Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Levain bakery style cookies from Olives n Thyme

Tahini has definitely been an acquired taste for me, and even though I do like it now, I’ve not always succeeded in using it in sweets recipes. One of these successful recipes were incredible S’mores tahini cookie bars (also from Olives n Thyme), so I knew I had to try her Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies. I also love that they were levain style cookies, I love the big cookies that are toasted on the outside and gooey on the inside. I also saw that they had an optional halva addition, and I’ve made cookies with Halva before (Eden Grinshpan also has a great version of a cookie with halva pieces in her cookbook eating outloud), and I love the marshmallow like texture they get when baked!

I am not exaggerating when I share that these are possibly the best cookies I’ve ever made, and they were a huge hit among friends I shared them with (one friend from NYC even claimed she liked them better than the original Levain version)!

I didn’t have a stand or electric mixer and used my Braun FP3020 12 Cup Food Processor dough hook when mixing and stirring ingredients.

Here is Olives n Thyme’s recipe (my edits/additions are in blue)


  • 1 1/4 c (150g) cake flour
  • 1 3/4 c (210) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c (175g) browned butter, cold sub with 3/4 c regular cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c (56g) tahini, cold and well stirred soom foods is my favorite
  • 3/4 c (150g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c (130g) halva sub with more chocolate chips or pb chips
  • 2 c semi sweet chocolate chips


  • To make the brown butter, melt 2 sticks (1 c) unsalted butter in a medium sauce pan over low-medium heat. Once the butter starts to foam, stir frequently with a whisk. The foam will increase, then subside while brown bits form at the bottom of the pan. The butter will smell nutty. Once this happens, remove the butter from the heat. Pour into a heat proof container with a lid. Cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge until firm. This whole process takes about 2-3 hours. Make a day (or up to 2 weeks ahead) or opt for regular unsalted butter if you don’t want to spend all day making cookies!
  • Preheat the oven to 410F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Sift together the flours, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
  • In a food processor with a dough hook (or using a standing or electric mixer), cream together the cold brown butter, tahini, brown and granulated sugars together until creamy on a low setting.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating about 20 seconds before adding the next.
  • By hand or on the lowest setting of your mixer (I prefer by hand), stir in the dry ingredients 1/3 at a time. Leaving some flour streaks before adding the next 1/3. When the last 1/3 dry has been added to the wet, fold the halva and chocolate chips. Fold until the dough is combined with no visible streaks of flour. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. I missed the dough chilling part and the cookies were still incredible.
  • Grab a food scale or a measuring cup. These cookies need to be measured out to 6oz. each. This is what makes the cookie so BIG! Measure out (4) 6oz. cookies to start. The rest of the dough can go back in the fridge while the other cookies bake. I baked all of mine at the same time on two different baking sheets! Place each 6 oz. cookie at least 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Place into a fully preheated 410 F oven. Bake for 9-12 minutes. The edges should be set, the top of the cookie should be golden, but not burned. The middle will be slightly underbaked. The cookie will continue to “bake” on the baking sheet once removed from the oven.
  • Remove cookies and leave on the hot baking sheet for 15 minutes, and then remove from the baking sheet. If you still have cookies in the fridge, pull the second batch from the fridge about 10 minutes before you plan to bake them.
  • Enjoy with someone because these cookies are meant to be shared!

Hope you love these cookies as much as I did! You can find more detailed tips on Olive n Thyme’s website.

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