While living on the West Side of Manhattan, one of my treasured Sunday routines was walking down the High Line to Chelsea Market for an afternoon snack.
While there were endless stalls filled with tempting foods, there was only one that kept me coming every week: Seed+Mill. The usual? Halva.
Haaaaaaave you met halva? Let me introduce you. This sweet treat hails from the Middle East, with a flavor profile that’s equal parts tahini and honey. The taste is unique and a bit hard to describe if you haven’t tried it, so the best I can do is: rich, sweet, nutty, airy and crumbly. Basically, it’s magic. My love of Halva knows no bounds (a dear friend of mine may or may not have smuggled a fresh batch past British Customs on her return from Israel.)
Since I’d rather not spend frequent flier miles or time in jail to get my Halva fix, I decided to try and make my own version. Creating authentic halva is pretty labor intensive, so here we use the two core ingredients – tahini and honey – and turn them into an irresistible cookie! Once you have the base dough, this recipe is very versatile. Simply add spices, oils or nuts to create any flavor your heart desires: pistachio, coffee, chocolate, rose. The opportunities are endless. My favorite, below, is snickerdoodle.
So here’s the dish:
Who: Anyone who loves dessert and foreign flavors.
When: A mid-day snack, or after dinner.
With: A cup of coffee (move over, biscotti).
One Hal-va Cookie
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup almond flour (not meal)
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- sesame seeds + cinnamon sugar for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease your baking sheet.
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
- Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until well incorporated.
- Scoop your cookie dough into balls, and roll through the sesame seeds or cinnamon sugar. I like to mix it up for a beautiful, combination look!
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, let cool and enjoy!