last June I posted a recipe for Fig Tahini and Dark Chocolate Cookies with Orange Peel (See here) that was a winning combo of flavors that’s been begging for a reinterpretation ever since. So here is yet another chocolate and tahini cookie recipe, this time paired with black walnuts. The idea may seem like a bit of a stretch, but ounce the aroma of molten dark chocolate scented with rye and black walnuts is wafting through the kitchen and glistening chunks of warm chocolate catch your eye as you pull the cookies out of the oven the threads that bind these flavors together are apparent. As with all baking there is always some chemistry involved, but once you’ve got that down you can let your intuitive impulses take flight!
A few words about tahini are in order. Tahini is a “butter” gleaned from ground hulled roasted sesame seeds that dates back 4000 years in Mesopotamia. Tahini has been used throughout the Middle East and Asia ever since. Tahini has an impressive nutrient profile and today is best known as an essential ingredient used in making hummus (See recipe here). Tahini is widely available in specialty stores and online.
The texture of tahini will vary depending on the oil content. Generally, the sesame oil will float on top of the solids, much like it does in a jar of unprocessed peanut butter. The oil should always be thoroughly stirred into the solids before use. For baking in particular, the oil content of tahini is critical. Too much oil will make the tahini quite thin, in which case some of the oil should be removed before stirring. The ideal consistency for baking purposes would be a consistency of thick molasses, neither too stiff nor too runny. Any oil removed can be reserved for other uses.
The quality of the chocolate you use for baking also matters. The better the quality the better the results. The dark chocolate I prefer for baking is Callebaut chocolate from Belgium. For this recipe I’ve used dark chocolate discs; 70% . Callebaut chocolates are an excellent choice known for their deep rich flavor, and stability whatever the application. Available online and well worth the investment if you love to bake!
Salted Dark Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies with Black Walnuts makes 18 cookies
- 4 oz/ 8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup well stirred tahini (as noted above)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup + 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ cup buckwheat flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup black walnuts, coarsely chopped
- flaked sea salt for finishing (optional
Place the butter, tahini, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix at medium speed for a few minutes until fluffy and well combined. Add the tahini and beat until combined.
Combine the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla in a small bowl and beat until combined. Add to the butter mixture and beat until just mixed in.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, rye flour, baking soda and salt and whisk until combined.
Begin slowly mixing the butter tahini mixture while adding the flour in three additions while continuing to mix until combined, but don’t over mix.
Then using a silicone spatula fold in the chocolate chips and the walnuts until evenly distributed through out the cookie dough. Mound the dough together and cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325 F / 160 c Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, using a tablespoon, scoop out a heaping mounds of dough and place them about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets; About 9 to a sheet.
Transfer the sheet of cookies to the preheated oven and bake for 12 to to 15 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet half way through the baking. The cookies will spread slightly while baking. The edges should be lightly browned and the centers just set. As always try not to over bake the cookies. They will appear to be very soft but will firm up as they cool on the baking sheet. Top with flaked sea salt (optional)
Ideally the cookies are best served at room temperature while the chocolate glistens and the texture of the cookies is soft and pliable.
Otherwise it is best to store in the cookies in an airtight container with parchment liners between layers in the refrigerator.