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.