Friday, March 10, 2017

Salted Tahini & Chocolate Cookies

I have had a teeny-tiny tahini crush lately. It all started when I decided to make a batch of this hummus. Then, last week Jeff, Rose and I went to a new ice cream spot for pre-dinner dessert and I saw they had tahini chocolate swirl on the menu. So naturally I got it. Aaaand it was amazing. 

So, the obsession continues. 

For those of you who haven't had tahini on its own, in candy form (Halvah) or scooped onto a pita when mixed into hummus, tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is toasty and delightful and lends itself well to both sweet and savory cooking. 

I had grand plans to make tahini macarons. I saw them in my head. They would be topped with toasted sesame seeds and filled with a tahini chocolate ganache. I had this vision and then remembered I have a toddler and don't have time for that whole process.  

So instead we have simple tahini cookies, studded with chocolate chips and sprinkled with sea salt. Bonus: you can make, photograph and eat them while your toddler takes their afternoon nap!

Salted Tahini & Chocolate Cookies
makes about 1 dozen 

2 oz butter, unsalted & room temperature
2 heaping Tablespoons tahini paste (unsalted and unsweetened)
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 c AP flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse grain salt, plus more for finishing
1/2 c chocolate chips
- - -
1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-5) minutes
2. While your sugar and butter are creaming, combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, baking soda and powder in a small bowl; set aside
3. Add the tahini to the fluffy butter mixture and mix to combine
4. Add the egg and vanilla to the stand mixer and mix on low until fully incorporated
5. Add all the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) to the mixer and mix until the dough comes together
6. Add the chocolate chips and mix on low until evenly distributed
7. Chill dough for about an hour (or pre-scoop into rounded Tablespoons, sprinkle with salt and freeze)
8. Pre-heat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silipat
9. When ready to bake, scoop chilled dough into rounded Tablespoons and place 2" apart on the prepared baking sheet 
10. Sprinkle a little coarse salt on top of each cookie before baking at 350F (13-15 minutes for frozen dough or 8-10 minutes for chilled/fresh dough**)

** I like to pre-scoop my cookie dough and freeze for about an hour before baking because I think the final cookies have a better texture and spread less than when using fresh dough!

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