Toasted Sesame Cookies

September 10, 2020
5 Stars
Photo by Sarah Kieffer
Author Notes

In my first book, my chocolate chip cookie recipe had a variation that included toasted sesame oil. I’ve snuck it in again here, but this time around I’ve added white and black sesame seeds as well. Toasted sesame oil also tastes amazing with chocolate, and you can add up to 3 oz [85 g] of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate here if desired (I highly suggest it).

Reprinted from 100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer with permission by Chronicle Books, 2020.sarah kieffer | the vanilla bean blog

Watch This Recipe
Toasted Sesame Cookies
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 16 minutes
  • Makes about 12 cookies
  • 1 3/4 cups (249 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks or 170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into bite-size pieces (averaging 1/2-inch with some smaller and some larger, optional)
  • Black and white sesame seeds, for rolling
In This Recipe
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line three sheet pans with aluminum foil, dull-side up.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, toasted sesame oil, water, and vanilla, and mix on low speed to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Add the chocolate, if using, and mix until combined.
  4. Form the dough into 3-ounce (85-gram) balls (1/4 cup). Roll in the sesame seeds, and place 4 cookies an equal distance apart on each sheet pan. Bake the cookies one pan at a time. Bake until the dough balls have spread flat but are puffed slightly in the center, 9 minutes. Lift one side of the sheet pan up about 4 inches (10 centimeters) and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the center falls back down. After the cookies puff up again in 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake for 15 to 16 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.
  5. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days (or refrigerate for up to 3 days).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • KK
  • LynneT
  • LLStone
  • Adam Thalenfeld
    Adam Thalenfeld
  • Nancy
A baker's soliloquy. You can follow along at

25 Reviews

KK March 6, 2022
Love these. Made these smaller than the recipe. Also used a bit less sugar.
eswapner February 21, 2022
I love this recipe! I make it all the time- so simple yet truly amazing. Always gets rave reviews from friends. Thank you for sharing this brilliant recipe!
th1world January 19, 2022
I was so excited to try these. Yes banging the pans was fun but the flavor of the sesame was overpowered by the chocolate. I might try again without chocolate. Overall very disappointing.
nlitra01 January 3, 2022
These cookies were amazing! The sesame flavor wasn't too much. I couldn't find black sesame seeds so I only used normal ones and they looked great. I'm not sure that I'll bother with dropping the sheet pan throughout the baking process as it was a bit time consuming and labor intensive. They were such a hit with friends, and can't wait to make them again.
Cynthia December 17, 2021
Has anyone made these smaller in size; say half the size the recipe calls for?
LynneT October 31, 2021
These are completely and utterly divine. I’ve been baking for over 50 years and these are quite possibly my new all time favorite cookie. I shared the first batch with coworkers and they all loved them. I used my largest scoop and my cookies were 46 grams before I baked them. I made the recipe as written, but I may have added a bit more chocolate. Truly wonderful and worth every banging minute. They make me smile every time I bake them. Love, love, ❤️

LLStone October 22, 2021
These are delicious. I am addicted to these. My grandkids love the original wrinkly cookies, and my husband and I love these. So very good..
avocadoalice October 19, 2021
I "veganized" these using vegan butter and a chia seed egg. I also subbed half the butter for peanut butter and added 2 tbs miso paste. Delicious!

Also made them gluten-free for my partner with celiac by using all purpose GF flour. Turned out great!
SROSE October 13, 2021
Followed the recipe exactly as written and these were perfection!
Beautiful sesame flavour and a combination of outer edge crunch and inner softness. The chocolate and sesame combination is so good!
Betsy February 10, 2021
I made these tonight, the first recipe I selected to try from the 100 Cookies book. My husband went bananas for them! I opted to add the chocolate and will do so again the next time I make them.
Adam T. December 4, 2020
I wanted to like these, but there was something off. I think there’s too much toasted sesame oil. Something to be used in extreme moderation! That said, they cooked well, and had a great crispy texture. Personally might try making them again with 1/4 the amount of sesame oil and add a bit of miso in to help elevate the sesame flavor.
Nancy November 13, 2020
We thought these cookies were banging! LOL They are incredibly delicious but I could not master the pan bang technique. I could manage only a ripple or two. This is a very unusual recipe and everyone raved. Thanks!
omartinez1492 September 22, 2020
These are incredible! The nutty taste of the toasted sesame works so well with chocolate! Not sure if the technique to get the ridges is totally worth the effort but I do like the crispier edges. Will absolutely make again.
deborah F. September 18, 2020
have you or anyone else tried this using almond flour for the gluten free set?
Barbarap September 29, 2021
I’m wondering the same thing.
avocadoalice October 19, 2021
I'm a year late, but yes, I used 1 cup GF all purpose and 3/4 cup almond flour. Worked out great!
Barbarap October 19, 2021
Thank you avocadoalice!
Rosie B. September 18, 2020
These were the first cookies I made from your book. They are SO good. I also love the pan-banging method. Your recipe made me believe that I can actually bake good cookies.
suziqcu September 15, 2020
Must try! I am thinking about tahini to replace at least some of the butter and some way to veganize. Maybe just leave out egg and see what happens. Wondering if anyone has tried doing similar?
lisina September 15, 2020
Lovvvve this idea! Following. Please report back with results.
Dana September 15, 2020
I would use true Chinese sesame paste instead if tahini since it’s made with toasted sesame instead of raw.
McQueen September 18, 2020
Have you tried using flax seed eggs? Very simple and they seem to create the binding that is needed from eggs.
Rebecca L. September 19, 2020
I’ve made this recipe many times. Great cookies with tahini.
avocadoalice October 19, 2021
Used vegan butter, peanut butter (half and half) and a chia egg. Worked just fine!
dcorneal September 13, 2020
Amazing! Delicious, a little savory, and perfectly sweet.