There are days when I have restless energy and really want to bake. If I could bake every day, I would but there’s the problem of having to wash dishes after as well as having other responsibilities and things to do in the day.
Soon after I woke up, I was thinking about trying to make shortbread cookies with Maggie. It’s not easy baking with a 1-year-old who also has a lot of restless energy. I have tried it. She tries to open all the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen, most of which I have yet to baby proof. Well, I tried that too but the ones I bought didn’t wok for our drawers.
I want to make sense of the world. I want to create order out of this unnatural state we’re in with Covid-19. I think that’s what I’m looking for in baking these days. Does that sounds super weird? Well, my desire to make sense of the world has led to research.
What’s the difference between a Maria’s Cookie and a British digestive cookie? Are those more similar to Nilla wafers, shortbread, or graham crackers? Can you make a stamp cookie out of shortbread or do you need to use a sugar cookie dough? These are the questions that have been on my mind lately, besides “what new development will unfold in this pandemic” and “how do I keep my 1-year-old occupied.”
I had settled on making digestive cookies following this King Arthur Flour recipe, but then it was just way too hot. I don’t like to turn on the oven during the day when it’s above 80. Today’s high was 90. So, I turned to no-bake cookies, which ended up being more like truffles. Maggie watched and tried a tiny bit but I didn’t have her help because there wasn’t much she could help with. At least it kept me occupied and didn’t take too long.
I went about it a bit differently and made about 1/3 the amount as her recipe. I’m calling them truffles after all, instead of cookies. They’re like those no-bake energy balls that were all over the Internet a few years ago, except they’re not packed with superfoods. If I had made these flat instead of in a ball shape, would I be more likely to see them as cookies? Clearly, I’m back to categorizing things as a calming ritual.
Small batch no-bake chocolate tahini truffles
Makes 10 1-inch round balls
125 g or 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup tahini
1 cup quick-cooking oats
Combine chocolate, honey, butter and vanilla in a small saucepan or skillet on medium heat. Do not boil. Stir until everything is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in tahini and oats. Form into balls and place on waxed paper or a silicone baking mat. Work quickly.
Notes: The recipe is written exactly as I made it. You can use dark or milk chocolate but then you may want to use more or less sweetener. You can use sugar or some other sweetener instead of honey. Oil should be fine instead of butter. You should be able to use peanut butter fine but it might have a different level of sugar and oil than tahini. I used tahini because I am very low on peanut butter. Oats are a non-negotiable.
If it’s a hot day, as it was for me, put these in the fridge immediately after forming into balls or they will start to melt. If it’s mild, you may let them harden on the counter. If it’s cold, the chocolate will harden faster and you need to form the balls very quickly. Chocolate is temperamental.