Monday, July 27, 2020

Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

Edd Kimber recently published his first cookbook, One Tin Bakes, not yet available in the USA. He recently posted a picture from one of the recipe sin it - Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. If I know anything about recipes, it is that cooks tend to "borrow" from one another, intentionally or not. So I went looking, and found that Julia Moskin had posted Danielle Oron's Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies in New York Times Cooking about two years ago, which was a very popular recipe. Between cookie form and bar form, I'd be surprised if these two recipes had any differences. I found that David Lebovitz had also played with the NY Times recipe and made a few tweaks to the sugars and chocolate component. I decided to use his recipe for Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies since it is available on his blog and isn't behind a pay wall.

One comment I saw frequently between David and Danielle's recipes was that people liked the dough more than the cookie itself, that the tahini flavor was not as apparent once the cookies were baked, etc. So I did some experimenting when I baked the cookies, like not adding salt to the top, or adding sesame seeds before baking. I found that my favorite of the three was just the plain cookie, no added salt or sesame. But the comments are also right in that the dough is pretty damn spectacular and I went with eating the dough rather than baking the cookies for probably half the batch. I'm not ashamed. I used bittersweet chocolate chips from Ghiradelli because it's what I had; David makes a big thing of using chocolate shards and I have no doubt those would be tasty, just not as easy for me to acquire.

(Salted) Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
(as adapted from Danielle Oron by David Lebovitz, please see his recipe for more recipe and ingredient information as well as other tips)
8 tablespoons (115g, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (120ml) tahini, well stirred
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (90g) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150g) flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 cups (280g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chunks, or chocolate chips
flaky sea salt (optional)
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, tahini, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until fluffy. (The dough can also be made in a large mixing bowl, stirred with a spatula.)
2. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Add the egg, the yolk, and vanilla, and continue to mix for another minute, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl during mixing, to make sure the eggs are getting incorporated.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and kosher or sea salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just combined, then add the chocolate chips. Do not overmix. Cover the dough and refrigerate overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
5. Form the cookies into rounds using an ice cream scoop, or your hands. For small cookies make each 1 1/2-inch (3,5cm), for larger cookies, make them 2-inches (5cm) round. Place them evenly spaced on the baking sheets, 3-inches (8cm) apart). Bake one sheet at a time, so you can keep an eye on them, in the middle rack of the oven.
6. Bake the cookies, turning the baking sheet in the oven midway during baking, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges but still pale in the center. For small cookies, about 12 minutes, for larger cookies, about 14 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle cookies with a bit of flaky sea salt, and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. Bake the remaining cookies the same way.
Storage: These cookies will keep for two or three days at room temperature, but are definitely better the same day they're baked. The unbaked dough can be refrigerated for up to one week, and frozen for up to two months.

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