If you’re a regular here, you’ve probably noticed that we use a LOT of tahini. We reach for this smooth-ground sesame seed paste whenever anything creamy or nutty is called for, and it almost never fails us.
And now, it seems that the rest of America is just as obsessed with tahini as we are. Need proof? For the first time ever, we’re seeing tahini go beyond its historical territory of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dressings and sauces, hummus, and halva. It’s replacing peanut butter and almond butter in American classics like cupcakes, granola, and even smoothies!
The sesame seed craze doesn’t stop at tahini; it’s halva cousin is turning up in brownies, cakes and donuts, too.
What is halva, and how is it related to tahini? It’s a flaky, tahini-based confection made with sugar or honey and tahini. The variations and textures are truly endless, as are the recipes that call for it.
The tahini craze is likely the result of a few coinciding food trends: the rise of Israeli and Middle-Eastern food in the U.S., and Americans’ interests in eating and cooking healthier foods. Local artisans thus found the perfect moment to introduce their home-spun tahini treats, like Brooklyn Sesame‘s raw halva spread; Soom Foods‘ chocolate sesame butter; and the brand-new Seed + Mill Co.‘s, Israeli-inspired halva in NYC.
Here are our very own favorite tahini desserts:
If you want to keep it savory:
Schnitzel Strips with Green Tahini Dip
Green Beans with Honey Tahini Glaze
Here’s a roundup of tahini recipes published recently by some of our favorite bloggers:
Cookie and Kate’s Tahini Date Shake
Brewing Happiness’ Salted Tahini Chocolate Pudding
My Name is Yeh’s Tahini Cupcakes with Chocolate Tahini Frosting
My Name is Yeh’s Tahini Hot Chocolate
Sweet Potato Soul’s Cinnamon Tahini Cookies (gluten-free, sugar-free!)
The Kitchn.com’s Tahini and Cardamom-Spiced Granola
Food 52’s Eggplant, Miso and Tahini Toast