Almost Turkish Recipes

Crunchy Tahini Cookies (Tahinli Çıtır Kurabiye)



Let's start the new year on a sweet note. This "cookie" that is made with baklava phyllos is relatively new in Turkish dessert scene, yet it quickly became irresistible. The cookies are like dry baklava, less sweet and with tahini gorgeousness. My mom made them for the first time more than a decade ago when they had come to visit us and I remember how challenging it was to find tahini in US. Now, fortunately, even Trader Joe's has them as a staple. Now mom has to make them, trays and trays of them, whenever we see each other. I baked tens of these as gifts in lieu of traditional Christmas cookies this year; I got many compliments and recipe requests.   










1 box of phyllo or filo dough, thawed according to instructions on the box (there are many brands and they all usually have ~18-20 sheets)
1 stick (113 gr.) butter, melted
1-1 1/2 cup tahini
1 - 1 1/2 cup sugar
1,5 cup finely chopped walnuts 
powdered sugar to decorate

There's nothing written in stone when it comes to how much of these ingredients you need. You can use more or less of any one of them.

-Take 4 sheets from the phyllo box and cover the rest of the sheets with a kitchen towel to prevent drying. Place first sheet a dry surface long side facing you. Brush with melted butter to cover almost all the surface. 
-Place the second sheet on top and butter again. -Repeat with the 3rd sheet as well. 
-Place the 4th sheet on top and brush generously with tahini. If you prefer you can use a spoon to scatter tahini as well. 
-The next step is to sprinkle sugar and you can make this cookie/ roll as sweet as you wish. Sprinkle 3-4 tbsp sugar or a handful of sugar evenly.
-On top of sugar, sprinkle finely chopped walnuts ~1/3 cup. 
-Starting from the side close to you, start rolling the stuffed phyllo. Phyllo could be hard to work with; it might tear here and there, but it is fine. Just roll. 
-Repeat the process until you finish all the sheets. (If you have a 18 sheet box, cut the last two sheets in two and make shorter rolls.) 
-Once you have all the rolls, put them on a cutting board side by side. Using a long sharp knife--it really needs to be sharp--cut ~ 1.5 inch/ 4-5 cm long pieces. Some people go for a baklava feel and cut them diagonally. You can do that as well. When you are cutting them it will feel like you're flattening them with pressure; no worries, they will bounce back once baked. 
-If you have left over butter, you can brush the tops gently. 
-Bake in a preheated oven at 360 F (180 C) for ~15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Be careful not to burn them.      
-Once they cool down, sprinkle them with powdered sugar. 
Bon appétit!


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