Tahini Is A Slept-On Ingredient For Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack
Chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

There aren't many treats that can top a fresh, warm chocolate chip cookie. They've got the right balance between sweet and savory, and they're usually a little bit crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. But there's always space for improvement on the classics, especially if you haven't tried making chocolate chip cookies with tahini. The savory paste made with pureed sesame seeds might not be the first ingredient most people think of when it comes to baking sweet treats, but don't sleep on it because it brings an earthy, nutty quality to your cookies that will make them extra irresistible.

Tahini is a very popular ingredient in lots of Middle Eastern dishes, but many Americans tend to only know it for the crucial role it plays in hummus or other savory dishes like tahini chicken thighs. If you think of tahini more like its cousins peanut, almond, and sun butter (which is made from sunflower seeds), it's really not so outlandish to see it pop up in a pastry. In fact, many cultures have been baking with tahini for generations -- it's time to give it a try.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Swap Out Some Of The Butter

Wooden bowl of tahini with sesame seeds
Wooden bowl of tahini with sesame seeds - Alexpro9500/Getty Images

Making chocolate chip cookies with tahini is not particularly complicated, but like anything with baking, you can't simply add some in without making other adjustments. Baking recipes are designed with leavening in mind, usually baking powder, so they need a particular amount of moisture and weight in order to rise properly. Since tahini is more like a fat than a liquid, the most logical place to make a substitution is for butter.

If you're an inexperienced baker, the best bet is to look for a recipe that's already figured out the proportions of tahini to butter in a cookie recipe. That way you won't go to the trouble of mixing up a whole batch of cookies only to get disappointing results. If you're a confident baker, however, you can try adding tahini to an existing chocolate chip cookie recipe by swapping it in for a portion of the butter. Many recipes swap up to half or more of the butter in a cookie recipe for tahini, but if you want to see how things taste before you fully commit you can sub butter one-for-one with a few tablespoons of tahini. If you're really not sure if you like the combination, try spreading a little bit of tahini on a baked cookie and taking a test bite, just like spreading some peanut butter on a brownie.

Troubleshooting Tahini

Chocolate chip cookie dough balls on a pan
Chocolate chip cookie dough balls on a pan - Cowlickcreative/Getty Images

Chocolate chip cookie recipes are pretty resilient, so if you stick to the one-for-one ratio of tahini for butter, your cookies should turn out pretty normal in shape and texture. With that said, there are some things to look out for.

Most importantly, make sure to use high-quality tahini that tastes good when you eat it right from the container. Lower-quality tahini is cheaper, and you can get away with using it for other recipes where it's more of a background component, but sharp, acrid tahini will show up front and center in a baked cookie. Also, don't use any varieties that are salted (check the label carefully), because your cookies will likely turn out unbearably salty. If you're not happy with store-bought options, you can easily make your own tahini.

Also, tahini isn't solid at room temperature like butter, so be sure to refrigerate the dough for at least two hours before you bake the cookies so that the fat has a chance to solidify. This will prevent your cookies from coming out super flat, and the insides will be moist and chewy. Once you get that first taste of your savory-but-sweet tahini chocolate chip cookies, you'll never make an ordinary, tahini-free batch again.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.