I've been craving peanut butter cookies since the beginning of quarantine, but I knew that I couldn't make a batch if it was going to only be my dad and I eating them (my brother and mother are allergic). When thinking of alternatives to use in place of peanut butter, I thought about the sesame seed ice cream I had in New York last summer. I decided to give it a go, and the result was these chewy nutty (but nut-free!) sugar cookies.
sesame seed butter
1 cup of white sesame seeds
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/3 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp softened butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional: flaky salt to sprinkle on top
1. preheat your oven to 200 degrees, and add your sesame seeds on a baking sheet. Roast your seeds in the oven for 20 minutes, shaking the tray every couple minutes to ensure even browning. After 20 minutes, turn your oven up to 275 and bake until the seeds are golden, the color of unpopped popcorn kernels, about 20 minutes. Allow them to cool slightly.
2. in a blender, blend the seeds, butter, maple syrup, salt, and cocoa powder, until the texture of loose, natural peanut butter, scraping down the sides as needed. allow it too cool in the fridge.
3. prep a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350.
4. in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt.
4. in the bowl of your stand mixer, whip your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add your maple syrup and beat until well combined.
5. add your eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
6. with your mixer on low, slowly add in your flour mixture and beat until just combined.
7. using a small cookie scoop, scoop out the cookies onto the pan. keep them slightly spread out, but you should be able to fit about 9 on a standard-sized sheet tray. sprinkle with flaky salt.
8. bake for 10-17 minutes, until barely set. cool for 5 minutes on the sheet tray then transfer to a cooling rack.