OPINION | FRONT BURNER: Tahini Cinnamon Swirls simple, quick to make

Tahini Cinnamon Swirls can be made with plain or chocolate tahini. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)
Tahini Cinnamon Swirls can be made with plain or chocolate tahini. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

The Washington Post story about shortcut ingredients reminded me about this recipe I've been holding on to. I had planned to use it in the tahini story I wrote last fall, but I ran out of room and it didn't make the cut.

These cinnamon swirls are so much simpler and faster than yeast-based cinnamon rolls — simple enough to prepare on a lazy weekend morning while you're still waking up with your first cup of coffee. They also make a nice afternoon pick-me-up alongside a cup of coffee or tea.

Puff pastry is filled with tahini — plain or chocolate — brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and a hint of cardamom, rolled, sliced and then baked to flaky perfection.

I made them with plain tahini and chocolate tahini and while we ate every morsel of every swirl, the chocolate filled ones were my favorite. I used Soom Dark Chocolate Tahini With Sea Salt (soomfoods.com) that I picked up at Whole Foods.

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Tahini Cinnamon Swirls

  • Flour, for dusting
  • 1 (17.3-ounce) box frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 6 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Lightly flour your work surface and arrange one sheet of puff pastry on the floured area. Gently roll the pastry into a rectangle. Spread half of the tahini evenly over the pastry, leaving a ¾-inch border on one of the long sides.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the tahini-spread dough, leaving the same ¾-inch bare border. Starting on the opposite edge, tightly roll up the pastry. Cut into 10 (one more or less is fine) even slices.

Arrange swirls, tucking the loose end of dough under, on one of the prepared baking sheets spaced about 1 inch apart.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until browned on top. Cool slightly before serving.

Makes about 20 pastries.

Recipe adapted from "Persiana Everyday" by Sabrina Ghayour

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