SMiLes by Meg

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t think anything wears you out like hiking up a mountain in the snow. Getting up early, layering up, climbing, and slide-walking back down really take it out of you. Though I do think I’m officially a winter hiking convert.

I’m not going to lie, when the plan was proposed, I was kind of skeptical. As someone who is always cold, willingly subjecting myself to 0° weather for 5 or 6 hours seemed like it could go terribly wrong. But, it turns out hiking actually heats you up pretty quick, as I was happy to find out!

Because this newfound hiking habit is attributable largely to my boyfriend, it’s fitting that this week’s recipe is from his mom. She sent him a batch last year around this time, and I haven’t been able to get them out of my head since.

I had started the dough last night with the intention of having them as a hiking snack today, only to find out they were of the chill-the-dough-for-12-hours variety of cookie. Oh well – they’ll be an equally good snack tomorrow for my Food and Drug Law class.

Fortunately, I did have all of the ingredients on hand last night. Though if you’re not a tahini person (try it on banana bread with some honey and sea salt – you’ll never go back), you may need to make a run to the store.

First, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and tahini on medium speed for about 5 minutes.  Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract for an additional 5 minutes on medium speed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks with a rubber spatula. Full disclosure: I didn’t have enough regular chocolate chunks, so I supplemented with some chocolate chips.Chill the dough for at least 12 hours. This is the point in the process where I realized my hike was going to be cookie-free.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, line cookie sheets with parchment paper and scoop the dough by the tablespoon, rolling into balls.Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.  While still on the cookie sheet, sprinkle each cookie with sea salt. I used smoked sea salt, mostly because I never have any other use for it, but any coarse grain salt would be fine.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.After a couple of hours, store the cookies in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups chocolate chunks
  • coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, tahini, and sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chunks with a rubber spatula.
  6. Refrigerate dough for at least 12 hours.
  7. When ready to bake the cookies, scoop dough by the rounded tablespoon, roll into balls, and place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
  9. While still on baking sheet, sprinkle each cookie with sea salt.
  10. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

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