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Tahini cookies recipe

Tahini cookies recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Biscuits and cookies
  • Cookies

A buttery cookie dough is embellished with tahini for a rich and moreish result. Try sprinkling the biscuits with sesame seeds before baking for a nice decorative touch.

3 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 4 dozen cookies

  • 225g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120g tahini
  • 155g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:15min ›Extra time:15min cooling › Ready in:40min

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and tahini, mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, then stir into butter mixture. Drop onto an ungreased baking tray in tablespoon-sized pieces.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until they turn golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool on the baking tray 10 to 15 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(32)

Reviews in English (24)

by Bayouannie

I loved this cookie! Tender, flavorful, perfect texture. Tahini is an acquired taste, but isn't too overpowering in this recipe. Like others, I found that the cookies will fall apart if you handle them while they're still hot. Rather than use a wire cooling rack, I used a grill pan to cool them on. They fall through the wire rack. If you allow the full cooling time, they hold together fine.-08 Mar 2008

by thekaeveretts

This recipe, as is, is GREAT. The cookies are light and delicate. I did have to add some extra flour (about 1/4 c).A friend of mine from Syria loved them, but for my kids, while the cookies were warm, I sifted a very little bit of powdered sugar on top.DELICIOUS enough for tea or church function.-29 Jan 2008

by your mom

We made these according to the recipe, and they were awesome. The texture is similar to peanut butter cookies, but without the peanut flavor.-07 Mar 2007

Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup tahini, well stirred
  • 1/2 cup white sesame seeds, or a combination of black and white, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line four baking sheets with parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in tahini. Reduce speed to low beat in flour mixture until just combined. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Spread sesame seeds on a shallow dish. Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough roll into a ball. Roll in sesame seeds until thoroughly coated, then transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks let cool completely.

Tahini Cookies Ingredients

These vegan tahini cookies are SO easy to make, and they only require a handful of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tahini – The main event! It binds the cookie dough together, and it fills the cookies with nutty, buttery flavor. – Like in my blueberry muffin and banana bread recipes, almond flour gives these cookies an amazing moist texture. It also plays nicely off the nutty flavor of the tahini, and it’s totally gluten-free!
  • Pure maple syrup – I love its complex sweetness in these cookies. No refined sugar here!
  • Spices – Cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger fill these cookies with warm, spiced flavor that tastes lovely with the nutty tahini.
  • Almond extract – It highlights the rich flavor of the almond flour. If you don’t have almond extract, use double the amount of vanilla extract in its place.
  • Baking powder – It makes them tender and puffy. – They make these tahini cookies pretty and festive, and they add bursts of sweet/tart flavor (and antioxidants, too!).

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

This is a super easy one-bowl recipe. Just mix the dough (no fancy electric mixer required!), scoop them, and lightly flatten them (they won’t spread too much in the oven).

And decorate them! I can’t get over the little ruby red gems. These make me so happy!

Pop them in the oven, and bake until they’re lightly golden brown. Enjoy!

Perfect Sesame Tahini Cookies: the Taste & Texture

These sesame tahini cookies are bursting with just the perfect amount of nutty tahini flavor and buttery-rich notes. The natural bitterness of tahini has been soothed and balanced out with the creaminess of almond butter.

Imagine sesame tahini cookies that are crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, with a crisp sesame coating for a flair of crunch. These vegan tahini cookies bake up nice and big—just the perfect portion size!


I’d give it 0 forks if I could. This recipe was beyond dry and crumbly, and ultimately flavorless and inedible. I made multiple attempts to fix it up after the first batch (having followed the recipe to a T). Second time around I added some sesame oil and a little more tahini paste which improved the texture and flavor but not enough to make them worthwhile. These cookies are great in theory but fail in reality. Dusty sand texture and no flavor.

Despite the negative reviews, I decided to take a chance on these, but with only moderate expectations. I took the advice of other reviewers and added an egg, decreased the salt to 1/4 tsp, and nearly doubled the sugar. I baked them at 325 for 17 minutes. I was a little worried during the baking because they pooled quite a bit of fat. However, after letting them cool, I thought they were great. They were not dry, and were very flavorful. They do taste mostly of tahini, so if you don't really like the flavor of tahini then you will not like this cookie. This is a very "adult" cookie. It's not very sweet, even after I doubled the sugar. I would never serve this cookie to a child, or even a picky adult. So, with some modifications, if you love tahini and you know what you are getting into, you should give this cookie a try. If you don't love tahini, don't make them.

I added an egg (and reduced the salt), as another reviewer suggested, and it was still a little too dry, and it lacked in flavor (perhaps add a bit more sugar?). They were better when had with tea, but still, I won't be making again.

Despite the negative reviews, I decided to make these cookies and they were lovely! I added an egg and reduced the salt to 1/4 tspn and I added a bit more sugar too. It made the dough more sticky so it was a bit tricky to roll them into balls. But with wet fingers, I managed. I also cooked them for less time. I think a lower temp might be the answer. They turned out so yummy. They had a lovely crunch when you bit in and then a subtle sweet and nutty flavor. The texture was moist and shortbready/cakey if that makes any sense. Perfect with a cup of tea! They were a big hit with my family - husband was dubious as he doesn't like tahini. 8 year old and grandma loved them too. I will definitely make these again.

Be prepared with a glass of milk when you eat these cookies. They are as dry as the Sahara. And they never came together for me as stated in the recipe. I had to squeeze them to form the balls. I wonder if the folks at Bon Appetit actually tested these out before making up a recipe? They have good flavor, but just way too dry. I even added water to mixture. Maybe an egg would help? Not my favorite. Won't make again.

While I love the flavor, I have to agree with the other reviewers -- the dough did not form into a ball the way the recipe stated it was dry and crumbly to the point I had to add extra tahini and almond oil just so I could form it into balls and get the seed/sugar mixture to adhere. Even then, the finished product was quite dry. I'm not sure whether my tahini was at fault, or if the recipe just hadn't been sufficiently tested.

Flavorless and horrible texture. My 14 year put it best, "Mom, I feel like I just ate sand." She did not mean it like delightful sandie cookies. Sad they all got dumped in the trash :(. My other daughter asked me to put this on the never ever ever make again list.

I agree with wanchan. These cookies were quite dry, and I cooked them far less than the time called for because they were quite brown. Maybe a lower oven temperature? I loved the flavor.

Delicious flavor, but quite dry. Needs a glass of milk or something. Also, I followed the recipe exactly as written, but the dough wouldn't stick together making for crumbly, delicate cookies.

Use this recipe as an alternative to peanut butter cookies for those with allergies. Crispy with a strong nutty flavor. I used regular sesame seeds since black seeds are hard to find. Note, the raw sugar burns easily on the bottom-side, so use parchment paper or Silpat and watch the cook time.

Tahini Cookies

Yield Makes 36 (2 1/2-inch) cookies

  • shellfish-free
  • kidney-friendly
  • fish-free
  • alcohol-free
  • low-potassium
  • vegetarian
  • peanut-free
  • pork-free
  • pescatarian
  • tree-nut-free
  • soy-free
  • red-meat-free
  • Calories 271
  • Fat 13.6 g (20.9%)
  • Saturated 5.8 g (28.8%)
  • Carbs 35.4 g (11.8%)
  • Fiber 1.3 g (5.1%)
  • Sugars 23.2 g
  • Protein 3.7 g (7.3%)
  • Sodium 141.1 mg (5.9%)


(1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

coarse-grain sugar, such as demerara


Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl set aside. Cream the butter, tahini, and brown and granulated sugars together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, return the mixer to medium speed, and mix until completely incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and the paddle.

Return the mixer to low speed and slowly add the flour. Stop the mixer when almost all the flour is incorporated, then use a rubber spatula to incorporate the last of it by hand. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until starting to firm up, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. (If you don't have 3, you can reuse baking sheets and parchment, just let the baking sheet cool completely between uses). Place the coarse sugar in a shallow, wide bowl or pie plate.

Scoop the dough by level tablespoons and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the sugar to lightly coat. Place the dough balls on the baking sheets 2 inches apart, 12 per baking sheet. Using the back of a fork, flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick with a criss-cross pattern.

Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies are a light golden-brown around the edges and on the bottoms, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse flour, pine nuts, powdered sugar, tahini, butter, and salt in a food processor until dough forms a ball around blade.

Step 2

Mix black sesame seeds and demerara sugar in a small bowl. Form dough into 1” balls and roll in sesame seed mixture. Place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, spacing 2” apart, and flatten slightly. Bake cookies until lightly golden, 20–25 minutes.

How would you rate Tahini Cookies?

Made as per instructions but dough wouldn't bind. Added an egg and worked out pretty good. Baked for 20 mins and final result was slightly dry, slightly crunchy very nice cookies. Will rate as 3 because that is where the recipe is but with the added egg probably 4.5 star

I am pleased with the end result. They're basically halva in cookie form, so if you like that, you'll enjoy these. They are also very visually striking, and not too sweet. But two major things are wrong with this recipe as written: 1. Don't put all the ingredients in the food processor together. Grind the nuts, salt, flour, and sugar first, then add the tahini and butter for a much smoother dough. 2. The listed bake time is WAY too long for a butter cookie, and will result in dry, nearly burnt cookies that aren't very appealing. I recommend baking for just 12-15 minutes, which is enough to set them all the way through without going over.

Lovely savory and slightly sweet cookies. Super easy to make.

I’ve been looking forward to making these cookies for weeks, but they were terrible. I followed the recipe to the T, but the dough never really came together well and just fell apart. I tried a second batch and added sesame oil and a little extra tahini paste - this time the dough came together, but the finished texture was still inedible. The original batch tasted like a flour ball the second had a mild sesame flavor, but were altogether unimpressive. So disappointing.

Cookies step by step

  1. In a deep bowl, add browned butter and beat until fluffy then add sugars. Beat sugars and butter together until combined.
  2. Pour in tahini, egg and vanilla extract and beat.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the tahini mixture gradually.
  4. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon until you have a consistent soft dough. Cover directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
  5. Scoop the dough with a small ice cream scoop and roll into a ball.
  6. Press the dough lightly into sesame seeds to cover.
  7. You can also add some chocolate chip cookies to make chocolate chip tahini cookies.
  8. Arrange on a baking sheet 2-3 inches apart as they spread. Bake in a preheated oven until the edges are light brown while the middles are paler.
  • Brown butter in light-colored pan, this is very important especially if you are a beginner.
  • Brown the butter on medium heat to ensure even melting and browning, do not be tempted to put it on high.
  • To speed up solidifying the butter place on a baking sheet in a single thin layer. Your butter will take way less time to solidify.
  • If you keep your dough in the fridge for too long it will be rock hard. That's ok, just take it out and let it come to room temperature.
  • For more Halva flavor up the tahini to 3/4 cup.
  • Chocolate chip is really up to you, use whatever variety you like.
  • It is important to allow them room to spread. Sesame tahini cookies do spread to almost double the size.
  • Sprinkle top with some sea salt for the perfect sweet and salty cookies.
  • For a large flat cookies form your dough into 2 inches cookies for a chubby one like the chocolate chip above form into 1 1/2 inches.

Tahini Cookies

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 25 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients US Metric

  • 2 cups ground almonds (blanched or unblanched also sometimes labeled almond meal do not substitute almond flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Slightly generous 1/2 cup honey (or substitute maple syrup for vegan)
  • 3/4 cup tahini (sometimes labeled sesame paste)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (yep, tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup sliced or roughly chopped almonds or pistachios (raw or roasted)


Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) if you prefer chewier, softer cookies or 375ºF (191ºC) if you prefer slightly crisper, more well-done cookies. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds, salt, and baking powder.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the honey, tahini, and vanilla until everything is completely combined and the mixture has begun to thin a little, 4 to 6 minutes.

Pour the contents of the saucepan into the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir with a spoon or mix with your hands until everything is combined and a dough forms. The dough should come together easily and feel quite warm and soft and squishy. Refrigerate the mixture for 10 minutes so that it firms slightly.

Pinch off about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll it into a 1-inch (2.5-cm) ball. Place it on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the blobs of dough about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. If a flatter and somewhat crisper cookie is desired, use the tines of a fork to gently flatten the dough. Sprinkle with sliced or chopped almonds or pistachios, gently pressing the nuts into the dough so the don’t fall off during baking.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. The cookies will puff a little during baking but will flatten somewhat during cooling. Watch carefully so that the bottoms don’t overbrown. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets on wire racks. If you can, store the cookies in an airtight container.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Anna Scott

We adored these tahini cookies. Seriously, I watched one of our dinner guests eat 4 in a row! The flavor of toasted tahini and almonds with the richness of vanilla and the natural sweetness of honey. swoon. The flavor was amazing—especially for a gluten-free cookie. I didn't find that the cookies spread very much at all they smelled toasty and delightful while cooking and resembled peanut butter cookies when taken from the oven. Overall, a great recipe. The first time I made these, I used an oven temperature of 375°F. But we all found the cookies to be too dense and not chewy enough once they cooled. So I remade them. And boy what a difference a lower oven temperature made. This time I baked them on the middle rack in a preheated 350°F oven for 8 minutes. Took them out of the oven and let them rest for about 10 minutes. I am munching on one now (and am contemplating a second. )! They are fabulously chewy this time and perfectly cooked. Golden brown on the bottom and super flavorful and the texture of a perfectly baked peanut butter cookie. They are fabulous.

Jennifer Combs

Tahini gives these gluten-free, vegan cookies a depth of flavor not offered by nut butters. Ground sesame seeds are nutty in flavor with a subtle bite. This bite, though wonderfully present, is tempered by the addition of almond flour and raw honey. They’re great paired with a cup of tea or hot coffee or, grabbed on the go, these cookies are a wonderful snack. Since sesame seeds provide a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, they’re almost guilt-free. Raw pistachios were good although I preferred chopped, lightly salted, roasted almonds. The crunch was sensational. The cookies stored well and I actually enjoyed them better after they rested overnight in an airtight container. I preferred the flavor and texture. They were uniformly soft and chewy (but not underbaked) from edge to center and the tahini flavor further mellowed. I stored the cookies in an airtight container. The nuts on top provided the necessary texture contrast that really elevated these cookies.

Chiyo Ueyama

We became instant fans of these tahini cookies! They’re delicious, full of sesame aroma, and satisfyingly chewy—almost like macaroons. They’re packed with protein and good fats and having one as a mid-afternoon snack would easily hold you over until dinner. The recipe is super easy and you can bake all the cookies at once. I put both baking sheets in the oven on the lower and higher racks and swapped the sheets after 5 minutes of baking.

Lou Ann Traster

These tahini cookies are unsweet in a pleasant, side-of-the-saucer sort of way. Preparing these is simple. And the payoff? Each two-bite treat is rich with almonds and bitter with tahini that’s almost tempered by the honey. It doesn't take a sophisticated palate to like these little gems although marketing these as a “cookie-shaped afternoon snack” is the way to go as it’ll scare off those disappointed by anything other than a familiar factory-made confection. I quickly polished off 5 before leaving the kitchen. Instead of pistachios, I topped with a slivered almond (I like the decoration to match the ingredients). I'd love to experiment with alternate flavors for these—maybe some orange zest or cardamom.

Shantel Wolfe

These cookies are hearty, salty, and satisfying. It's crazy how similar the wet mixture resembles a cookie dough made of butter and brown sugar. The dough was laughably easy to throw together with minimal ingredients and almost no mess. Although incredibly oily, the dough does crack easily when rolled into balls. The dough doesn’t spread out well and remains rather clumped. I would recommend completely flattening the cookies to your desired size with a fork before baking.

Irene Seales

I had high hopes for these and I was not disappointed. Delicious and slightly savory. The tahini and honey come together almost like a caramel or butterscotch with gentle heating, and when mixed with the almond flour, the dough comes together like a moist playdough, pulling cleanly off the bowl in a few minutes. At 8 minutes, the cookies were perfect. Do NOT overbake these! One pan stayed in the oven an extra minute and they were a bit overdone although totally edible. Love having this vegetarian- and protein-friendly cookie to share. If you keep your almond flour in the freezer, like I do, just sift it into the bowl with the baking powder and salt and you can make sure the lumps are gone. For the tahini, it tends to separate whether it's from a brand new jar or one that's been opened and kept in the fridge, so take a few minutes to stir it thoroughly before measuring it. It's an excellent example of an unusual set of ingredients that yield something really good. My honey was a mixture of clover and mesquite.

Deborah Wallace

Use tahini paste in a cookie? I guess there are more seemingly bizarre combinations. But I had to try this one and was really pleasantly surprised. The cookies are indeed chewy as advertised as well as surprisingly filling with a mild, moderately sweet flavor. The tahini, almonds, and honey provided recognizable taste notes without any being dominant. In the case of the tahini, the flavor is there but doesn’t trigger a sense that these should be savory instead of sweet, and the 2 tablespoons of vanilla are absolutely necessary to help accomplish that by bringing each of the elements together into a pleasurable bite that could easily double as a protein bar for its ability to satisfy both one’s sweet tooth and one’s desire for a pick-me-up after exercise. I used roasted salted pistachios, which played really nicely off the sweeter flavors and amped up the cookie. These cookies came together in a breeze.

Monica L. Helton

These chewy tahini cookies are packed with protein from nuts and seeds and are mildly sweetened with honey so you can feel good about having these anytime of day (and that, in my opinion, includes breakfast). I love the texture of these cookies, which was reminiscent of a thicker, chewier Florentine lace cookie.

Hillary Hawkins

This tahini cookies recipe is a great recipe for people who love tahini. The texture is nice and chewy and the cookies aren’t too sweet. They make a great afternoon snack with a cup of milky tea. If you love tahini, this recipe is a winner. However, a couple tasters who are very sensitive to bitterness were not the biggest fans of these.


If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Love this recipe! If you like the unique taste of tahini butter (or even if you don’t and are looking for a way to use it up) then this is a great treat. Tahini and honey are perfect together! The texture is a little strange if you’re expecting a crumbly cookie-it’s a little chewy- but the texture grows on you. It’s not for everyone but definitely give it a try!

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup well-stirred tahini
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds (preferably hulled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon gold or silver luster dust (optional)

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then beat in tahini and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing until a crumbly dough forms. Transfer dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a disk. Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Stir together sesame seeds and luster dust (if using) in a small bowl.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll balls 1 at a time in seeds to coat and arrange 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are puffed and starting to crack, 12 to 15 minutes total. Cool on sheets 10 minutes (cookies will be very fragile when hot), then transfer from parchment to a rack to cool completely.

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