Like the Gozinaki we made just the other day, this recipe comes from Dorie’s Cookies, by none other than Dorie Greenspan. In the beginning of the book, she covers fairly standard cookies, chocolate chip and similar ilk, but, later in the book, she has a number of different-sounding cookies, such as Gozinaki, and this one for a partly salty, partly savory, and partly sweet cookie. We were intrigued. So, we made up a batch.
We’ve mentioned before that we like to bring little treats to our fellow volunteers who support the Monday downtown walk, but, we figure, lots of people make great chocolate chip cookies, or oatmeal cookies, or other sort of standard cookies. Let’s try something different, like these cookies.
We will tell you that we modified the recipe ever so slightly from the one listed in the book. We reduced the amount of sesame seeds used (we think it said 40g but that’s way too much).
If you don’t have almond meal or almond flour, you can make it. Simply place 75 g of almonds (preferably blanched) in the bowl of a food processor and pulse and grind until you have meal. Then start adding flour, etc. Sea salt: do you need it? If you don’t have sea salt, use kosher; if you don’t have kosher, use table.
Procedure in detail:
Process dry ingredients. Place the flour, almond flour/meal, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and let run about 30 seconds, or until the dry ingredients are well mixed.
Add and process butter. Distribute the butter on top of the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to start cutting it in. Let the processor run for 30 to 60 seconds, or until the butter is completely cut in and the mixture looks like struesel topping. NOTE: The dough does not come together at this stage. It will always look like struesel topping.
Knead. Turn the mixture out onto a clean work surface and knead the dough until it comes together and you have a dough that sticks together, about 1 minute.
Roll. Place the dough between two pieces of baking parchment and roll to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Don’t worry if the edges are rough or crack a bit. It’ll be fine.
Freeze. Place the dough, still between the parchment sheets, in the freezer for an hour, or long enough to freeze solid.
Cut. Using a 1 1/2- inch cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can, transferring the cookies to another baking sheet while you work. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more cookies; you should end up with about 48 cookies altogether.
Freeze. Place the cookies back in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or long enough that they freeze solid.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment to make cleanup a snap.
Apply sesame seeds. Brush each cookie with some egg. Not a lot, just enough so that the sesame seeds will stick. Dust with enough sesame seeds to make the cookies look nice, then lightly press them down to ensure they’ll stick. Once the sesame seeds are in place, transfer the cookies to prepared baking sheets, leaving about an inch of space between the cookies.
Bake. Slide into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through.
Cool. Let cool on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes, allowing them to crisp and firm, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.
These were a hit with the volunteers; we only had 4 cookies left over. While we strive to have the right amount so we have nothing left, we know that people often don’t want to take the last cookie, so, having only four left is about the best we’ll do. These are slightly salty, making them a little savory, and, with only 1/3 cup of sugar, they’re not too sweet. We will say that we like having the sesame seeds on top. They look great, but they really don’t add too much in the way of flavor. We might suggest that you sprinkle just a touch extra sea salt on top when you add the sesame seeds. They’ll be even better. Five stars!