This year the beginning of September and Labor Day happened to coincide with the temperatures dropping a good 20 degrees here in the DC area. It’s been close to 90 (and humid) most of summer, but the past few days its been more like low to mid 70s, and all of this combined means people are going crazy getting excited for fall.
Even I’m a little excited for fall, which is always a surprise for me because I start to shiver around 55 degrees. But around here we probably have at least two months before we have to endure temperatures below freezing, and for that I am happy. I can get behind some good pumpkin spice, squash, apple pastries and boots. And beautiful fall colors… yeah, okay, I’ll begrudgingly admit it: I like fall. Now I just need to get through what I’m sure will come next: the typical DC Indian summer.
In any case, I’m much more interested in cooking and baking now that the temperatures have fallen a little. I’ve been trying to find more recipes with tahini in them – I absolutely love it, and I find it to be the best alternative to peanut butter. Cashew and almond butter are way too different from peanut flavor-wise, but sesame packs a similar punch. I love it in sauces (like these fantastic otsu noodles or mixed with yogurt for these pita sandwiches), and of course in classic hummus.
But I also love tahini in sweets – enter: tahini cookies.
These tahini cookies are reminiscent of peanut butter cookies, and also of chocolate covered halvah. They are nutty and sweet, with a hearty amount of chocolate chips inside (if you prefer a less chocolatey cookie, you could cut the amount of chips in half). The sprinkling of salt on top is perfect with the decadent cookie below it. And you probably have all the ingredients in your house already (unless you need to get your hands on some tahini).
The cookie dough does require at least 12 hours to chill – so plan ahead! I promise it is worth it though.
- 4 ounces (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (120 ml) 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
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¾ cups (230 grams) chocolate chips
- Flaky salt (fleur de sel) or kosher salt
- In an electric mixer with paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together the softened butter, tahini, and sugar on medium speed until well mixed and lighter in color, 3-5 minutes. Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined, another 3-5 minutes.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt and whisk together thoroughly. Add this mixture to the butter mixture and slowly incorporate until everything is well mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough until well chilled, at least 12 hours (I did about 24 hours).
- After dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking matts. Scoop dough into large (2 or 3 inch) balls - I made 14 total cookies, but you can make 12-18.
- Place cookies onto the baking sheet, giving them plenty of room to spread out in the oven - about 3 inches.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center is still pale. In my oven, this took a full 20 minutes, but check as you go.
- Sprinkle each cookie with a small amount of salt after they come out of the oven, and let them cool for about 15-20 minutes before eating.
Recipe from The New York Times