This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.
Hi Bold Bakers!
Today’s recipe for Chocolate Tahini Cookies was written by Dee, one of our Bold Baking Network experts, founder of One Sarcastic Baker. Check out some of her other wonderful recipes she’s shared as part of the Bold Baking Network like her Passover Cream Puffs, Spiced Apple Cake, and Hamantaschen Cookies!
Cookie season is upon us, and today I’m excited to share my absolute favorite — my Chocolate Tahini Cookies recipe!
The cookies are sweet, crumbly, melt-in-the-mouth tahini shortbread filled with dark chocolate ganache. The combination of sweet, nutty tahini and chocolate is a match made in heaven and a nostalgic flavor for me. Growing up, I was a picky eater with a very strong sweet tooth. My concerned mom used to “trick” me and would load my school sandwiches with chocolate spread and big chunks of halva (a fudge-like treat made with tahini.) Mom knows best; tahini is a good source of iron.
My mom got me started on my tahini and chocolate kick, and these tahini cookies with chocolate showcase this lovely pairing perfectly.
What Is Tahini? What Does Tahini Taste Like?
Tahini is a ground sesame paste that is very popular in middle eastern cuisine. Tahini looks like peanut butter, but it isn’t nearly as sweet. Plain tahini comes unflavored and can be seasoned with savory seasoning or mixed with sweeteners for desserts. It has a nutty taste which can be a bit bitter.
What is interesting about tahini is that it has a distinguished flavor and is high in fat. So when we incorporate it into our baked goods, it adds flavor and helps keep your desserts moist.
How To Make Chocolate Tahini Cookies
This recipe has two parts: the chocolate ganache filling and the tahini cookie dough.
To make chocolate ganache, I poured warm heavy cream over the chopped chocolate and stirred until smooth. Alternatively, you can skip this step and use Nutella (or any chocolate spread) if you prefer.
This is a one-bowl cookie recipe! Simply mix the dry ingredients, add the butter and the tahini, and then use your hands to blend the dough into a cohesive ball.
Assembling The Chocolate Tahini Cookies
There are two things to keep in mind when filling the tahini shortbread cookie with chocolate. First, you want to be sure you aren’t using more than one teaspoon of chocolate, and second, you want the chocolate to be firm enough to be pressed and rolled into the cookie dough. The best way to ensure that is to pre-scoop and refrigerate or freeze the chocolate.
I used a small cookie scoop for the ganache and a medium scoop for the dough. Here’s how you do it:
- Scoop the cookie dough and then press the pre-scooped chocolate ganache at the center of the dough.
- Pinch the dough to cover the ganache, then roll it between the palms of your hands.
- Gently press the dough into a ½-inch patty shape and place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Bake, turning the pan midway through to ensure an even bake.
- Once you remove the cookies from the oven, use a large cookie cutter to swirl the cookies between the edges of the cookie cutter to make them perfectly circular!
Tools You Need
Expert Tips For Making Chocolate-Filled Tahini Cookies
- Nutella does not set as firmly as chocolate ganache at room temperature. If you are using Nutella, or another chocolate spread, be sure to freeze the pre-scooped chocolate.
- Make sure your tahini is unflavored! You certainly don’t want to make these with garlic-flavored tahini.
- The more ganache added, the more the cookies will spread. I recommend you do a bake test and bake one cookie to ensure you have the ideal ratio before you fill and bake the rest of your dough.
- The cookies are great as a holiday gift, but they are too tender to be sent by mail or travel long distances.
How To Store Chocolate Tahini Cookies
You can store leftover cookies at room temperature for up to 5 days in a container covered with parchment paper but not sealed. You can freeze the cookies for up to 21 days. Make sure you line parchment paper between each layer of cookies and only pile up to 2 cookies to prevent sticking and losing their shape. Seal them in a freezer bag or an airtight container.
The Bold Baking Network
Bigger Bolder Baking is thrilled to introduce you to the Bold Baking Network, a team of talented chefs, creators, and experts looking to teach, entertain and help you on your baking journey. Here are more articles from our amazing collaborators!
Chocolate Tahini Cookies
For the Ganache
- ½ cup (80 g/3 oz) chopped semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (65%-85%)
- ⅓ cup (80 ml/3 fl oz) heavy cream
For the Cookies
- 2 ½ cups (300 g/11 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 g/7 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (224 g/8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup (160 g/6 oz) plain tahini
Make the Ganache
- Place the chopped chocolate in a deep, wide bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer, then pour it over the chocolate. Cover the bowl and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
- Using a spatula, gently stir the chocolate into the cream until you have a smooth ganache. Place in the fridge and allow the ganache to set for about 90 minutes.
- Using a small cookie scoop, scoop 18 balls of ganache over a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate while you prepare the cookie dough.
Make the Cookies
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the butter and tahini, and use your hands to mix it all until you have a cohesive cookie dough.
- Remove the ganache balls from the refrigerator. Use a medium-sized cookie scoop (holds 1 ½ tablespoons) to scoop the dough, then release the dough into your hand.
- Press a ganache ball into the center of each cookie dough, then roll it with your hands and seal the cookie dough.
- Press the dough to ½-inch thick rounds and place on the prepared sheet. Continue with the remaining dough and ensure 3 inches of space between each cookie.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until the edges are golden and the center does not appear raw. Remove from the oven and immediately use a large cookie cutter to swirl the cookies and give them a symmetric appearance.
- Allow the cookies to cool before serving. Store the cookies at room temperature. If stored in an airtight container, they might get soft, so consider that.