“Open Sesame” Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookie Revealed

“Open Sesame” Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookie Revealed

Holiday Cookie List: Number EIGHT. Very LATE. But worth the WAIT!

My friend Mel mentioned a recipe she had tried recently from the NYTimes for Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies.  She could not stop raving about them, light, crispy, buttery, hint of sesame, they sounded scrumptious. Always on the lookout for riffs on classic cookies, I immediately made a mental note to put the recipe on my Cookie Bucket List.  I checked out the NYT recipe and noticed it contained only granulated sugar which may account for its crisp texture.  I like a crispy and chewy chocolate chip cookie so I googled chocolate chip tahini cookies.  Judging by the number of recipes that popped up in my search, this cookie is a winner. The grand dame for this cookie recipe appears to be from Danielle Oron’s Modern Israeli Cooking: 100 New Recipes for Traditional Classics.  I settled on Davie Lebovitz’s version which calls for both granulated and brown sugars.  Perhaps the moisture in the brown sugar would add a bit of chewiness to the cookie.

My aspiration to be like ATK led me to test-bake the first sheet of cookies half on parchment paper and half on Silpat.

The difference was small but noticeable.  The cookies baked on parchment were just a bit thinner and had a crackly top.  The Silpat cookies did not spread as much and the top did not have the crackly appearance.  Both were delicious and texturally quite similar.  Of note about a minute before the cookies were done I rapped the pan on the rack which causes the cookies to deflate giving them the signature crackly top. The parchment baked ones appeared to have more cracks .  A trick I learned from SaraBeth’s Kitchen baking book.

Cookies on the left were baked on parchment, the cookies on the right on Silpat

It is super important to chill the dough.  The dough is very soft and light and benefits from the time in the fridge.  I used a 2 tablespoon scoop for a bit smaller cookie and baked the cookies for approximately 12 minutes.  As soon as the cookies are removed from the oven, sprinkle them with a mix of fleur de sel or flaky salt and black and white sesame seeds.  Let cool on a rack.

BAKE THESE COOKIES NOW.  Really, they are delicious. Crispy edges, a little bit of chewiness in the center, buttery, chocolatey (there’s my fake word again) with a subtle hint of sesame. So, so, good.  The Tahini seems to lighten the cookie.  If you want a crisper cookie I would use granulated sugar only.  A marvelous cookie, a definite keeper.

Cookies for you, cookies for me!


“Open Sesame” Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookie Treasure Revealed


  • 8 tablespoons (115g, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) tahini, well stirred
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (90g) packed light brown sugar (For a crisper cookie omit brown sugar and use 200gm granulated sugar or 1 cup)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150g) flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher (Diamond Crystal) or sea salt (DL uses a french sea salt which is similar to a kosher salt, it is not like our sea salt, if using table salt use 1/2 teaspoon, if using Morton's kosher salt use 3/4 teaspoon)
  • 2 cups (280g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chunks (I used TJ's chocolate chunks)
  • flaky sea salt, such as Maldon or fleur de sel
  • black and white sesame seeds


  • 1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and kosher or sea salt.
  • 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, tahini, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until fluffy
  • 3. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Add the egg, the yolk, and vanilla, and continue to mix for another minute, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl during mixing
  • 4. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just combined, then add the chocolate chips. Do not overmix.
  • 5. Cover the dough and refrigerate overnight.
  • 6. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • 7. Form the cookies into rounds using an ice cream scoop. For small cookies make each 1 1/2-inch (3,5cm), for larger cookies, make them 2-inches (5cm) round. Place them evenly spaced on the baking sheets, 3-inches (8cm) apart).
  • 8. Bake one sheet at a time, so you can keep an eye on them, in the middle rack of the oven.
  • 9. Bake the cookies, turning the baking sheet in the oven midway during baking, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges but still pale in the center. For small cookies, about 12 minutes, for larger cookies, about 14 to 15 minutes.
  • 10. Remove from the oven, sprinkle cookies with a bit of flaky sea salt and sesame seeds.
  • 11. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.
  • Storage: These cookies will keep for two or three days at room temperature, but are definitely better the same day they're baked. The unbaked dough can be refrigerated for up to one week, and frozen for up to two months.
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