Sunday, 5 February 2017

Sesame Toffee Crunches

These cookies are much less hard on the teeth than Biscotti. It's more the texture of a crisp rusk, and holds up well for dunking (if that's your thing). They are wonderfully, sweet, crunchy, and the toffee taste just puts it over the edge. I have no nutritional information on it (did not calculate it) but I'm sure if you can exercise restraint in eating them, it'll be fine!

1 1/3 cups Durum Atta flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup puffed millet
¾ cup Scottish oatmeal
¼ cup dry, unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon of vinegar (any kind)
1/3 cup white sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup brown sugar, packed (I use either coconut sugar or Colombian Panela as they both have a very pronounced toffee taste)
1/2 cup almond butter
2 large eggs
1 cup sesame seeds
¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup almonds or pumpkin seeds, chopped
Vegetable oil
1.      Mix the brown sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Boil to a thin syrup stage (approximately 212 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer).  Allow to cool to room temperature. Add the teaspoon of vinegar to this.
2.      In a small bowl, whisk together flour, coarsely chopped almonds or pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, puffed millet, salt, and baking soda.
3.      Cream butter, vanilla, tahini, and white sugar together in a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the dry ingredients all at once (if using a stand mixer with attachments, change from the paddle attachment to the dough hook). Slowly add the brown sugar syrup. The dough will be very stiff, and difficult to work with but the dough hook makes it easy
4.      Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5.      Put about 1 cup of sesame seeds in a dinner plate. Put a little vegetable oil in a cup. This is what you’ll use to oil your hands while handling the dough to make  the batons
6.      Use your hands to roll balls of the dough into cigar or sausage shaped “batons”4”long by ½-3/4” wide (see photo). You will need to keep oiling your hands with a little vegetable oil to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Roll the “batons” in the sesame seeds, pressing down a little so that the seeds stick to the surface of the baton (to make the seeds stick even better, lightly brush the surface of each cookie with egg white. I do that extra step when I’m not too lazy). Bake 15-20 minutes on lined baking sheet, until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Cool for 20 minutes, the cookies will harden as they cool. 
7.      Lower oven temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, turn cookies over and bake for another 20 minutes. Repeat this step one more time then turn off the oven, leaving the cookies inside to continue the drying out process. Remove from oven when cool and store in an airtight container.

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