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Halva + Tahini "Forgotten Cookies"

Adapted from At My Table, by Nigella Lawson. These meringue-based cookies are gluten-free, dairy-free, and Passover-friendly. Oh, and they're delicious.

Keyword gluten-free cookies, gluten-free desserts, halva cookies, meringue cookies, passover cookies, passover desserts, sesame cookies, tahini cookies


  • 2 large egg whites (about 75 g total)
  • pinch salt
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp potato starch or cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 90 g crumbled halva
  • 50-60 g chopped sesame praline candy, mini chocolate chips, chopped pistachios, or other mix-ins
  • 2 tbsp tahini - whipped until smooth

To finish:

  • 1 tbsp tahini - whipped until smooth (optional)
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Line one large baking sheet or two medium baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  2. Spread the sugar on one of the baking sheets in an even layer, and heat in the preheated oven for 7-8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 F.

  3. Meanwhile, using a hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Turn the speed to low and gradually add the heated sugar. Turn the mixer to high and continue beating until the mixture is glossy and forms firm peaks.

  4. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to fold in the potato starch, vinegar, and vanilla bean paste. Now fold in the crumbled halva and other "mix-ins" -- mini chocolate chips, sesame praline candy, etc. Finally, swirl in the 2 tablespoons of tahini -- don't try to fully incorporate it.

  5. Use a spoon to drop 12-14 mounds of the meringue mixture on the lined baking sheet(s). If you want, swirl a bit more tahini into the top of each mound, and sprinkle over some sesame seeds.

  6. Place the cookies in the oven, and then place a sticky note on or near the oven door to remind you that the cookies are in there! Now, turn off the oven, and forget about the cookies for the next 5 hours, or overnight. The cookies will be cooked by the residual heat, yielding crisp outsides and marshmallow-y insides.

Recipe Notes

  • Feel free to adapt the mix-ins based on your preferences and what you have on hand. In addition to the crumbled halva, I mixed in some chopped sesame praline candy. If you want to follow suit, you can make your own sesame praline by following the basic instructions for the hazelnut praline in the chocolate chunk, rye, and hazelnut praline cookies on this blog, just substituting lightly toasted sesame seeds for the chopped hazelnuts. I recommend making a half quantify.
  • The original Nigella Lawson cookies are flavored with a bit of ground cardamom. Feel free to go that route instead of, or in addition to, using the vanilla bean paste.
  • The original recipe calls for leaving the cookies in the oven overnight. I did not plan well, and ended up mixing and baking them in the morning. 5 hours in the oven was more than sufficient. Basically, once the oven and cookies have fully cooled, you should be good to go.