Friday, 20 July 2012

tahini and chickpea cookies

The inspiration from these cookies came from David Lebovitz's post on tahini and almond cookies, a contribution from Natalie Levin, author of food blog Oogio.net. I happened to have all the ingredients at hand and made an experimental half batch of them (my poor food processor is still recovering from its yammy defeat so I did this the good old brisee method). As expected, the cookies were delicious (it is so nice to have a reliable source of recipes that never fail to perform despite general ineptitude), really really good!

As I sat munching them down, trundling along the tahini train of thought and marvelling my beautifully moisturized hands, the result of rolling out little 15g balls of dough, it was hard not to think of hummus and the possibility of a chickpea flour (or gram flour) cookie. So, I gave it a try.

I dry-fried the chickpea flour to give it a nuttier flavour and in true hummus style switched the water for lemon juice (this didn't come through in the final cookie, and I am rather glad for it). The cookies still have some flour in them as it would be too short otherwise and I didn't want to add eggs to help with the binding as it would mess with the melting-ness. So it's not gluten free I'm afraid, but all the better for it! The photo below right shows a comparison of the two cookies: original on the left and mine on the right. As you can see, the chickpea flour gave the cookies a yellower hue; it also makes for a softer dough and the finished cookies have a very fine dry powdery-ness. The texture of the two cookies are completely different. It does make you wonder how it would taste if icing sugar were used instead.



I'm fairly impressed with these cookies and do think they are comparable with the original almond version. I guess it depends if your preference lies with cookies of a more substantial crunch or a delicate crumble. But, try this out for true melt in the mouth happiness! I must point out that this is my first experience with chickpea flour so to all the peoples who know how chickpea flour ought to be used, be kind.

TAHINI AND CHICKPEA COOKIES (makes 78 cookies)
140g plain flour
175g chickpea (gram) flour

150g butter
150g castor sugar

20ml lemon juice
200g tahini

  • Dry-fry the chickpea flour in a pan until it becomes fragrant.
  • Mix together the flour, chickpea flour, sugar and a pinch of salt.
  • Rub butter into a dry mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  • Add the lemon juice and tahini paste and 'cut' in until you form a dough (it helps to use a D-scraper, or you could just do the whole thing in a food processor in a fraction of the time especially as gluten formation isn't something to worry about here).
  • Fraser the dough untill it is homogeneous and smooth (i.e. smear it around the work surface until you can't see any marbling).
  • Portion out into 15g balls (or however, I was a bit anal and wanted them all the same size), place on a parchment paper lined tray and flatten slightly.
  • Bake at 175C for 18min till lightly browned.
  • Allow to cool on tray and crisp up.

Randomly, a necessary errand yesterday compelled me to hop onto my bicycle again. This was its first journey in almost 3 months (shocking considering it used to be my only mode of transport) and why I abandoned cycling in the first place all came rushing back to me in the worst way possible as I was gasping up a molehill. It is not the unseasonable rain but the bugs, the horrible winged things, which I suck in and choke on while already in an oxygen deprived state. Ugh.

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