Smoked Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies

With fewer people to share my bakes with these days, I’ve been cutting way back on my baking. However, sometimes you find a recipe too intriguing to not try – like Smoked Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I quickly contacted some friends to see if they would be game for a cookie drop off, and once I had the affirmative, I jumped right into baking.

This recipe was met with positive reviews all around. They were all gone after the first day and I even received a couple of texts letting me know that they’d be interested in having more cookies if I felt like making a second batch. Overall it was a pretty easy recipe, and I will definitely be tucking this one away for future use – maybe for something like holiday cookie boxes?

150 g unsalted butter, cubed
250 g light brown sugar
80 g granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla bean extract
1/8 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke (optional)
150 g tahini, smooth and runny
180 g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
225 g dark chocolate or smoked dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Smoked salt, fleur de sel or flaked salt, for finishing

1. Place the unsalted butter into a medium sized saucepan set over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Pour the melted butter into a large mixing bowl and add in the light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Whisk until well combined. Add in the egg and whisk until glossy. Add in the vanilla bean extract, hickory liquid smoke (if using), and tahini. Whisk until well combined, about a further minute. Set the bowl aside.

2. In a separate medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. Add half of the dry ingredients into the bowl with the butter and sugar mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix until just combined (some dry flour pockets should remain). Add in the remaining dry ingredients, again, mix until just combined. Fold in the dark chocolate chunks until evenly incorporated throughout the dough. Cover the bowl with a layer of plastic wrap and set it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

4. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 180 c (350 f). Line three large baking sheets with non-stick parchment paper.

5. Using a small cookie scoop, or a generous tablespoon as a measure, roll out as many balls out of the dough as possible. Arrange the dough balls evenly amongst the baking trays, then, sprinkle over a little of the smoked salt.

6. Bake, for 10 to 12 minutes. Half-way through baking, open the oven door and raise the cookie sheet by a few inches (The cookies should be beginning to puff in the middle). Use a little force to tap it against the oven rack, so that the cookies deflate slightly. You should see the chocolate begin to spread. Close the oven door and let the cookies bake and inflate again, for a further minute. Again, repeat the raising and tapping process above for a total of 2 more times. The cookies should be just crisp around the edges, and the middles should be beginning to set with chocolate puddles throughout. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on their baking trays for 10 minutes, before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to further cool slightly, before serving.

* These were good cookies. Not “the best”, but I’d definitely make them again. The nutty tahini flavor was perfection with the smoked sea salt, and even though I think I’d like less chocolate if I were to make these myself alone, the semi sweet chunky definitely provided a lovely sweet counterpoint.
* Do NOT skip or cut the chill time. I actually let my mix sit in the fridge for 45 minutes since the kitchen was so warm. If you don’t you’ll end up with flat overly crisp cookie puddles, that tahini wants to spread and we gotta keep it in check.
* These are great cookies if you know someone who is a picky eater. As long as they like peanut butter, they’ll love these. Very similar flavor profile, but it sounds far more glamorous.

About Julie

My name is Julieanna Bucior, but I go by Julie (unless I'm in trouble). I'm thirty one. I am a bookkeeper by day, rogue fashion designer/crafter/amateur baker by night. I spend most of my time feeling like a kindergartner trapped inside an adult's body. I love reading, hanging out with my crazy cats and being silly. I'm pretty much the girl next door, with a twist.