkle of flaky salt for sweet-salty perfection in each bite. These cookies are also excellent filled with a dollop of raspberry jam in place of the dulce de leche.
- Serves: 28 persons
- 1 ⅓cups/170 grams all-purpose flour
- ½teaspoon baking powder
- ¼teaspoon baking soda
- ½packed cup plus 2 tablespoons/130 grams light brown sugar
- 6tablespoons/85 grams unsalted butter, softened
- ¾cup/200 grams tahini, stirred well
- 1large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 2teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½teaspoon fine sea salt
- Heaping ½ cup/180 grams dulce de leche, store-bought or homemade
- Flaky salt
Step 1Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of an oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Step 2In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda, and set aside.
Step 3In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tahini and mix on medium speed until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
Step 4Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and salt to the butter-tahini mixture, and mix on medium speed until emulsified, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the dough is evenly mixed.
Step 5Add the flour mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the dough is evenly mixed.
Step 6Roll the cookies into tablespoon-size balls and place them on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
Step 7Bake the cookies for 7 minutes, then remove them from the oven and very carefully use your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon to make a teaspoon-size indent in the center of each cookie. The cookies will crack slightly along the edges; that’s OK. Return the cookies to the oven, rotating the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Bake until the cookies are set and just barely golden at the edges, another 5 to 7 minutes. Set the pans on cooling racks and press on the indentations slightly if they have puffed up during the baking process. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes.
Step 8Use a small spoon or pastry bag to fill the indentation of each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of dulce de leche, and sprinkle with flaky salt, if using. Let cool completely on the pans. Store in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 5 days.