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Black Halva Snickerdoodles

yield: 16 cookies
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Ingredients

For the Black Sesame Sugar

  • 1/4 cup (1.5 ounces) black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar

For the Snickerdoodles

  • 2 1/3 cups (10.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (10.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Assembly

  • 2.5 ounces black sesame halva, sliced into sixteen 1/2- to 1-inch chunks (see baker's notes)
  • 1 recipe black sesame sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) black sesame seeds

Instructions

For the Black Sesame Sugar

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 (F). Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Spread the black sesame seeds evenly across the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, using a heatproof rubber spatula to stir and toss the seeds every 3 minutes to ensure that they're evenly heated and not burning. When done, the seeds will be a light brown color and start to smoke slightly. Immediately pour the seeds onto a heatproof plate to prevent them from cooking further, and cool slightly.
  • Once cool, combine the seeds and granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely ground, with the texture of cornmeal. The black sesame sugar will keep for two weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.

For the Snickerdoodles

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 (F). Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, about 5 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer to low and add the egg and vanilla, beating until just combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat on low until just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, and beat for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Use a 4-tablespoon cookie dough scoop to portion out 16 cookies. Place a chunk of halva on the top of each cookie dough mound.
  • Pour the black sesame sugar and the black sesame seeds into two separate, shallow bowls. Working quickly, roll the bottom and bottom-edges of each cookie in either the black sesame sugar or black sesame seeds. Place the prepared cookie dough balls on the sheet pans as you go, leaving at least 4-inches per cookie.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges have set but the centers are still gooey. The cookies will look puffed when you pull them out of the oven, but will fall and crack into the perfect cookies as they cool. Cool cookies on their sheet pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms of the cookies have set and feel firm to the touch. Serve the cookies warm, or at room temperature.┬áThe cookies can be kept at room temperature, in an airtight container or Ziploc bag, for up to 3 days.