Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

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There is many a purist who would firmly contend tampering with a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe in any way. A typical cookie is formed from varying quantities of butter, sugar, flour and egg, with some form of raising agent, and, of course, chocolate. However, contrary to traditionalists, the humble chocolate chip cookie is the most perfect vehicle to experiment with, using different kinds of sugar or chocolate, distinctly flavoured flours such as rye, or adding things like nuts and dried fruit.

In any ‘classic’ chocolate chip cookie I make, I always add vanilla bean paste, espresso powder and salt, all of which enhance the flavour of the chocolate. The same can be said for the ingenious addition of tahini to David Lebovitz’s recipe for these chocolate chip cookies. The tahini creates another layer of flavour, lending a very subtle bitter, savoury note to the dough. I think chopped dark chocolate works better than commercial chocolate chips here, as the larger piece melt into little chocolate puddles within each cookie. I’ve altered the baking temperature of Lebovitz’s recipe, as I found a shorter bake in a hotter oven made for a better texture. If you can bear the wait, refrigerating the dough overnight really does yield a far superior cookie.

Makes around 25 cookies

115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml tahini, well stirred
100g granulated sugar
90g light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
tsp sea salt
280g chopped dark chocolate 
flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

 

  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. 
  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 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. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 190ºC. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Form the cookies into balls using a small ice cream scoop, a tablespoon measure, or your hands.  Sprinkle each cookie ball with a little extra sea salt, if you like. Place them evenly spaced on the baking sheets, around 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 for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges but still pale in the centre. Remove from the oven 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. The unbaked dough can be refrigerated for up to one week, and frozen for up to two months.

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