Salted Chocolate Tahini Cookies

Updated: Sep 1, 2019

Chewy, decadent cookies - celiac safe & paleo!

You know those decadent 3 (4 or 5) ingredient peanut butter cookies that have been traversing the internet and cookbooks for several years, the ones that became the mainstay of gluten free offerings in hip neighborhood bakeries everywhere? I used to bake them as extra large cookie sandwiches; spread with a thick middle layer of decadent chocolate ganache. We couldn’t keep them in the shop, customers pre-ordered. The classic peanut butter and chocolate combination we all seem to crave. I read about Ovenly’s variation on the recipe in Smitten Kitchen. Powerful Magic. There is only one thing to do when a craving hits hard and you’re out of PB (okay, two things-but one requires leaving the comfort of home). This is my version made with tahini instead of peanut butter, I've added coca powder for stability and because it's chocolate, of course. It’s a keeper.

According to my quick internet search sesame seeds were originally cultivated about 3,500 years ago just for their oil. Tahini is lower in sugar and saturated fat and higher in fiber than peanut butter (that's impressive since peanuts are actually a legume) and was introduced to American health food stores in 1940. I mention this because I made batches of these cookies using different tahini with vastly differing results. There can be abundant oil to solids ratio depending on the brand, or even within the same brand, so tahini will never be as thick as peanut or almond butters, and this can affect our cookies. 

Find a tahini that is not terribly runny, one that stays emulsified for a while after being stirred and accept that oil will spread out of these cookies as soon as you begin spooning them on to parchment covered baking sheets (and definitely use parchment). You will be rewarded with tahini and chocolate cookies with a candy-like crunch and supremely gratifying chewiness and may have to hide them. 

Salted Chocolate Tahini Cookies

Makes 20-24 cookies

Requires 30 minutes freezing time before baking. 

  • 1-1/2 cups well stirred tahini

  • 2 eggs, whisked

  • 1-1/2 cup coconut sugar or light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cups cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp salt (unless tahini is salted) 

  • Maldon flaked salt for topping 


  • Whisk all the ingredients together, using a stand or hand mixer, until thoroughly combined.

  • Freeze the bowl of cookie batter for at least 30 minutes.

  • Pre-heat oven to 350* and ready two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Remove dough, you may see oil beginning to pool, no need to stir it in, we want as little oil as possible in the cookie dough.

  • Scoop dough using a tablespoon sized cookie scoop or measuring spoon. Place evenly on baking sheets. 10-12 per sheet.

  • Bake 10 minutes then rotate sheets (bottom to top racks and front to back). Bake an additional 6-8 minutes. They may spread, sort of like lace cookies, ignore the pooling of oil.

  • Remove and let cool completely before eating. Okay, eat one, but it will fall apart. 

Chewy decadence, paleo and celiac safe.  Noteworthy: 

Make sure the tahini is thoroughly stirred before measuring out 1-1/2 cups; the thinner the tahini the oozier the cookie. Using regular or brown sugar will change the overall texture, not bad, just different.