Traditional millionaire’s shortbread features a rich biscuit base with soft, sweet caramel and milk chocolate layered on top, which can be a little cloying. This Middle Eastern variation from Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi keeps the buttery shortbread layer but tops it with rich and roasty halva (a crumbly sesame-based confection) and a faintly bitter, slightly salty tahini caramel. For more brilliant desserts from Ottolenghi, try their Chocolate, Banana, and Pecan Cookies, and Flourless Coconut and Chocolate Cake.
You can make this shortbread up to 4 days ahead of time and store it in airtight container, or even freeze it. Refrigerated in an airtight container, it keeps for up to a week, but should be removed 20 minutes before serving to take the chill off the bars.
For more uncommonly delicious sesame-accented dessert options, try our Marzipan Caramel Apple with Sesame and Almond recipe, or our Toasted Sesame Seed and Honey Gelato recipe.
Reprinted with permission from SWEET by Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh, copyright 2017 Ten Speed Press. Photography by Peden + Munk.