Hi friends! Have any of you ever been to Turkey? My mom and I are planning a girls trip there this spring and I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off to get everything organized for it. It’s so funny — when I worked a full-time corporate job, vacation planning seemed like a breeze. It seemed like everything came together fairly quickly and easily. In retrospect, I must have spent a lot of time actually planning for it at work (lol, as opposed to doing my real job, but shhhh don’t tell my old bosses). Because now that I’m spending 80% of my week in the kitchen, I barely found the time to book all our hotels and flights. But no matter — it’s done, and I got us a room in a cave hotel in Cappadocia where we will ride hot air balloons. So send me all your best recs pretty pleasssseee.
To prep for the trip, I watched that Turkish documentary about all the cats in Istanbul and got reallllly excited. I’ve also been spending a lot of time on Wikipedia reading about Turkish cuisine. I’m especially stoked about Turkish breakfasts (it seems their breakfast game is on point) and of course, Turkish desserts. Looks like there’s going to be a lot of dope baklava, kanafeh, milk pudding, and Turkish delights. For savory food, I’m looking forward to some epic kebabs, meze, and hummus spreads.
Speaking of hummus, let’s talk about these tahini cookies. I’ve been meaning to make Danielle’s recipe for tahini chocolate chip cookies for ages, and was recently reminded of them when Sarah brought a batch of her own version for us to taste in Vermont. They were absolutely delightful and caused the wheels in my head to start spinning: what would happen if they were made with black tahini instead?
Because black tahini is made with black sesame seeds, it has a stronger and more ashy flavor than regular tahini (which is made with white sesame seeds). Regular chocolate was a little too heavy and bitter — I ended up swapping it out for Valrhona’s dulcey white chocolate, which is sweeter and tastes a bit like dulce de leche. Valrhona makes some of the best chocolate in the world and are currently the only makers of dulcey chocolate; be sure to join my giveaway on Instagram to win a bundle of their chocolate!
A big thanks to Valrhona for providing me with the chocolate used in this recipe as well as the chocolate for the Instagram giveaway! I really do love Valrhona products and almost exclusively use their chocolate in my chocolate chip cookies — it makes a world of a difference.
- Black tahini is available online; in the past, I’ve also seen it available in the international section of Whole Foods. You can go ahead and make this recipe with regular tahini too, but your cookies will come out a completely different color and look more like regular chocolate chip cookies. Valrhona Dulcey feves are available online via their site or on Amazon; I occasionally see their feves in the bulk section of Whole Foods as well. In a pinch, you can substitute with white chocolate chips, but your cookies will taste different than mine — it’s worth sourcing out the Valrhona feves!
- This recipe, which is adapted from a combination of Danielle’s and Sarah’s, produces a really soft dough that’s a little hard to work with. Be sure to freeze the dough overnight, or it’ll be a little bit of a mess and spread out way too much. Just be sure to pat down each dough ball before baking since the cookies don’t actually spread that much on their own after they’ve been chilled. For extra big cookies like the ones you see in the photos, I used a 3 tablespoon cookie dough scoop to portion out dough balls and smooshed two of them together to create a mega 6 tablespoon sized ball of dough. This method resulted in 8 extra-large cookies; if you just use a 3 tablespoon scoop without the smooshing part, you’ll end up with 16 regular-sized cookies.
Black Tahini and Dulcey Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5.30 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick // 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) black tahini (see baker's notes for sources)
- 1/2 cup "tightly packed" (3.75 ounces) dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup (8 ounces) Valrhona Dulcey Chocolate feves
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/2 cup black tahini, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Lower the mixer speed to its slowest setting and add 1 large egg, beating until fully incorporated. Add 1 large egg yolk and 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extra, beating until fully incorporated. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Turn the mixer back on to its slowest setting. Add the dry ingredients (from the 1st step) in three parts, beating until the dry ingredients are just incorporated into the dough. Add 1 3/4 cup Valrhona feves and continue mixing on low speed until just incorporated throughout the dough.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Use a 3 tablespoon cookie dough scoop to portion out around 16 dough balls. Transfer to the sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap; transfer to the freezer to chill overnight.
- Once you're ready to bake the cookies, center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325 (F). Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and transfer the cookie dough balls to the sheet pans, leaving at least 3 inches apart between each ball. Bake for 15 minutes — because the cookies are dark, it can be hard to tell when they're finished. You want the edges to look a little darker and drier than the center. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cookies cool to room temperature completely on their sheet pans.