A Sunday Night Recipe: Tahini Walnut Rolls

I’m taking a hiatus from politics for a while. Here’s a recipe I played with this week. Love the people in my life who look forward to me experimenting with new recipes and are willing taste-testers.

I have a bunch of Food in Fiction recipes on the cooking blog, I love finding or recreating recipes in novels I’ve read. One of my very favorites was the Lane Cake from To Kill A Mockingbird.  So when I started writing, I wanted to include foods in my books that match recipes on my blog.

In my newest endeavor, I have included a little Turkish Cafe as a part of the local color and I wanted to try out a few pastry recipes to use in the book. This was one of the simpler (and not deep fried) that I decided to give a try.

This is not the definitive recipe – if you Google Tahini Rolls you’ll find dozens of variations. Everyone’s grandma must make her own version. This one seemed the easiest to replicate.

These are much different than I expected. Light, crisp, flaky and not too sweet, they go great with coffee.  I really liked them.  This recipe makes about 2 dozen:

Tahini Walnut Rolls

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 pkg instant dry yeast
  •  4 cups flour (480 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup tahini paste
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs roasted sesame
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds to sprinkle over buns

Warm milk, butter, oil and sugar to 90 degrees (F). Add packet of yeast and mix gently.

Mix together flour and salt and add, 1 cup at a time, to the milk mixture. Blend thoroughly and mix until it forms a soft ball. Knead gently for 2 minutes.

Remove to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise until doubled.

Meanwhile, mix tahini and sugar together until smooth. Chop walnuts.

Divide dough into two balls. Roll one of the balls out until very thin (but not thin enough to tear).

Spread ½ of the tahini mixture over the rolled dough. Sprinkle half the walnuts and 1 tbsp of sesame seeds over the dough. Roll up into a jelly roll.  Slice into one inch thick pieces. Lay flat onto a baking sheet. Gently flatten.

Repeat with second ball of dough.

Mix egg yolk with a bit of water and brush over rolls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.


Open thread.

Saturday Night Recipe Thread: Holiday Treats

From my recipe blog:

I was doing some recipe searching for a project I’ll post about later and sesame seeds were heavily featured. That put me in mind of Sesame Brittle. I thought it might be nice to have it to crumble over ice cream on the Sundae Bar on Christmas Eve.

Such a simple recipe. No candy thermometer needed. I always use oiled wax paper, but I’m wondering if oiled parchment would work better. The heat of candy on the wax paper melts it in places. Difficult to peel off.

Sesame Brittle

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • salt

saucepan, wax paper (or parchment) and baking sheet

In the saucepan over high heat, melt butter and sugar and stir to combine. Without stirring, cook until mixture becomes a light to medium caramel color, about 3-5 minutes, then add sesame seeds and stir in.

Pour mixture onto a well-oiled wax paper or well-oiled parchment paper covered baking sheet and spread into an even, thin layer, about 1/8 to 1 /4-inch thick, with a wooden spoon. The shape will be irregular but don’t worry, you are just going to break it into pieces after it cools anyway.

Immediately shake a bit of salt over top of mixture and lightly press into caramel using the spoon. I used less than a 1/4 tsp for the entire mixture and that was plenty, though your mileage may vary. Allow to set-up for about 10-15 minutes.

When brittle has hardened and cooled, break into pieces and enjoy. Store in an air-tight container. And then hide or it won’t make it to the party.

Top: Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies, Spritz Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes (Pecan Cookies)

We skipped the annual cookie baking party – but the recipes for the cookies pictured above and below are here.

Fruit-filled shortbread

BTW, for those who were waiting breathlessly on what movie we chose for this year’s party – the winner is: Speed. A feel-good Christmas tale of two star-crossed lovers racing to fix Santa’s sleigh before the big night and realizing, as Santa takes off with his eight tiny reindeer, they were meant to be and share a first kiss as the credits roll. (I may or may not have watched one too many Hallmark Holiday movies this week)

Open thread

(Has Betty Cracker done her annual drunken auntie cookie bakeoff?)

Thanksgiving Files: Turkey, Sides and Desserts

I’m not cooking this year, so it gives me some time to put together a list of recipes links for Thanksgiving.

Starting with the turkey here are some of my favorites:

Spatchcock Turkey is the only way I make it anymore and you can find the recipe here.

Read more

Friday Recipes: Multi-Pot Bourbon Beef Stew and Cookies

Wow, what’s got into the food goddess? Another recipe? Quick someone check her for a fever.

I’ve posted this recipe before, but wanted to update it for the instant pot. (You don’t need to use the slow-cooker feature after pressure cooking, I had the time and it was easier than trying to find room for it in the refrigerator until dinner that night). You get a bonus Gabe photo, too. From What’s 4 Dinner Solutions:

I used the multi-pot to cook up a big batch of Bourbon Beef Stew (recipe here) for dinner guests. I sauteed the beef in the multi-pot, along with the onions and then added the remaining ingredients and used the soup/stew feature to pressure cook for 20 minutes. I then used the slow-cooker feature to let it cook for the rest of the day.

I have been using potato starch in lieu of flour for gravies and thickening. It makes for a satin texture and I really like it. Bonus, gluten-free.

The bread was not gluten-free and we had two loaves of it. Using this recipe and my new KitchenAid.

Sure looks like someone nicked a cookie before I got my photo

And for dessert, Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe here) – again using the new KitchenAid. I’m enjoying it and can’t wait for the big Christmas cookie baking session in December.

Bonus Gabe supervising the cooking:

I am not cooking Thanksgiving this year (though there still seems to be a 12lb turkey in my freezer). I’ll be traveling instead. That means I will have time on Sunday to put up a post with some Thanksgiving recipes, links to many more and be around to answer any pressing recipe questions.

Have I mentioned I love Thanksgiving?? Also, I know we are going to have 52 different versions of beef stew in the comments, claiming to be the best. So let me say this now, “Yes, yes, yours is the best, what were we all thinking with our inferior offerings?” 😎

What’s on your plate this weekend? Open thread.

Memories From Youth

Interesting thread by Stephanie McKellop on twitter:

Quick sidebar- if her name sounds familiar, it’s because she was briefly the target of all the alt-right lynch mob for engaging in a pedagogical strategy that is so widespread that you would probably have to explain to most educators why exactly it is “controversial.” They failed to get her fired because, well, SHE WAS JUST DOING HER JOB.

At any rate, the one on the list of things that surprised me was butter. I never realized that it was considered a luxury, and I honestly don’t remember it being a thing when I was a kid. I guess it is- I thought all the margarines and all that other stuff were for people with special dietary concerns and had no idea it was because of the price. I guess I never use butter for anything other than cooking (meaning I don’t do toast or butter bread, etc.) so it just wasn’t something that stood out to me.

One thing I have noticed recently is that all of the cheap cuts of meat that I used to use frequently when I was in undergrad and beyond to cook in bulk are now some of the most expensive cuts. Things like a good bone in pork shoulder or corned beef or beef brisket used to be dirt cheap. Now it’s expensive as hell. Reliably, the cheapest cut of meat in the store is a pork tenderloin or pork loin, which used to be super expensive. Beef is all over the place, but it seems that ground beef and premium cuts of beef like tenderloins, t-bones, porterhouse, etc., all command a premium price, while what used to be lesser cuts like brisket command a high price. The sweet spot seems to be cuts like sirloin.

At any rate, I thought it was interesting.