Jumping on the tahini bandwagon, here is my tweaked version of a peanut butter cookie – chunks of white chocolate at play with nutty tahini. Tahini, or sesame seed paste, is an easy substitute for peanut butter. It's texture and flavor profile are very similar. The best tahinis are made from Ethiopian Humera sesame seeds, which are known for their richness in flavor. Seed + Mill, here in New York, and Soom both use Ethiopian seeds in their tahini recipes. I purchased Soom via Amazon.
White Chocolate Sesame Cookies
(makes approx. 16 cookies)
1 ¼ cups (175 g) White chocolate
1 stick + 1 tbs (125 g) Unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (90 g) Dark brown sugar
1 tsp (6 g) Fine sea salt
½ cup (125 g) Tahini paste
1 tbs (12 g) Vanilla extract
1 (50 g) Large egg
1 2/3 cups (250 g) All-purpose flour
½ tsp (3 g) Baking powder
½ tsp (3 g) Baking soda
4 tbs (35 g) Sesame seeds, preferably natural
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line two baking sheet pans with parchment paper.
Chop the chocolate into chunks, about ¼-inch in size. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, dark brown sugar and salt on medium speed for approximately two minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the tahini paste to the bowl. Beat on medium speed for about one minute more, in order to incorporate the tahini. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, and then add the vanilla and egg to the bowl. Beat for one more minute. Then add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Add the white chocolate and mix again on low speed until the chocolate is evenly dispersed.
Place sesame seeds in a small bowl. Scoop the dough into portions (50 g each or about 2 tbs), round into balls and then dip each ball into the sesame, pushing a bit to get the sesame seeds to adhere.
Place balls onto prepared baking sheets and flatten to about 3" in diameter. Leave approximately one inch between cookies. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating half-way through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.