Tahini Swirl Brownies

Tahini Swirl Brownies

Remember when I made those salted tahini chocolate chip cookies, and I told you to be on the lookout for tahini brownies? HERE THEY ARE! 

Tahini Swirl Brownie, in hand

Tahini Swirl Brownie, in hand with bite

I started this blog back in 2007 (!) with a focus on making decorated cookies. I could easily transition to an all-brownie blog; I just love making - and eating - brownies so much! 

Tahini Swirl Brownies are fudgy and rich. Intensely chocolate with a smattering of bittersweet chocolate chips and a lightly nutty and creamy tahini swirl. 

Tahini Swirl Brownies in a horizontal line

You might be asking yourself, what is tahini and why would I bake with it?

Tahini is just ground sesame seeds - sometimes with a little salt. Tahini can range in color from ecru to khaki and looks like runny peanut butter. The texture is similar to natural peanut butter, with oil at the top that needs to be stirred before use. It has a strong nutty scent and can sometimes look a bit grainy even when the oil is incorporated.   

If you've ever made or eaten hummus, you've had tahini. My favorite dressing at Cava? Lemon Tahini. (On the side, please.) 

Tahini Swirl Brownies side view

Adding tahini to baked goods adds a light nutty flavor, not as intense as peanuts or pecans, and natural fats and protein. 

Tahini Swirl Brownies, baked in pan with foil liner

The contrast of the light tahini swirl against the dark chocolate brownies is just so striking. 

Oh, and are you looking for a brownie recipe that doesn't require a mixer? This is it! The brownie batter actually comes together in a SAUCEPAN! You'll need one more bowl for the swirl, but no need to drag out the mixer for this recipe! 

Some favorite Bake at 350 brownie recipes:

How to Make Tahini Swirl Brownies

Tahini Swirl Brownies, tahini swirl ingredients

Start by making the swirl. You'll whisk the ingredients together: melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, tahini, egg, flour, and salt. 

Tahini Swirl Brownies, tahini swirl mixure with whisk and bowl

The mixture will be thick but fluid. Set aside while you make the brownies. 

espresso powder and vanilla extract

Don't be scared off by the 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder in the mix. Your brownies won't taste like coffee, but the chocolate flavor will be boosted. 

how to make Tahini Swirl Brownies

Once the brownie batter is poured into the pan, spoon the tahini mixture over the top.

how to swirl tahini into brownies

Use the tip of a table knife to gently swirl the tahini into the batter. Bake!

Tahini Swirl Brownie, single

For an extra pretty presentation, press bittersweet chips lightly on top of the brownies as soon as they come out of the oven. 

Questions for making tahini brownies:

Does the tahini have to be stirred before measuring?
YES! Stir tahini to incorporate the oil, just like with natural peanut butter, before measuring.

Can I leave out the espresso powder? 
As you wish! It won't affect the flavor that much. Using it just makes the chocolate taste...more like chocolate. 

Is it ok to use bleached flour instead of unbleached?
Absolutely, with no adjustments.

Can I substitute peanut butter for tahini?
Yes, but you might want to make the peanut butter cup brownies recipe instead.

Tahini Swirl Brownies

Are tahini brownies healthy?
They are good for my mental health. Tahini has been found to be anti-inflammatory and is a source of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, chocolate is an antioxidant. ;) Healthy? Define healthy. 

Why is your pan lined with foil?
I have a whole blog post about how and why to line a pan with foil

How can I cut brownies without making a mess?
Use a bench scraper and press down versus dragging a knife through. Also, chill the pan of brownies before cutting for cleaner cuts. 

Tahini Swirl Brownies

PREP TIME: 25 minutes
BAKE TIME: 28-30 minutes
YIELD: 24 servings

for the swirl:
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1/3 cup powdered sugar
pinch fine sea salt
1/2 cup tahini
1 egg
2 tablespoons flour

for the brownie batter:
3/4 cup salted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, plus more for top

Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9x13" pan with foil and grease.

Make the swirl. Pour the melted butter into a medium bowl. Whisk in powdered sugar and salt. Whisk in tahini. Add egg, then flour, whisking until smooth. Set aside.

Make the brownies. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the sugars and heat while stirring until hot to the touch, but not bubbling. Meanwhile, combine vanilla with espresso powder in a small bowl.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder, vanilla/espresso, salt, and baking powder. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Stir in the flour. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Dollop the tahini mixture on top. Lightly swirl into the brownie batter with an offset spatula or table knife. Bake for 28-30 minutes, until just set. 

Remove the brownies from the oven, place on a wire rack, and let cool completely in the pan. If desired, chill in the refrigerator for easier cutting. Cut the brownies using a bench scraper.

Tahini Swirl Brownies

Make them, and be sure to share a photo on Instagram and tag me! I want to see! 

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