When Mimi of the Israeli Kitchen blogged about tehina biscuits in an Arab pastry shop in Tsfat, I remembered that I had a recipe for them in Janna Gur’s The Book of New Israeli Food. I happened to have all of the ingredients in the house, so I made them. They are a little different from the ones Mimi blogged about. This recipe puts the icing sugar on the dough before you bake them and the ones in Mimi’s picture are rolled in icing sugar after they are baked. The cookies are easy to make and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. A little piece of halva-like heaven.
from The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey by Janna Gur
250g (9oz) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raw tehina
3 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
10g (2 teaspoons) baking powder
3 tablespoons icing sugar
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and creamy. Lower the speed and add the vanilla, cinnamon, salt, orange zest and tehina. Mix to a smooth consistency. Add the flour and baking powder until the dough is smooth. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
Mix the icing sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Take pieces of dough and form balls the size of large olives. Roll the balls in the sugar-cinnamon mixture and place on a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. The cookies should remain light colored. Don't move them to a cooling rack until they are completely cool because these are delicate.
Store in an airtight jar.