Chocolate Chip Tahini Shortbread Cookies

Hold. the. phone. I know I have a lot of great chocolate cookie recipes on this site but these have definitely achieved legendary status.

The Tahini makes all the difference here in terms of texture making them delicate and buttery. It’s delicious too, subtly nutty (like me), not overpowering by any means and it ties in so well with all of the other flavours. The dark chocolate offers a rich intensity without being too sweet but what makes them really irresistible is the sesame and turbinado sugar cookie edge. As the cookies bake, the sesame seeds toast, becoming fragrant and flavourful, the demerara sugar is crispy and gives offers a pretty sparkle. And lastly, the flaky sea salt that enhances all of the flavours, heightening the experience.

The combination of toasted sesame, chocolate & tahini take the beloved Chocolate Chip cookie to new and exciting places flavourwise.

I have to mention 2 things before you dive in to this recipe. First, you will have to form the cookie dough into a log, refrigerate it for minimum 4 hours and then cut into rounds. They WILL break apart in places when you’re cutting them, regardless of your technique and this is because the chocolate chips get in the way of a smooth cut. You’ll see what I mean. Don’t panic if this happens. Just smoosh the cookie back together. When it bakes, it won’t show. For me, I find I get less breakage if I cut with a quick, short sawing motion. If you have a very sharp knife, it’ll be easier. If not, since the dough is on the soft side, it’s best to pop it into the freezer for around 20-30 minutes before cutting your cookies, it’ll help keep the dough together. Watch how I do it on Instagram! No matter what you do to get it right, it’s 100% worth the effort.

The second thing is when brushing the egg wash over your log of dough, make sure you brush on a thin layer. If you apply too much, the turbinado sugar coating will dissolve in spots and you won’t get that pretty, sparkly edge on your cookies.

I hope you do try them and love them as much as I do!

Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest’s Brown Sugar Tahini Shortbread

Chocolate Chip Tahini Shortbread Cookies

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  • 1/2 cup +2 tbsp salted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup pastry flour
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (or 50%-60% dark chocolate)
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup turbinado or demerara sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp sesame seeds
  • flaky sea salt such as Maldon salt, for sprinkling


  • In the large bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat brown sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed, 2 mins.
  • Add tahini and vanilla and beat 2 mins more.
  • Add both flours and mix on low until there are no more dry spots of flour, again scraping down the sides as you go. If the dough seems too soft and/or sticky add more all purpose flour as needed (max 1/4 cup).
  • Fold in chocolate
  • Turn the dough out onto a a large peice of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Using your hands, press dough together, so there are no air pockets and roll into a log that's about 12 inches long and 2 inches in diameter.
  • Wrap the dough log tightly with parchment (or plastic wrap) and refrigerate from 4 hours to 4 days. (I twist the ends of the parchment or plastic like a candy wrapper to ensure a tight fit.)
  • 20-30 minutes before you want to make your cookies. Pop the dough log into the freezer. (I found this helpful because the dough is quite soft and it's hard to cut into even disks, unless it's more solid)
  • Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Unwrap chilled dough and brush with the beaten egg.
  • Place the sesame turbinado sugar in a large dish (long enough for your dough). Combine with your hands.
  • Roll your dough log onto the mixture, pressing with your hands to make sure the dough is evenly coated.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut cookies into 1/2" rounds. The trick here is to use a very sharp knife, saw back and forth quickly while pressing down. The sawing motion will help cut through the chocolate chips without causing the whole cookie to crumble. Alternately, on Half Baked Harvest they say to cut in a quick forward motion but this did not work for me.
    If pieces crumble off, simply smoosh it back together to reform the cookie. It'll bake-up just fine! Re-roll the edges in the sugar/sesame mixutre if some of it has fallen off.
  • Place cookies about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden
  • Remove cookies from the oven and immediately sprinkle with flakey salt. (I concentrate on sprinkling the salt over the chocolate chips)
  • Let cookies cool for at least 10 minutes as they are quite delicate. Before storing them, make sure they cool completely at room temperature. It takes a while for the chocolate to set.
    They can be stored in an airtight container for 4 days.


Cookie dough can be frozen in the log shape or you can cut them, place them on a baking sheet and freeze them at that point for a quick sweet treat any time.
Recipe from: Half Baked Harvest – Every Day
Print Recipe
Chocolate Chip Tahini Shortbread Cookies

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