Tahini Blondies

Cookies, Unfussy
If anyone ever asked what my favorite texture would be, these would be my answer. A little dense, tender and chewy. The tahini is reminiscent of peanut butter, but not as heavy-handed. Yum with a capital Y.

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup tahini, well stirred
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″x13″ baking pan. Line with a parchment sling so the long sides of the pan have excess parchment hanging over.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter and brown sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the tahini and the sea salt – the mixture may look a little broken, which is okay. Let cool slightly. Whisk in eggs, one at a time until fully combined. Whisk in the vanilla extract.

Stir together the flour and baking powder. Fold the flour into the tahini mixture until there are no streaks. Pour into the prepared pan, spread evenly, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the center has firmed up.

Let cool completely then refrigerate for at least an hour (otherwise the bars may crack) before lifting out of the pan and cutting into squares.

Whole Wheat Thumbprints

Cookies, Unfussy
These whole wheat thumbprint cookies are super easy. This puzzle is not. Luckily, these cookies keep well for many days.
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour (480g)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (225g)
  • 1 1/3 cups butter (300g), room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Best jam you have
  • Extra sugar for pressing

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and butter in the mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on low for a few minutes until the butter is incorporated.

Whisk eggs together in a small bowl and pour into the flour mixture. Mix until incorporated.

Form into balls using a cookie scoop or spoon, using about 2 tablespoons of dough per ball. Slightly flatten each ball with a flat-bottomed glass dipped in granulated sugar. Make an indentation in the center of the cookie using your finger or a teaspoon. Don’t sweat the cracks, unless the jam will leak out, then fix the crack. Fill indentation with jam.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, the cookies are just starting to brown. Rotate the cookie sheets halfway through baking.

Let cool completely before storing, but be sure to eat one warm first. These keep well for many days.


Cookies, Unfussy

*These are soft molasses cookies – they do not snap.

If you only make one batch of cookies this winter, this should be it. This is an all-time favorite family recipe for 2 going on 3 generations.

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 rounded teaspoon ginger

Cream butter and brown sugar until very light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed. This can take up to 10+ minutes if your butter is cold. Be patient. Make sure the mixture is totally uniform in color with no dark streaks. Whisk together flour, baking soda and spices in a medium bowl. When butter and sugar are ready, beat in egg and molasses. Stir in flour mixture until combined.

Scoop the dough into balls and place on a lined cookie sheet or container that will fit in your refrigerator. Cover and let them chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to overnight. Or freeze the scooped dough balls for up to 2 months (or something like that).

When ready to bake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll each dough ball completely in granulated or Turbinado sugar, place on lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for 12-15 minutes until just barely starting to brown on the outside. Baking time will vary depending on the size of your dough balls and if you are baking from the refrigerator or the freezer.

Iced Lemon Cookies

Cookies, Unfussy
This is my mom’s old-fashioned sugar cookie recipe gussied up with lemon zest and tart lemon icing. It’s just what the doctor ordered.


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 TBSP milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • sugar for topping


  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter, sugar and lemon zest together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.

Scoop or roll dough into balls about the size of golf balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar. Place on prepared cookie sheet and press down with a glass until the cookie is 1/2″ thick.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until just starting to brown on the edges.

Let cool completely before icing.

Stir together lemon juice, soft butter and powdered sugar until thick and spreadable. Thin with additional lemon juice, or thicken with additional powdered sugar until you reach a consistency that is thin enough to spread without dripping off the cookies.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Coconut Cookies

Cookies, Unfussy
This is a great cookie jar cookie that can be enjoyed literally any time of day. I recommend a cookie for breakfast, a cookie for lunch and then a sensible dinner- it’s really working for me. A little coconut oil makes the texture perfect and they stay that way for days.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.

Cream butter, coconut oil, sugar and brown sugar together until very light and uniform in color, scraping bowl when necessary. Add peanut butter and mix to combine.

Add eggs, one at a time, and beat to blend well, then vanilla, scraping bowl as needed.

Add flour and baking soda and mix until well blended.

Finally, add oats, coconut and peanuts and stir to combine well.

Scoop or shape into balls (whatever size you like- I like golf-ball size at the very least) and place on prepared baking sheets. Press down with a fork in a criss-cross pattern so they are about 1/2″ thick.

Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes (or longer, depending on the size), until just starting to brown on the edges. Let cool before removing from cookie sheet.