Orange and ginger go very well with sesame seeds (called benne seeds in the South), so I thought they'd be perfect for this recipe, which I developed to be enjoyed with tea. This tender, not-too-sweet cookie goes especially well with Earl Grey tea. What is your ideal tea and cookie pairing?
(Makes 3 dozen 3-inch cookies)
2 1/2 packed cups (12.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 packed cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup unsalted tahini
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, ginger and salt.
2 In large bowl of electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in tahini, then eggs and vanilla. Stir in orange zest, then flour mixture. Place in refrigerator for a bit while the oven preheats.
3 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Shape #40 scoops* (0.8 ounces or approximately 1.5 tablespoons) of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Shaping into balls before pressing results in perfectly smooth cookies, edges and all. (If you don't mind a less smooth look, just press the scooped dough down. That's what I do!) Place 3 inches apart on cookie sheets (I use two 18x13x1-inch half-sheet pans for this recipe) lined with parchment. With a glass (I use a 2 1/4-inch diameter 1/3-cup flat-bottomed metal measuring cup), press each ball into a 2 1/4-inch round. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
* If you don't have one of these 7/8 Ounce Size 40 Stainless Steel Round Squeeze Disher (13-0638) Category: Dishers, you need to get one now! How do people make cookies without it!