Dear Mom,

In seventh grade my Rent obsession told me to measure my life in love. These days, I measure my life in tahini. I’ve been through five 18-ounce jars since I arrived to Israel on October 4th. FIVE JARS! That’s 90 ounces…16,500 calories…a countless number of spoons full of rich sesame butter stirred into morning porridge, slabbed onto thick chunks of bread, drizzled over fresh cucumbers, painted onto roasted beets, tossed into elaborate salads, spread onto crisp apples and so on and so forth.

When there’s an opportunity to load up on sesame, I’m all over it.

It’s almost March, which means that here in Israel we’re gearing up for the Jewish people’s Mardi Gras. Do you even have to ask? Of course I found a way to incorporate tahini into upcoming Purim celebrations. Some people are brainstorming clever dress-up ideas, and others are already piecing together their costumes. I’ve been focusing on how to squeeze as much tahini as possible into Purim traditions.

I’m proud to write that a simple experiment resulted in a major success: Double Tahini Hamantashen.

Next time I have one of those days—the kind filled with weighty questions, such as What have I been doing for the past 25 years? and Why I am here in Israel?—I’ll think of tahini and the countless dripping spoonfuls I’ve whipped into sesame glory.

These Double Tahini Hamantashen are based on your basic hamantashen recipe, but with tahini replacing some of the oil in the dough and a rich, creamy filling. The dough is a little heavier than your original version and carries a deep sesame flavor, though it’s still light enough to pocket the sweet poppy seeds and tahini. This filling is heaven. I’m thinking of making it again with a few more spoonfuls of tahini, spreading it in a pan, cutting it into squares and serving it as halva.

Note: Next time I’ll double the filling recipe because (shamefully) about a third of it disappeared before meeting the dough. I don’t know what happened.

xo,
Shaina