Danielle Oron’s Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

December  7, 2016
23 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 12 hours
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 12 cookies
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Elizabeth Finch
    Elizabeth Finch
  • Stacie N. Vos
    Stacie N. Vos
  • Scott Becker
    Scott Becker
  • Tran Tu
    Tran Tu
  • Justine Simonson
    Justine Simonson
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

39 Reviews

Elizabeth F. August 20, 2022
So delicious! I love the depth and richness the tahini adds. I baked half the recipe and left the other half in the freezer. The frozen dough is unbelievably decadent! So sad I just finished the last one. I must make more today!!!!
Stacie N. February 5, 2021
It’s been a while since I made cookies and I think I may have jumped the gun by making all 12 on one sheet. They all melted together into one sheet. Should I have done two batches instead then?
Nanda G. February 5, 2021
Yes. It instructs to space them 3” apart at that size.
Margie V. May 27, 2021
I found that your really have to add more flour to this recipe in order to keep them from being completely flat! Like 1/4 cup in the recipe above. I could see them melding together even with 3” apart. Once I had the increased flour, these were the best!
Margie V. May 27, 2021
And I want to add that I weigh my flour so I know I added the correct amount before. Now I weigh and add 1/4 cup. I should weigh my addition!
T October 16, 2020
Very light and crisp! (I didn’t do the frozen dough though)
Made the sugar 160g and it was perfect amount of sugar for me!
Kim S. August 24, 2020
I'm not a big baker but these are pretty much my favorite chocolate chip cookies.
And some major chocolate chip cookie connoisseurs agree!
als94 April 7, 2020
Hi - I made these as directed and the dough ended up looking more like frosting consistency? Now they're in the oven and they're melting... thoughts as to what went wrong?
Scott B. December 6, 2019
hello, i am sorry that this sounds harsh but the truth can hurt. don't you know that sugar and wheat are poisons? is it time for you to stop promoting recipes that make people sick.
Julia O. November 17, 2020
Everyone must die sometime, might as well be happy.
Rsmeltzer October 16, 2019
Does anyone have suggestions for veganizing these cookies? I love tahini and chocolate and it sounds entirely doable, but I'm not baker enough to do it.
Kristen M. January 22, 2020
Hi Rsmeltzer, the classic subs would be vegan butter (or nonhydrogenated shortening) and flax eggs, though I'm not sure how to compensate for the extra yolk (probably just 1.5x the amount)—for more tips you might try asking on the Food52 Hotline. Good luck!
Tran T. May 1, 2019
I made this with some adaptations, but I'm 100% positive it is still addictive as is. Most of the reasons for the adaptation was for gluten-free purposes. I substituted 1:1 America's Test Kitchen gluten free blend and 1/4 + 1/8 tsp xanthan gum for the flour; did half brown sugar and half white sugar (GF recipes need assistance in chewiness and it is also a personal preference), doubled vanilla extract to 2 tsp (GF flour is a bit bland) and for the chocolate, by audience preference, did half Guittard milk chocolate chips and half Guittard semisweet discs. Forgot to sprinkle with salt. Rested the dough for only 30 minutes and then spread it on a 12" pizza pan and froze for about 20 minutes. Baked it for 23 minutes. It made the best GF cookie texture I've had so far and held up well the next day. Also, the cookie dough is addictive too - it almost didn't make it to the oven. The tahini flavor was very present and I appreciated the slight "sandiness' of the texture. If I were to make a non GF version, I would only keep the modifications I did to the sugar and follow instructions to freeze overnight. It's my new go-to recipe for GF chocolate chip cookies - the tahini helps a lot in texture.
Justine S. February 7, 2019
I made this recipe on a Sunday. They were gone by Tuesday. These were absolutely delicious. Not too sweet, just the right amount of salt & sesame flavor. I baked them straight away as I didn’t see the note about letting the dough rest for 12 hours till I got to that point and I just didn’t want to wait yay long. I don’t know if that would improve them because they were awesome as is! I shared them with my husband, neighbor, super, and parents (who have decidedly unadventurous palates) as they stopped by or came for a chat. Everyone raves about these cookies. 10/10 will DEFINITELY be making them again!
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.)
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!
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.
solauris April 5, 2020
Same feeling. I wonder if using light brown instead of granulated might help?
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.
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.