Chocolate Tahini Cookies

Chocolate Tahini Cookies

Chocolate and tahini became one of my favourite combinations last Christmas, in rugelach; this year, I came across these dense, chewy chocolate-tahini cookies in one of my favourite books of the year, a Palestinian cookbook called Zaitoun. It calls for butter and tahini, but you could go all tahini if you were so inclined, and the dough is refrigerated overnight to firm it up and develop the flavours. Generally I’m too impatient for cookie doughs that require a night in the fridge, but at this time of year I tend to plan ahead a bit more, rather than require instant gratification to satiate my usual cookie cravings.

I’ve made these three times – once with all tahini, just to see (use 1/2 cup total, since it’s runnier than butter) – and though I prefer them with butter and tahini, they’re always fantastic – like a dark chocolate cross between brownie and cookie. The tahini flavour is subtle – if you want to boost it a bit, add a drizzle of sesame oil. (If you have toasted sesame oil, even better.) Make sure you don’t overbake them – they should be set around the edges but still soft in the middle if you want them to stay chewy once they cool.

This is an adapted version of the recipe – the original calls for 1 1/2 cups flour, and a version I came across online called for 1 1/4 cups, which is pictured above. She also adds 1/4 tsp cinnamon, so feel free to spice them up, if you like. I suspect they’d also be delicious with the same quantity of powdered ginger.

Chocolate Tahini Cookies
Chocolate Tahini Cookies

Chocolate Tahini Cookies

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December 16, 2019


1/2 cup butter, melted, or ghee

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup tahini (stir it first)

1 large egg

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate


1Preheat the oven to 350F.

2In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until pale and light. Beat in the tahini, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and then the chocolate. Cover and let sit for an hour, or (preferably) refrigerate overnight.

3When you're ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 350F. Spoon or scoop the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving an inch or two between each. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the cookies are set around the edges, but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.


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7 comments on “Chocolate Tahini Cookies

  1. Crackmacs
    December 16, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    I want to eat them. I’d never be able to make them though, even with directions. Worst cook ever.

    • Julie
      December 17, 2019 at 11:52 am

      I bet you could!!

  2. Carol
    December 17, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    These look soooo good!

    Does it matter what kind of cocoa is used (Dutched vs natural)?

    Also, what size cookie scoop did you use?

    • Julie
      December 18, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      I generally used Dutched, but either would work!

      • Carol
        December 18, 2019 at 4:02 pm


  3. Susan Dodia
    January 5, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Okay, these really are the best chocolate cookies. The texture is just perfect. I was dubious about whether I would taste the sesame, but I don’t. You could easily introduce another flavor (mint??!!). This will be the go to chocolate cookie recipe for me from now on.

    • Julie
      January 5, 2020 at 1:27 pm

      Right?? they’re so amazing – love their flavour and texture!

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