It not quite a white Christmas yet here in Minneapolis, but my sister is bringing on the holiday charm with this fantastic recipe from The Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. We’ve always loved halvah ever since our mom introduced it to us when we were kids, and now we are all together eating these amazing cookies with their umami-packed flavor punch. If you’re looking for an alternative to holiday sugar cookies, look no further! Halvah Shortbread 3/4 Cup butter, softened 1/2 Cup tahini pinch of salt 1 1/4 Cups brown sugar 2 Cups unbleached pastry flour 1/2 Cup toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped or ground A few pecan or walnut halves Preheat oven to 375 degrees Cream the butter with the tahini, add the salt and brown sugar. Blend until smooth, then sprinkle in the flour, blending well. Mix in the chopped nuts to make a stiff dough. Lightly butter two 7-inch pie plates or shallow baking pans. Press the dough to evenly cover the bottom and sides of the pie plates to no more than 1/4 inch. Press some nut halves on top for decoration. Bake the shortbread for 15 minutes and then check often, removing it from the oven as soon as the edges are golden brown. Don’t overbake them! They can burn easily. Moosewood says to cut them into pie-shaped wedges, but we made squares. Cut while still warm – when it’s col it will be too crumbly to cut.