My mom was an experienced cook, gifted with a natural sense of timing and flavors. For years her prize appliance was a stainless steel state-of-the-art Thermador range with grill top and convection oven. Later, she frequently preferred to fire up a huge countertop toaster oven instead.
A highly practical, early environmentalist, Mom viewed the larger oven as wasteful and inefficient for her smaller jobs. On my visits I viewed this as odd—I figured that somehow her food would taste better cooked in the bigger, fancier unit.
Since we are our parent’s children, I eventually ‘evolved’ and came around to her way of thinking. I had shifted in my cooking, too. I rarely needed big pans of food. (In fact, my current convection toaster oven is even smaller than hers.)
This caused a whole chain of events to occur. I was in the market for smaller pans and down-sized recipes. I was on the look-out for one-bowl recipes with fewer ingredients, all which help move the process along.
My food portions went down, too: it’s either that or eat the whole thing. I learned about small batch baking: food is ready fast. I can be in and out of the kitchen with a plateful of goodies in very little time.
I knew I was on the right path when a small funky cookie jar happened across my path.
Although fewer cookies fill up the tiny jar in a hurry, typically a batch lasts well beyond a week or two. Even better, cookies on display are a warm welcome for drop-in friends.
Tahini Cookies, Small Batch
- ½ cup tahini
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together tahini and sugar. Whisk in 1 egg to lighten, then stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Combine the flour and baking soda and stir into the mix, blending until smooth.
- Using tablespoon scoop, drop onto baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with sesame seeds.
- Bake 15-16 minutes until set and edges begin to brown. Transfer to rack to cool. Yield 1½ dozen cookies.