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Halvah Shortbread

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup tahini
pinch salt
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cup unbleached pastry flour
1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped or ground
a few pecan or walnut halves

Preheat oven to 375F.

With a food processor or by hand, cream the butter with the tahini.
Add the salt and brown sugar. Blend until smooth. Sprinkle in
the flour, blending well. Mix in the chopped nuts. The dough will
be very stiff.

Lightly butter two 7" pie plates or shallow baking pans. Press
the dough to evenly cover the bottom and sides of the pie plates
to a thickness of no more than 1/4". Press a few whole nuts into
the surface to decorate.

Bake the shortbread for 15 min and then check it frequently, every
couple of minutes, and remove it from the oven as son as the edges
are golden brown. Be careful not to overbake it.

While it's still warm, cut each shortbread into 8 or 10 wedges in
the pan; don't wait until it's cool or it will crumble. This
shortbread is wonderful with spearmint or spiced tea or with espresso
or Turkish Coffee. Yields 16 to 20 pie-shaped wedges


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