So I’ve spent a good amount of the past week researching tahini cookies – something that took my fancy after watching David Lebovitz’s snapchat. I usually refrain from cookies and biscuits – simply because they are time consuming and the whole ‘chilling the dough’ thing tends to irritate me. But when I saw pictures of these, I had to do them. If you’ve never had a dessert with tahini – start with these!
In my tremendous amount of research, I realized this: every single recipe derives from one person: Danielle Oron. This famous chef grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey and picked up on her Israeli family’s habits of drenching tahini over vanilla ice cream and adapted this into her baking. In my books, she’s as good as Einstein.
So, today is one of those rare moments when I am following the instructions exactly, without any deviations. Why should I fray from perfection?
tahini that I used is homemade – with just sesame seeds and olive oil and nothing else. The cookie dough is recommended to be refrigerated overnight – this makes the cookie softer.
And other than that, the recipe is pretty straight forward, but just requires a hell of a lot of patience.
[ Recipe from: Danielle Oron ]
- 3/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup butter, soft
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup castor sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chunk
- flaky sea salt for sprinkling
- sesame seeds for sprinkling
- Lightly toast the sesame seeds on a hot pan.
- Do not let them brown.
- Add the seeds to a mixer and add olive oil as pulsing down to create a paste.
- Set aside.
- In a bowl whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
- Beat the butter, tahini, granulated sugar and brown sugar for 2 to 3 minutes, until fluffy.
- 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, to make sure the eggs are getting incorporated.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and add the dry ingredients until just combined, then add the chocolate chips. Do not overmix. Cover the dough and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
- Line baking tray with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Using an ice cream scooper, form the cookies into rounds using an ice cream scoop. Sprinkle some sea salt and sesame seeds on top.
- Place them evenly spaced on the baking sheets, 3-inches (8cm) apart).
- Bake the cookies on middle rack 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.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and let them rest on the baking tray for 15 minutes before removing.
- Store in an airtight container once completely cooled.