They’re not your everyday chocolate chip cookies! These Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies sprinkled with Zahtar spice blend are a new twist on an old classic. This idea actually came to me as I offered to make some birthday cookies for a friend the other week. I thought about baking chocolate chip peanut butter cookies but then remembered I had a jar of Soom Tahini at home. I’ve been working on an easy hummus recipe so I’m finding all sorts of ways to use Tahini. It’s great in dressings and marinades and sauces but mostly I just like to eat it out of the jar.
By the time I started doing some research I found that Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies aren’t such an original idea. Evidently Danielle Oron is credited with the first published recipe in her cookbook Modern Israeli Cooking. Her version is vegan and gluten free and you can even buy a kit from her website right here. I’m really excited to see that she’s packaging Philadelphia’s Soom Tahini in her cookie kit! If you haven’t loved your tahini, it’s because you’re not using Soom.
I opted for a non-vegan, glutenified version of Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies. I found a David Lebovitz recipe for inspiration but made a few adaptations. I thought vanilla extract might be a little too sweet so I used some amaretto liquor. Rather than simply sprinkling salt atop the cookies as they were pulled from the oven, I used a Zahtar spice blend. Zahtar or Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend consisting of sesame seeds, sumac, salt, and other herbs. Aside from the tahini, this is the second special ingredient you must not omit. When shopping for chocolate, I choose a bitter sweet 72% cacao chocolate bar. This is a delicious not too sweet cookie. If you want to add a little more sweetness, use a sweeter chocolate with a lower percentage of cacao.
I shared most of the cookies with friends but saved a handful for myself. I enjoyed eating them right out of the freezer.
Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Zahtar
- 8 tbs butter
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tsp amaretto
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 280 grams bitter sweet chocolate
- Using an electric or stand mixer, beat butter, tahini, and sugar for 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and amaretto and beat for another minute to incorporate. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides occasionally.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in with the butter to form a batter.
- Chop chocolate in to smaller pieces no larger than one inch square.
- Fold in chocolate with the cookie dough. Place bowl with dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes to harden up.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Using a portion scooper, evenly space 2 inch rounds of dough on a lined baking sheet leaving room for expansion.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a pinch of Zahtar spice blend. Set the baking sheet aside and allow the cookies to rest for at least 10 minutes before removing.