So, you may or may not have seen the recipe in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago for salted tahini chocolate chip cookies, but it made kind of a splash on the internet via food bloggers, on Instagram, and amongst sweets-loving folks with whom I hang. I was totally intrigued, as I love a salted peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, and this NYT number seemed like that, save for tahini instead of peanut butter. However, despite having piqued my interest, I’m in this kind of crazy rut right now whereby I only want to make sweets from original recipes that I’ve developed. Silly, I know, as I am certainly missing out on a good many yummy treats, but that’s where I’m at, and so be it.In other words, although I couldn’t stop thinking about the New York Times’ salted tahini chocolate chip cookie, I also wasn’t about to go and make it. Instead I wondered about other cookies i could make with tahini and chocolate, and then it hit me: I could make the tahini version of a peanut blossom. Peanut blossoms, for the uninitiated, are petite peanut butter cookies with a milk chocolate kiss nestled on top. They are one of my all time most favorite cookies, introduced to me by my mother-in-law (whose recipe calls for shortening rather than butter, as do so many of the finest recipes straight out of the 1950s). I love the combo of peanut butter and chocolate, but what I REALLY love is the combo of peanut butter and MILK chocolate. And I was pretty sure that I’d love the combo of tahini and milk chocolate, too.I knew the cookie portion of my tahini blossom would need to have a strong tahini flavor, a real chewiness, and the right balance of sweet and salty. I went for melted butter for flavor and for chewiness, a bit of oil because of this peanut butter cookie recipe (a recipe that i snipped from gourmet 100 years ago, and one that has inspired all my nut butter cookies since), bread flour for chewiness, more brown sugar than white because its delicious, and lots of kosher salt and vanilla. I made sure to add more tahini than might seem right, rolled the dough into balls, rolled said balls in sugar, and place them in the freezer until frozen solid (this helps prevent spreading).
After the rest, and prior to baking, I sprinkled a bit of Maldon sea salt over the tahini blossoms and baked them for the bare minimum (ie: 10 minutes) for extra chewiness insurance. I popped them from the oven and promptly placed a kiss in the center of each one. Delish, peeps, that’s all I’ll say.
tahini blossoms (aka: chewy tahini cookies sealed with a milk chocolate kiss)
- 1 cup 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 stick melted butter cooled slightly
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar plus extra for rolling the balls of dough
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 yolks
- 3/4 cup tahini
- maldon sea salt for sprinkling
- 36 hershey's milk chocolate kisses foil wrappers removed
- in a medium sized bowl, whisk the first four ingredients together until fully incorporated. set aside.
- in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the melted butter, the oil, the two sugars, and the vanilla, and mix on medium until well incorporated, about three minutes.
- add the egg and yolks all at once, and mix on low until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
- add the tahini, and mix again on medium until incorporated, scraping the bowl as needed. add the dry ingredients all at once, and mix on low until some unincorporated bits of flour remain. remove the bowl from the mixer and continue to mix by hand, until all of the flour is incorporated.
- if the dough is not too wet, roll it immediately into 1 Tbsp balls and roll the balls in granulated sugar. if the dough is too wet to roll (which will likely be the case if your tahini was runny) place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or so, until the dough has hardened enough that you can roll it into balls. place the sugared balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and place the sheet in the freezer for several hours, until solidly frozen.
- preheat the oven to 350 degrees, place 12 cookies on a fresh parchment lined cookie sheet and sprinkle them each with a few flakes of maldon sea salt. bake for 10 minutes, rotating the sheet after 5. the cookies ill be just lightly browned when they are ready. immediately upon removing the sheet from the oven, place a hershey's kiss in the center of each cookie. let cool completely (or don't) before eating.
PLEASE don't over bake these - there is a tiny window wherein they go from chewy to not, and i don't want you to miss it.
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