Here we are on the third week of my new guest blogging series and I, for one, am loving it! I love you guys and how you’ve embraced my idea, those of you who have taken part and those of you who have read the posts – thank you so much for your support 🙂
This week it is the turn of my lovely Selma from Selma’s Table; Selma’s blog is full to bursting with amazing recipes, wonderful stories and great tips, you have to have a visit, and at the heart of it all, is a wonderful, warm, supportive, highly knowledgeable, lovely lady. It’s not news that I love this lady, I’ve said it often enough on here, but I really do!
We were lucky enough to meet for the first time almost a year ago now, and we are now in touch almost daily; she is my guru is so many areas; Selma is yet another wonderful reason I’m glad I started this blog. So, let’s see what she’s brought…over to you, Selma…
I discovered Elaine through a blogger who had re-blogged one of Elaine’s posts, which was of all things, a pavlova. I read her ‘About Me” page and was so touched by her story that I immediately followed her. I left a comment on the pavlova post and that was it; our friendship blossomed. We’ve met up a couple of times and chat incessantly, whether it’s on the phone or on social media. We pick each other’s brains for ideas, buoy each other up when things look a little bleak and generally behave as if we have known each other forever. Now, I bet that many of you are reading this and thinking – hey, that’s the relationship I have with her. Well, it’s a testament to Elaine that she spreads her love far and wide and we are all so much the richer for it. I was absolutely thrilled when Elaine asked me to guest post for her and decided to make something sweet, with her favourite ingredient. These Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits are something that she can serve her guests after one of her famous lunches, with a cup of tea. Or, in my case, an espresso – and a double, at that.
The Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits have Elaine’s name written all over them. Wheat free, refined sugar free but chock full of almonds and tahini of course! They are also dairy free and egg free, making them suitable for vegans. While these do have honey in them they are not very sweet so they won’t kick your sweet cravings into high gear.
They are super simple and quick to make. Just combine the wet ingredients, stir in the dry, roll into balls, top with an almond, coat with the sesame seeds, flatten and bake for 10 minutes! The mixture is quite sticky and much easier to roll with wet palms. And, purely in the name of research, of course, I found that the ‘dough’ is so delicious that you could eat it without baking too! I managed to myself! The orange and cardamom flavours work beautifully with the nutty flavours of the tahini and almonds. The Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits bake up crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside – just begging to be dunked in a cuppa!
Elaine, I hope you enjoy these – thank you so much for having me!!
Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits
Inspired by recipes for Chinese Almond Cookies which are traditionally made for Chinese New Year and Elaine’s favourite ingredients.
175 g ground almonds/almond meal/almond flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
135 g honey
135 g tahini
1 tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest of one orange
4 drops cardamom extract or the seeds from 4 cardamoms ground to a fine powder
½ c sesame seeds in a shallow bowl
25 whole or halved almonds
Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. The biscuits spread a little, so you will either need two baking sheets or should bake in two batches.
Whisk together the ground almonds, salt and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.
In a mixing bowl, combine the honey, tahini, vanilla and cardamom extracts and the orange zest. I used set honey and heated it up for few minutes so that it was easy to blend with the tahini.
Stir in the almond mixture and mix well. The dough should hold together firmly enough to shape into balls. If it’s too wet, sprinkle in some more ground almonds. If it’s too dry, spray a tiny amount of water on it.
This is quite a sticky mixture so to help with the rolling, fill a small bowl with water and wet the palms of your hands between rolling each of the balls. Using a teaspoon as a measure, roll into approximately 25 balls and roll in the sesame seeds to coat.
Place an almond on top of each ball.
Flatten, using the bottom of a glass and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one as they do spread.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. They will need to cool slightly on the sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.