Danielle Oron’s Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

December 7, 2016

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: “I wanted a way to introduce tahini in desserts to the American palate,” Danielle Oron told me. “I figured that the best way to do that is to make a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, but to replace the peanut butter with tahini.” This is a cookie you can set out at a party that will give everyone something to talk about. It’s also one that you can bundle up and give with intention. Or just bake them off from the freezer one at a time for midnight snacks.
Adapted slightly from Modern Israeli Cooking via the New York Times.
Genius Recipes

Makes: 12 cookies
Prep time: 12 hrs
Cook time: 30 min


  • 8 tablespoons /1 stick (113 grams) room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) tahini, well stirred
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) Valrhona discs (64% cocoa) or other good quality chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 pinch or so flaky salt, like Maldon or fleur de sel
In This Recipe


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, tahini, and sugar together on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and continue mixing on medium speed for another 5 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and combine. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low until just combined.
  4. Add the chocolate and mix it in by hand with a rubber spatula.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 2 ounce (60ml)-capacity ice cream disher (scoop with release), scoop out 12 dough balls and place them on the baking sheet. Wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for 12 hours. This will allow the glutens in the flour to relax and will give you a tender soft cookie (Editor’s note: I liked them baked straightaway, too!)
  6. At this point you can bake 1 or bake all 12. Keep the cookie dough balls in zip-top bags in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  7. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 325° F and line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat. Space the cookie dough balls at least 3 inches apart to allow for them to spread. Bake for 13 to 16 minutes until just golden brown around the edges. They will still look fairly unbaked in the middle, which is perfect. Sprinkle each with Maldon salt when they come out of the oven.
  8. Allow to cool 20 minutes on baking sheet or cooling rack.

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Reviews (24) Questions (0)

24 Reviews

Poniesss403 December 3, 2018
Great recipe. I am sure this is an unpopular opinion, but I think they have a little too much chocolate! The batter is so tasty that with bittersweet chocolate it's a little overpowering. Will reduce to at least 1.5 cups next time.
Nanda G. June 14, 2017
The David Lebovitz adaptation of this recipe is in fact a genius recipe. Check it out! (Although I prefer the lower amount of chocolate in the original, truth be told.) http://www.davidlebovitz.com/salted-chocolate-chip-tahini-cookies-cookie-recipe/
Francine H. September 14, 2018
Agree. These are my favorite CCCoookie. Everyone loves then.
Shanna P. May 25, 2017
is the dough supposed to be very wet? i'm worried i did something wrong!<br />
Elle T. March 6, 2017
Made these exactly as directed and agree it's a genius recipe. Texture and flavour were very special. I guess people are pretty divided about the ideal nature of a chocolate chip cookie, but this is how I'll be making mine from now on.
Renee F. January 8, 2017
I made these and was so surprised and excited to find the dough tasted like halva! It was a battle not to eat it all before baking. Unfortunately, the addictive halva flavor is mostly lost in baking. They we're still delicious just not what I expected. I'll make them again, but will likely sub in any nut butter I have on hand rather than go out of my way to get enough tahini.
Tracy T. January 8, 2017
I made these last night abd totally agree they have a sandy texture to them. I prefer a cookie with more of a chewy texture. You could really smell the tahini in the raw dough form but once baked, i didn't really taste it.
Aly S. January 7, 2017
Truly genius heaven. Tasted like the creamiest halva with chocolate in a cookie form. To die for!
jlriddell December 26, 2016
I made these much smaller and got 32 cookies from it. Even so they are substantial! Us d about 200g choc and sugar/stevia blend which was great.
Claude B. December 11, 2016
I wonder if the recipe would do ok if I use Gluten free flour, or buckwheat flour???
Barb December 11, 2016
Let us know if that works out.
melinda December 11, 2016
my question as well.. cup 4 cup flour is our go to choice for gluten free. It usually works quite well.
Amanda B. July 17, 2017
Hi there! Curious if you tried these with gluten free flour?
Barb December 11, 2016
Really, 12 cookies? What if I want to have some to eat after they've cooled?
Kristen M. December 11, 2016
Make them smaller! (As written, this makes really big cookies.)
Barb December 11, 2016
You have not seen me and cookie dough! Sometimes, I bake some.<br />
Kristen M. December 11, 2016
:) I get it. I'm the same way with pie dough scraps, and I'm not proud.
Barb December 11, 2016
Or cake batter...or bread dough....
witloof September 17, 2018
Claire S. December 9, 2016
The tahini adds a really nice complexity (although I agree with Therese, I wouldn't call this a 'genius' recipe). The cookies have an incredible, sandy texture, sort of like a light shortbread? They're quite rich, though.
Therese December 8, 2016
I just made these today. They are very very good but a genius recipe?? I don't agree. I didn't think there was anything extraordinary about them, unlike the other genius recipes I've tried. I may/may not bake them again because they are easy but I've had better chocolate chip cookies.
tranquility December 7, 2016
I've come across this recipe before and because I'm a big fan of tahini I had to make it and - wow, they are so tasty. The tahini adds such a great flavor to the cookies. Sidenote, I used salted butter because it's the norm where I live (Sweden) and I never feel like keeping two types of butter at home, and it worked perfectly.<br /><br />They're in my top 3 of chocolate chip cookie recipes and I make them quite a lot (almost as often as another cookie recipe by Danielle Oron).
mbobden December 7, 2016
Which other Danielle Oron cookie recipe is a favorite of yours?
tranquility December 8, 2016
It's a recipe called Moo's Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, you can find it on her blog here: http://iwillnoteatoysters.com/moos-banana-chocolate-chip-cookies/<br /><br />It's almost like a combination of banana bread and chocolate chip cookies.