I Baked the NYT's 5-Star Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies - and Made a Few Tweaks to the Recipe

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies, in 3 rows

Get your fainting couch ready. If you want a soft, dreamy chocolate chip cookie - I have the recipe for you. And I know it sounds crazy to tweak what is already reviewed as a 5-star recipe, but y'all. I think we're looking at a 6-star recipe now. 

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Puffy and soft in the middle, salted tahini chocolate chip cookies are slightly nutty and sweet with a generous ratio of chocolate to cookie dough. The tops of the cookies are sprinkled lightly with fleur de sel for that ultimate "fancy" finishing touch. 

Don't worry - the cookies don't taste like straight-up tahini. They taste like the most amazing chocolate chip cookies with an underlying richness. Almost like a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie but without the peanut taste. 

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can't get the idea of tahini desserts out of my mind. (Be prepared for Tahini Swirl Brownies coming soon.) So, when I spied a recipe in the New York Times for Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies, I knew I had to make them. 

To be fair, the recipe in the The Times credits Danielle Oron for the recipe which they then adapted. So, we have a bit of a Six Degrees of Separation thing happening. (While we're at it, I need these sauteed turmeric chickpeas also from Danielle.)

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies ingredients

You likely have all of the ingredients for these in your kitchen right now! 

What is tahini?

Tahini is just ground sesame seeds - sometimes with a little salt. If you've ever made or eaten hummus, you've had tahini. My favorite dressing at Cava? Lemon Tahini. (On the side, please.) 

tahini before and after stirring

Tahini looks like runny peanut butter. It looks similar to natural peanut butter with oil at the top that needs to be stirred before use. It has a strong nutty scent and looks a bit grainy even when the oil is incorporated.  

How I tweaked the recipe:

  1. I swapped half of the granulated sugar for light brown sugar. To me, you just can't have chocolate chip cookies without that brown sugar flavor. 
  2. I doubled the vanilla. You could also use vanilla bean paste here.
  3. I cut the resting time way back. The recipe calls for a 12-hour rest time before baking. I didn't change this to be a rebel - I just didn't have the 12 hours. I gave the cookie dough about a 5-hour rest, and the cookies baked up beautifully. 

tahini and vanilla for baking cookies

granulated and light brown sugar

Let's Make Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies!

how to make Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream butter with the sugars and tahini. Mix until combined and fluffy.

tahini measure in plunger style measuring cup

Now is the time to break out that plunger-style measuring cup

how to make Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Add eggs and vanilla, then sift in the dry ingredients. Mix until combined, then add in the chocolate chips. 

mix of chocolate chips and wafers

I used a mix of chocolate chips and Guittard chocolate wafers - the wafers add such a lovely pool of melty chocolate. These are not "melting" or coating wafers, so don't add those to your mix.

Heads up, you will let the dough rest in the fridge for a few hours. The chilled dough is soft and scoopable.

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie dough

#30 cookie scoop is perfect for portioning the dough. This is a little shy of 2.5 tablespoons

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies close up

Bake! As soon as they come out of the oven, press a few more chocolate chips into the tops (to make them extra pretty) and hit them with a light sprinkling of fleur de sel. Perfect! 

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup well-stirred tahini

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 3/4 cups mixed semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chips and chunks + more for tops

fleur de sel, for sprinkling

Cream butter, sugars, and tahini until combined and fluffy. Mix in egg yolk, egg, and vanilla. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl to incorporate. Once mixed, sift in flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix and low speed just until combined. 

Stir in chocolate by hand. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours. When ready to bake, line cookie sheets with parchment and heat oven to 325. 

Use a  #30 cookie scoop to portion dough onto sheets, leaving room for the dough to spread. About 5-6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until the cookies are still very soft in the middle and the edges are barely golden. 

Immediately upon removing from the oven, press a few chocolate chips/chinks into the tops of each cookie. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Let rest on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

*adapted from the New York Times

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

The cookies are most magnificent eaten the day they are made. Store extras (if you have any) in an airtight container. 

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

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