These brownies are gluten-free, with tahini paste mixed into the batter and topped with a chewy sesame seed topping.
Sesame Seed Topping
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
3/4 c. white sesame seeds
1 1/2 sticks salted butter (6 oz.)
6 oz. milk chocolate
2 oz. semi-chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. tahini paste
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
3/4 c. sweet white rice flour
3 tbs. unsweetened coco powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
Yields Approximately 12 bars.
For the Sesame Seed Topping
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, brown sugar, and salt. Heat until mixture begins to boil. Add the sesame seeds and stir mixture frequently. Cook until liquid is mostly evaporated. Pour mixture onto a parchment paper- lined baking sheet and let cool. Break into pieces to serve.
For the Brownies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate, microwaving in short bursts and stirring to melt the butter and chocolate. After chocolate is fully melted, stir in the vanilla extract and tahini paste. Set aside and let cool.
Beat the eggs and egg yolk until the eggs are frothy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat until the mixture is aerated and lighter in color. Add the chocolate mixture and mix to combine. In a bowl, sift together the sweet rice flour, coco powder, and kosher salt. Add the flour mixture in three additions, scraping the bowl after each addition. Pour batter into a parchment paper-lined 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs.
Let brownies cool completely before cutting and serving with the sesame topping.
These shortbread bars are toasty from the brown butter and lightly sweet.
1 c. salted butter 3/4 c. light brown sugar, packed 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 c. All-Purpose flour 1/3 c. cornstarch 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg 1/2 c. Mizithra cheese, shredded 1 tbs. turbinado sugar 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
Yields Approximately 16 bars.
To Make Brown Butter
In a light-colored pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Give the butter an occasional stir. The butter will start to bubble and foam. Once this happens, start stirring more frequently.
The butter will start to darken and begin to smell nutty. Once the butter reaches the desired color, remove from heat and pour butter into a heat-safe container and allow to cool to room temperature. I poured my butter into the mixing bowl I planned to make the shortbread with.
To Make the Shortbread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together until combined and the mixture is slightly lighter in color. Add vanilla extract and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl. In another small bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and the ground nutmeg. Add flour mixture to the bowl in two additions, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add the Mizithra cheese and mix until just combined.
Press the dough into a greased 9×13 pan. Dock the dough with a fork. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar and the 1/4 tsp. kosher salt over the dough. Bake for 24-27 minutes until golden brown. If the shortbread starts to get dark, cover it with some aluminum foil. Let shortbread cool before cutting and removing from the pan as the bars are soft and crumbly when warm.