Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie?
That question doesn’t even register in my house where you'll always find some sort of chocolate… or cookie… usually both.
Can you blame us? From Tate's to Newman's to the beloved Barefoot Contessa's Chocolate Chunk recipe, I’m going to put myself out there and say that the chocolate chip cookie is one of America’s greatest innovations, and I’m always down to experiment with new versions.
If you’re not already familiar with tahini, it’s essentially sesame seeds that have been soaked, toasted, and ground into a creamy paste. You’ll find it in a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, and it’s often one of the main ingredients in hummus. However, a few months ago, the internet started going crazy about using tahini in desserts. From salted caramels to silky chocolate spreads to buttery shortbread, the multi-purpose paste finagled its way into the other end of the conversation with good reason. It’s buttery, delicious, and pairs beautifully with anything sweet.
This phenomenon led me to dedicate an entire Pinterest board to tahini-infused dessert pins, and it’s no surprise that the main star was chocolate chip cookies. I started with Danielle Oron and David Leibovitz’s recipes, but wanted to try to make something a bit healthier. That’s when I stumbled upon Nicole Modic a.k.a. Kale Junkie’s Life Changing Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies. Nicole’s ingredients were clean and the result was DELISH, but for me, a few things were missing, so I set out on a mission to make my own perfect rendition.
Slightly crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Salted with a hint of vanilla. Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, paleo, and minimal sugar.
Technically speaking, they are “healthy” cookies, but just like any other dessert, you probably shouldn’t eat the whole batch in one sitting. Although, all I have to say after you try these bad boys is GOOD LUCK!
I’ve probably baked over 20 batches to get them juuuuust right, so a huge thanks to my friends and family for enduring multiple taste tests and providing valuable feedback. I can only imagine what a trying time it must have been for you all. :)
1 cup tahini (I use Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (the real stuff!)
3 tablespoons aquafaba* (1 can of chickpeas - see below for details)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond flour (I use the blanched version from Trader Joe’s because it’s a finer grain)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup Lily’s baking chips (These are my all-time favorite baking chips. They’re vegan and sweetened with stevia, so no-sugar. You can get them at Whole Foods and a few other places… check their website for local carriers. You can also use Enjoy Foods brand or regular MINI chocolate chips if you don’t want vegan / low-sugar option).
1-2 tsp sea salt flakes for sprinkling on top ( I use Maldon)
*Aquafaba is the liquid that’s in a can of chickpeas. Sounds gross, but it’s an excellent substitute in vegan baking, and doesn’t taste like anything! Other egg substitutes include flax “eggs” and chia “eggs”, but I found they don’t work as well in this recipe because they change the texture of the cookie, making it too gritty.
Stir tahini well to combine any oil that is at the top of the jar. Pour stirred tahini and maple syrup into electric mixer with paddle attachment. Shake your can of chickpeas and then open, adding three tablespoons of aquafaba (the chickpea liquid), vanilla, and salt to the bowl. Mix ingredients briefly, until smooth.
Next add the almond flour and baking soda and mix until everything is combined (don’t over-mix!). Finally, stir in the chocolate chips. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover and refrigerate for AT LEAST 30 mins (the longer, the better!).
A few minutes before you take the dough out of the fridge, preheat the oven to 500 degrees (yes, this is very hot).
After chilled, remove dough from fridge and scoop onto parchment-lined baking tray into 11-12 cookies. Press each dough ball gently with the back of the spoon to flatten slightly. Then, place your sheet in the oven to bake at 500 degrees for 5 minutes exactly (not a second more!).
While hot, sprinkle a few teaspoons of sea salt flakes on top, and then let the cookies rest. This is very important! They need to cool and set. But after they do,