Sweet treats made from sesame seeds are common to Makar Sankrat/Pongal celebrations. Traditionally, these cookies are made by encasing the filling in the dough and dropping them into hot oil to fry. This version, similar in concept to a thumbprint cookie, is baked and just as tasty.
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups sifted cake flour (about 7 ounces)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°.
To prepare filling, combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor; pulse 6 times or until combined and almonds are finely chopped. Remove almond mixture from food processor; set aside. Wipe processor bowl and blade with a paper towel.
To prepare dough, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse 3 times. Add butter; pulse 4 times or just until combined. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing just until combined. (Mixture may appear crumbly but will stick together when pressed between fingers.)
Shape dough into 24 balls. Place dough 2 inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Press thumb in center of each ball to form an indentation. Fill each indentation with about 1 teaspoon almond mixture. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until set. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.