Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Saturday, March 02, 2019

'This is proof that you love me', says the significant other as he relishes another bite with another sip of milk. And that says it all.

I do know my hubby so well and know that he really really likes chocolate chip ... er ... chocolate chunk cookies. Sure he'll have the PB cookies, the fancy sables, the chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips, but this ... this is what he goes gaga over. Soft, chewy, or crispy and crunchy ... the man isn't picky, so here I am, throwing another curveball at his favourite by adding tahini in it!

And he loved it. Didn't mind it one bit. Even declared it his favourite one so far. Wow! It really is good ... the tahini substituted all of the butter in the recipe and it lended the cookie so much depth and richness because of it's nuttiness.

I used raw (from unroasted sesame seeds) tahini, pictured above, from Everland because I thought it would bake better than tahini made with roasted sesame seeds.  The texture is akin to natural peanut butter, so you have some oil floating on top of the bottle, and have to give it a really good stir. And don't fret when the cookie dough doesn't come together like your regular chocolate chip cookies, it doesn't whip up light and fluffy with sugar unlike butter does, for one. But follow along and just trust that it will be amazing in the end.

Indeed the hardest thing in this recipe is to wait as it freezes. What? Yes, this isn't an instantly gratifying recipe. In fact not just this cookie, but all cookies benefit from a stint in the freezer. The flavours come out so much more beautifully.

Okay, if you don't believe me, bake a few immediately, freeze the rest, kinda instantly gratifying, but you get so much more deferred satisfaction!

255 g all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
227 g raw tahini
175 g granulated sugar
100 g brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tsp cold water
2 tsp vanilla extract
270 g bittersweet chocolate chunks (+/- 70% cocoa content)
2 tbsp Maldon salt flakes, to sprinkle on top

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set this aside.
2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the tahini and the sugars on medium low speed for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be still crumbly.
3. Add the eggs, cold water, and vanilla extract to the tahini mixture on medium speed. It will start to come together and look shiny and thick. Scrape down the sides as needed.
4. Fold in the flour mixture in two additions and mix on low speed until just combined.
5. Add the chocolate chunks, and mix until just combined.
6. Using a sturdy spatula, give a final mix to make sure the dough is rather homogenous.

7. Using a cookie scooper, portion out the dough and place the dough balls on a plastic plate, just a teensy bit apart, so they don't stick together. When the plate is full, place it in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes until the dough balls harden.
8. Place the frozen dough balls in a large ziplock bag and place it in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours.

9. Preheat the oven to 160C or 325F.
10. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the dough balls 2 inches apart.
11. Sprinkle with salt flakes and bake from frozen for 12-14 minutes until the sides turn golden brown.
12. Remove from the oven, let rest for 2 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Enjoy when warm!

Exhibit A ... three batches of chocolate chunk cookies in the freezer. Happiness is a well-stocked freezer ;)

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