If you think tahini doesn't have a place in baking, these tahini chocolate chip cookies will change your mind! Soft, crumbly, and deliciously nutty, these tahini cookies will please a crowd, especially with the addition of chocolate chips!
What do Tahini Cookies Taste Like?
These tahini chocolate chip cookies are shortbread-style - they are dense, crumbly, buttery, and have a rich mouthfeel. The tahini gives the cookies a creamy, rich, and nutty undertone that is not too sweet. Perfect to be enjoyed with your afternoon cup of tea.
What is Tahini?
Tahini is a savory-tasting paste made from ground sesame seeds. It has a slightly nutty and earthy taste and is creamy in texture. It is widely used in various sweet and savory dishes in many parts of the world, especially the Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean.
Tahini is gluten-free and vegan and is widely available from local grocers and health food stores.
Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies - Ingredients
- 200g | 7 oz butter, room temperature - For the absolute best tahini chocolate chip cookies you've ever had, use European-style butter, which has a higher fat content than cheaper butter. This includes French, Irish, or Italian-made butter, or sometimes butter that simply states European butter on the packaging, which denotes that it has the required minimum fat content.
- ¼ cup baker's sugar (caster sugar) - In these tahini chocolate chip cookies, the baker's sugar will give crispness to the cookie texture.
- ¼ cup brown sugar - Although this tahini chocolate chip cookie recipe is technically a shortbread-style cookie, adding brown sugar will yield a softer cookie. If you prefer a crunchier texture, you can omit the brown sugar and increase the baker's sugar to ½ cup.
- 3 tablespoons honey - Not only will honey give a nice flavor to your tahini chocolate chip cookies, but it will also make your cookies moister and give them a pleasantly crumbly texture.
- ⅔ cup tahini - An ingredient commonly used in Middle Eastern recipes, tahini is made from ground-up sesame seeds. Note: you can use hulled, unhulled, raw, or roasted tahini in this tahini cookie recipe.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips - I prefer semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips for this recipe. If you can't find good quality chocolate chips, you could chop up a chocolate bar to about chocolate chip size.
How to Make Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 350°F | 176°C and prepare two baking trays with baking paper or silicon mats.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk your butter and sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes or until creamy.
- Add honey and tahini, and mix until well combined.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the wet mixture, and fold through with a rubber spatula to combine.
- Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips. Use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball.
- Shape the tahini cookie dough - You can make the dough into any shape you like, but I find it easiest to scoop out one tablespoon of dough at a time and roll it into a ball. If your dough gets too sticky, sprinkle a little flour on your hands. Arrange the dough balls on the prepared sheet pans and press them lightly to flatten. Leave some space between the cookies. Swap the trays halfway through the baking to ensure even cooking.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Like most shortbread-style cookies, these tahini chocolate chip cookies will be delicate when they come out of the oven. Allow them to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Do not over-mix your batter - Think of the process as making pie crust; over-mixing this tahini cookie dough will make it dense and tough. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter-mix gently until they're just incorporated.
- Keep the dough cool - When dealing with shortbread-type cookies, you want your dough to stay cool as long as possible. If your kitchen is warm, chill your cookie dough in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes at any stage. Although this will add to your time, it is a foolproof method to ensure the best texture of tahini chocolate chip cookies.
- Do not forget the baking paper - For consistent baking, use either baking paper or a silicone mat. This protective layer will help the cookies keep their shape while baking and not stick to the bottom of the tray.
- Make sure the butter is not too warm - Butter that is too warm will make the tahini chocolate chip cookies spread out too much while baking. If your butter has become too hot, pop it back in the fridge until it firms up again.
- Make sure the butter is not too cold - Butter that is too cold won't cream well with the sugars. If your butter is too hard, leave it on the kitchen bench a bit longer before mixing it with the white and brown sugar.
Tahini Substitutions - Can I Substitute Tahini?
Tahini is the center of attention in this tahini chocolate chip cookie recipe. However, on the off chance that you've halfway through preparing the recipe, and somehow, the jar of tahini that you thought was there was never there all along - what are you supposed to do!? Well, here are the answers!
- What can I use in place of tahini in a recipe? You can use different types of nut butter in place of tahini in a recipe. Options to consider are cashew butter and almond butter. Both are good substitutes and have a fairly neutral flavor profile. They also have a similar consistency to tahini.
- Can I use peanut butter instead of tahini? Peanut butter is a good substitute but does taste very different from tahini; it has a stronger flavor and is much sweeter. If using peanut butter instead of tahini in a sweet recipe, reduce the amount of sugar. In savory recipes, reduce the quantity of peanut butter so it doesn't overpower your dish.
- Which is better tahini or peanut butter? Neither is better - they're different! They each have their place in cooking and baking.
- Is tahini healthier than peanut butter? Both tahini and peanut butter can be part of a well-balanced diet. Make your own healthy version of homemade peanut butter!
- What does tahini replace in baking? Tahini can replace different types of nut butter. As tahini is not as sweet as many store-bought nut butters, you may need to increase the amount of sugar for a sweet recipe. Also, tahini is a good peanut butter replacement for people with a peanut allergy.
- Can you replace butter with tahini? In some recipes, you can replace the butter with tahini. Substitute at the same amount.
Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies - Add-ins
- Sesame seeds - What goes better with tahini chocolate chip cookies than the main ingredient that makes the tahini itself? Sesame seeds! Rolling tahini chocolate chip cookies in sesame seeds before baking is the traditional way of making tahini cookies. It is a match made in sesame seed heaven!
- Dried fruit - Swap out the chocolate chips and add dried fruit like currants, chopped dates, or apricots. They will give these tahini cookies a nice sweetness and chewy texture.
- Spices - To make holiday-festive tahini cookies, skip the chocolate chips and add warm spices like cardamom and cinnamon. You will be blown away by the flavor combo!
- Orange - Learn how to zest an orange and add 1 tablespoon of orange zest to the butter and sugar mixture.
- Classic tahini - Take out the chocolate chips and make traditional tahini cookies. Either shape as instructed above or roll the dough to 1cm or ½" thickness and cut into shapes. Refrigerate trays for 30 minutes before baking to help the cookies keep their shape.
- Peanut butter tahini cookies - Swap out the tahini and replace it with homemade peanut butter. Peanut butter is much sweeter than tahini so reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe.
- Almond tahini cookies - I love the texture variation of adding types of nuts such as almonds to tahini cookies. To make, swap out the chocolate chips and replace them with 1 cup of roughly chopped-up almonds.
- Chocolate tahini cookies - Make tahini sesame chocolate cookies by adding cocoa powder to the flour mixture.
- Salted tahini chocolate chip cookies - Add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to the baked chocolate tahini cookies.
Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies - Variations
Tahini 'Thumbprint' Cookies
Thumbprint cookies are round shortbread cookies with an indentation in the middle, filled with a filling of your choice. To make a thumbprint version of this tahini cookie, skip the chocolate chips, and make an indentation in the middle of the dough ball instead of flattening it. Fill the indentation with the jelly or jam of your choice and bake. Alternatively, you could fill the indentation with chocolate chunks before baking for 'chocolate thumbprint tahini chocolate chip cookies.'
Vegan Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
As this tahini chocolate chip cookies recipe does not use eggs, it is easy to modify it into a vegan recipe. To make tahini chocolate chip cookies vegan, use coconut oil instead of butter and maple syrup, molasses, or corn syrup to replace the honey. Also, don't forget to use vegan plant-based chocolate.
Gluten-free Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
These tahini cookies put a spotlight on sesame seeds' bright nutty flavor: because of this, I think this recipe works wonders with almond flour as an all-purpose flour replacement. To make gluten free tahini cookies use an equal amount of almond flour to what the recipe states. Tip: Amp up the almond flavor in tahini almond flour cookies by adding some chopped-up almonds.
Other Cookies You'll Love to Make
- Chocolate chip and marshmallow cookies
- Simple oatmeal cookies
- Almond flour chocolate chip cookies
- Butterless cookies
What to Serve with Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cookie sandwich - Add decadent chocolate ganache between two tahini chocolate chip cookies for the most delicious dessert cookies ever!
- Hot drink - Dunk your tahini cookie into a hot cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate!
- Ice-cream - Crumble a couple of tahini chocolate chip cookies over a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for a nutty and crunchy element to your dessert. If you love ice-cream with crunch and caramel-y goodness, you'll love my brown bread ice-cream recipe!
Storing Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Room Temperature - Keep your dough as cool as possible when making these tahini cookies. If the dough is warming up too much, pop it in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Fridge - You can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This is a great time saver - on the day of baking, simply take the pre-made dough out of the fridge, scoop, roll, and bake!
- Freezer - Wrap the undivided dough in either parchment paper or plastic wrap, and then store it in a zip-top bag or an airtight container. It will last for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight (you still want it cool), and then divide it into portions to roll and bake.
- Room Temperature - Store your tahini sesame chocolate chip cookies in an air-tight container for up to one week.
- Freezer - Let the baked cookies cool to room temperature and store them in the freezer in an air-tight container. When you want to serve them, take the tahini sesame cookies out of the freezer and let them defrost to room temperature.
Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies FAQs
What is Tahini Made From?
Tahini is made from ground-up sesame seeds. The most commonly available sesame seeds to buy are golden and black colored. Sesame seeds are used in a wide range of cuisines:
- Europe - My Italian nonna used to bake bread with golden sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Also, at Christmas time she would make giurgiulena, a delicious nougat treat made from sesame seeds.
- Middle East - Sesame seeds that have been ground into tahini are a staple ingredient in chickpea hummus.
- Asia - Sesame seeds are used in many Asian and south-east Asian dishes; glutenous rice cakes, General Tso's chicken, topokki Korean rice cakes, sprinkled over sushi rolls, curries.. and so much more!
4 Types of Tahini
There are four types of tahini; raw, roasted, hulled, and unhulled. Raw and hulled tahini are the most common types and are usually the easiest to find at supermarkets and grocers. For this tahini cookie recipe, you can use any type of tahini.
|1.||Hulled||The outer shells of the sesame seeds are removed before the seeds are ground. This process makes a pale and creamy tahini paste.|
|2.||Unhulled||The outer shells are left intact, and the whole sesame seeds are ground. This process results in a darker and less creamy tahini paste.|
|3.||Raw||Sesame seeds are left raw and not heated before the seeds are ground into a paste.|
|4.||Roasted||Sesame seeds are roasted before the seeds are ground. This roasting results in a darker color tahini paste.|
Is Tahini Good for Baking?
Tahini is good for baking as it adds a subtle nutty, earthy, and creamy flavor to baked goods. Baking with tahini is also good as its oil content helps to keep baked goods moist.
What is the Purpose of Tahini?
Tahini is highly versatile and can be used in sweet and savory dishes. From doughnuts with a tahini and maple glaze...to a chicken thigh marinade, from a flavored tahini dressing with fresh lemon juice for a shawarma bowl to traditional hummus or salad dressing...the list goes on!
Why is Tahini so Healthy?
Is Tahini Healthy to Eat? Tahini, made from ground sesame seeds, is part of my healthy plant-based and meat-based diet. I find that many types of nuts and types of seeds can contribute to a well-balanced diet.
To make more healthy tahini cookies, you could swap out the chocolate chips for nuts or seeds.
Can I Use Tahini Straight From the Jar?
Yes, you can use tahini straight from the jar. Add it directly to salad dressings, wraps with falafel, or hummus. Note: Stir the tahini before using it as it can separate during storage - this stirring motion will combine the oil and the paste.
Should Tahini be Refrigerated After it's Opened?
I like storing my tahini jar in the fridge to keep it fresher for longer. Some people who live in cooler climates store their tahini in a cool, dry pantry away from heat.
How Much is 1 Cup Tahini in Grams?
One cup of tahini is equal to 260 grams of tahini.
What is Chocolate Tahini?
Chocolate tahini is a spreadable paste made from melting milk chocolate or dark chocolate with tahini and honey. You can use milk or dark chocolate tahini to drizzle over fruit, spread onto a piece of toasted sourdough, or as a type of chocolate ganache frosting for a chocolate cake or chocolate brownies.
Can I Use All White Sugar in this Tahini Cookie Recipe?
You can skip the brown sugar in this recipe and use all baker's sugar (caster sugar) instead. Your tahini cookies will not be as soft as a 50/50 mix of brown and white sugar, but the fat content of the butter and tahini will ensure they are still rich and crumbly. Or, get creative and experiment with other types of sugar, such as coconut sugar, turbinado, or muscovado sugar.
What Can I Substitute Honey With in Tahini Cookies?
You can replace the honey with golden syrup or maple syrup in this chocolate chip tahini cookies recipe. Substitute at the same amount. Golden syrup and maple syrup will give the tahini chocolate chip cookies a caramel-y taste. Both are good substitutes.
Alternatively, you can use light corn syrup, molasses, or treacle. Use less because these substitutes are all stronger-tasting and more concentrated than honey.
My Tahini Dough is so Sticky. What Should I Do?
Shortbread-style cookie dough does tend to be a little bit stickier than most. But if your tahini cookie dough is too sticky to work with, add a little flour and chill it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. When dividing the dough, it also helps to give a light dusting of flour on your hands for better control.
Why are my Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies Falling Apart?
Sometimes, this signifies that your butter was too warm when mixed with the sugar. Make sure your butter is cool and soft, not warm and soft.
How do you Know When Your Tahini Cookies are Cooked?
The sesame tahini cookies will turn golden around the edges when they are ready. For me, this is the time when you'll have the perfect cookie texture. However, if you like your cookies a bit more toasty and crunchy, you can leave them in the oven for up to 3 minutes longer or until the edges are darker brown.
Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies - What Makes Cookies Fluffy Vs Flat?
- What makes cookies fluffy? Ensure that the butter is at the right temperature before mixing it with the sugar. This creaming method will add air pockets into the dough and make cookies fluffy and tasty.
- What makes the cookies light and airy? Be careful not to overmix the batter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
- What makes cookies flat? If the butter is too warm, it won't cream with the sugar properly and incorporate air pockets. This leads to flatter cookies. Also, ensure that the dough stays cool. If the dough is too warm, pop it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to cool.
Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Baking tray
- Electric mixer
- 200 g unsalted butter | 7 oz room temperature
- ¼ cup baker’s sugar caster sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon honey
- ⅔ cup tahini
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F | 176°C. Line two trays with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, baker’s sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl for 2 minutes or until creamy.
- Add the honey and tahini and mix to combine.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a rubber spatula to fold through the butter-mixture until just combined.
- Fold through the chocolate chips.
- Take a tablespoon portion of the dough and roll it into a ball. Place on tray and press lightly to flatten.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve and enjoy!
- Space - Leave some space between the cookies as they will spread out as they cook.
- Swap trays - Swap the baking trays halfway through cooking to ensure even baking.
- Don’t overmix – Mix the ingredients together until just incorporated. Don’t over-mix the dough, as it will make the cookies tougher and less crumbly.
- Butter temperature – Ensure that your butter is at the correct temperature. If it has softened too much, pop it back into the refrigerator to harden up before whipping it with the white and brown sugar.
- Keep the dough cool – Try to keep the dough as cool as possible. If it starts warming up too much, pop the dough into the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes to cool.
Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies - Conclusion
A simple and easy recipe, these tahini cookies are a great alternative to your usual cookie bake. Nutty, buttery, and chocolatey at the same time, they are a perfect addition to your afternoon tea table or party treats! Let me know how your baking turns out!