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Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Tahini chocolate chip cookies with sea salt are utterly tasty, deliciously soft, cakey, a bit chewy with a nutty flavour and easily melts in your mouth making you reach for more. If you are alone, make sure you give away some cookies else you will end up binging on them as we did. I warned you. 😍
Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies served with chai


I have tried to document this recipe developing process so you can troubleshoot your cookie recipe with these findings. It may seem like an information dump but please read the post once if you are a beginner. 

I have been working on this Tahini chocolate chip cookie recipe since December 2020 and have made at least three batches before I decided to share the recipe. The idea to use Tahini came after my gorgeous Lazy Cake recipe where I spiked the chocolate with tahini and pistachios which confirmed the pairing is irresistible. I could have safely used my Chewy Chocolate Chip cookie recipe as the base, but as promised in my Dairy Milk chocolate cookies post, I wanted to make a cookie recipe using softened butter. 

With cookie recipes, testing is much easier as you have at least 12 to 15 cookie balls that you can bake in small batches to find the right "chilled" dough and the right oven temperature and the right baking time. If all fails, then you got to start again with a new dough recipe. 

For the first batch, I tried with extra egg yolk, softened butter and also used semi-sweet chocolate chips because I wanted Tahini to shine. I chilled the dough for 6 hours and baked a few. The cookies did not spread in the oven but instead went flat while cooling, was greasy and fragile. Hmmm... The internet says too much baking soda or too less flour can be the culprit. The cookies were nonetheless delicious and surprisingly chewy - which I didn't expect considering all that butter and tahini (essentially a sesame butter). We welcomed 2021 while munching on sweet tahini chocolate chip cookies.

first batch of cookies right out of oven

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies served with chai

The next day, I spent some time photographing the cookies in the morning as seen above and realized it is better to give away than consume all the calories when you have to bake again to perfect the recipe. F who never budges to carry food to his office agreed to take them for his colleagues. Thank god. No doubt they were delicious and chewy but they were also greasy leaving pools of wet oil on my fingers. So I need to get back on the drawing board. 

For the second batch of Tahini chocolate chip cookies, I increased the flour because the cookies were greasy and ditched the extra yolk and also reduced the baking soda. I chilled the dough for 6 hours and baked half the batch. The cookies spread and got attached to each other. πŸ˜• So left the remaining dough to chill overnight and more hours. I couldn't wait to bake them the very next morning! Lo and behold, they were perfectly puffed, shaped, soft, cookies that I almost cried. my babies. 😍

Second batch of cookies right out of oven

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies served with a mug of chai

After almost a month later, I opened the blog to draft the Tahini chocolate chip recipe from the scraps of my handwritten notes and had a bulb moment, I could have tried adding cornflour as I did in my first cookie recipe. So, yours truly went right into the kitchen and made a third batch of tahini cookie dough with cornflour (cornstarch) and let it chill in the fridge until the next day. I also added a dash of rose water instead of vanilla. I made 13 cookie balls, kept four in the freezer and baked the rest. I am in love! 😍The perfect melt in mouth cookies that are light, not greasy, not crumbly, and held shape even after cooling. They were also addictive. The best tahini cookies that I am thrilled to share. 

third batch of cookies out of oven still on the baking sheet

showing cookie bottom and cooling on wire rack

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS FOR TAHINI CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

  • Butter: salted or unsalted and softened to room temperature. If using salted butter, then add less salt than called for.
  • Brown sugar: You cannot skip this. You may use light or dark brown sugar. 
  • White sugar: the normal white granulated sugar. 
  • Tahini: I used store-bought tahina (Halwani brothers) and please make sure to stir the jar before measuring. Most of the store-bought jars are labelled as "Tahina" and they are made with 100% sesame seeds and nothing else. So the ingredients should have only one item - roasted sesame seeds. You need this kind of tahini and not the tahini sauce which has salt, lemon juice etc and is used for savoury dips.
  • Egg: Use a large egg or approximately 60gms of an egg. Crucial to have the right amount of egg so make sure you use large or weigh and use. 
  • Flavouring: Cardamom powder or vanilla or rose water etc. 
  • Flour: I have used all-purpose flour aka plain flour or maida in India. 
  • Baking soda: Baking soda cannot be replaced with baking powder. They are two different things and react differently. 
  • Salt: reduce if you are using salted butter.
  • Cornflour: This gives the cookies a soft consistency and helps keep the cookies stay thick so do not skip them.
  • Chocolate chips: You may use your favourite dark chocolate or use semi-sweet chocolate chips as I did. Using dark or semi-sweet will bring out the Tahini flavour. 
  • Flaky sea salt: I didn't have flaky sea salt but used Sel de Mer which are tiny granulated salt that I sprinkled over the cookies right after they came out of the oven. This is optional but recommended for the salted cookies taste! 

HOW TO MAKE TAHINI CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES WITH SOFTENED BUTTER?

Cookie Dough: Firstly, measure the butter, cut them into smaller cubes and let it sit on the counter to softened to room temperature. Next, measure the flour, cornflour, baking soda and salt using the scoop and sweep method into a bowl and whisk and keep aside. In a larger bowl add the softened butter, tahini, both white and brown sugar and whisk for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add in the egg and vanilla extract or cardamom. Now, switch to a spatula and start folding the flour mixture until incorporated. Lastly, fold the chocolate chips slowly making sure it is distributed throughout. That is your cookie dough! But not ready to bake yet. 

Chilling the dough: As we are using both soft butter and tahini which is essentially sesame butter, the dough needs to be chilled and has to go into the oven chilled. You have to chill the cookie dough for 8 to 10 hours. You can then make the dough balls and freeze them for later. You may chill for two to three hours, make the cookie balls and chill again for the rest of the hours. The idea is when the cookie dough balls go into the oven, they should not be a sticky mess.

Prepare the cookies dough balls: When ready to bake, take out the cookie dough from the fridge and let it sit on the counter because it will be hard and needs to soften lightly so that you can scoop. Then use an ice cream scooper and make 12 to 15 cookie dough balls. Place them on a lined tray and refrigerate or freeze until the oven preheats or until the dough is no longer sticky. The best result was achieved when the dough was chilled again before baking. 

Bake the cookies: Preheat the oven to 170c and place the cookie dough balls on the baking tray lined with baking paper leaving enough space between each. I have always baked only on one tray at a time. If you plan to bake the whole batch in one go, then use two trays in level 2 and 3 and increase the baking time by 2 more minutes. Bake in the middle rack for about 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown edges. Remove from oven, sprinkle some sea salt flakes and let them cool for 10 mins on the sheet and then move them to wire rack to cool completely.

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

All the batches tasted great except for the greasy, flattened or spread hiccup which to me is not a bad cookie but they aren't the best. Now with my experience of baking with softened butter plus tahini, it is clear that the dough has to be super chilled for several hours or until it is hardened like the butter block in your fridge. So it is best to chill, shape and chill again before you bake the batch. 

TAHINI CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE

Yields 12 to 15 cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 cup = 250ml
Measured using fluff, scoop and sweep method. 
  • 100gms unsalted softened butter 
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (you can increase to 1/2 cup for sweeter cookies)
  • 1/2 cup tahini (make sure to stir the jar before scooping)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder or vanilla extract or rose water
  • 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chip
  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cornflour and salt and keep this aside.
  2. In a larger bowl beat together the softened butter, tahini, granulated white sugar and brown sugar with a spatula or with an electric beater on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add the egg and cardamom or vanilla, and continue to mix until incorporated. 
  3. Switch to a spatula and fold in the flour mixture until just combined and then fold in the chocolate chips. Do not overmix. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 10 to 12 hours. 
  4. Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and let it sit out for a few minutes. Then scoop out your cookie dough using an ice cream scooper or 3 tbsp for each cookie and place them on a tray lined with baking paper. 
  5. Refrigerate the cookie dough balls until they are no longer sticky. If you find the dough too soft to touch then it is better your freeze until no longer sticky to touch. You can do this while the oven preheats or wait until they are ready to bake and then preheat the oven. (all this depends on the weather you live in, your oven, your freezer etc so make sure the cookie dough is not a sticky mess to touch when it is going into the oven)
  6. Preheat the oven to 170ΒΊC. Line a baking tray with baking paper for half the batch. Place the cookie balls a couple of inches apart and bake them in the middle rack of the preheated oven. I have always baked only on one tray at a time. If you plan to bake the whole batch in one go, then use two trays in level 2 and 3 and increase the baking time by 2 more minutes.
  7. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes or just until they are golden brown around the edges.
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle a bit of flaky sea salt over each cookie and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and move them to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  9. Serve same day or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. (I am sure won't last that long 😁)
I really hope you give this tahini chocolate chip cookies recipe a try especially if you are the kind that has a jar of tahini somewhere lost in the fridge. It is time to give them life and treat yourself too! πŸ˜‹

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

I would love to know if you have tried this recipe. You may leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaiblog so that I can see your creations! Thank you! 

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