These Dark Chocolate Tahini Pistachio Cookies cookies have a tahini and brown , toasted pistachios, and tons of dark chocolate for a rich, nutty cookie. They have a crispy crust and a gooey center. Chocolate chip cookies may not be strictly a Mediterranean dessert, but we’ve taken the classic flavors used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern desserts and transformed them into a cookie!
What is Tahini?
If you’re wondering what the heck tahini is, I’ll tell you. Tahini is a seed paste made from toasted and ground sesame seeds. It’s the consistency of peanut butter. Its commonly used in hummus (including our roasted red pepper hummus) and is the key ingredient in a popular Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dessert—halva—a dessert made mostly of tahini, ground nuts, and honey.
Tahini is getting more and more common, which is amazing because then I don’t have to hunt for it! I always find it by the nut and seed butters in the grocery store, but you can always buy it on amazon too! Or even try making it yourself!
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Pistachios in Middle Eastern cooking
Pistachios are another common ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking and baking, like baklava and halva. Pistachios actually originate from the Middle East and Central Asia!
For our recipe you’ll toast the pistachios before adding them into your dough. This does a couple of things; it enhances the nutty flavor and crisps the pistachios so you don’t have soft pistachios in your cookies.
Why brown butter and not basic butter?
With these tahini cookies we’re skipping the regular butter and using brown butter! If you’ve never had browned butter before it is MAGIC! It has this beautiful nutty flavor that matches the nutty flavor of the tahini and pistachios perfectly. We’ve got all the tips for browning butter on our How to Brown Butter post! I also decided to I use more brown sugar than white sugar because the molasses in the brown sugar complements the nutty flavors in these tahini pistachio dark chocolate cookies.
Dark Chocolate over Errrythinggg
I personally loveeee dark chocolate. Of course there is a time and a place for milk chocolate, but this recipe is definitely where dark chocolate belongs, so don’t even think about swapping out the dark chocolate for milk. The dark chocolate chips have the perfect bite to contrast the sweet and nutty flavor of the rest of the dough. If you’re really anti-dark chocolate, you can use semi-sweet, but that’s my final offer.
Let those flavor mingle baby
You’ll see in the instructions to wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. I made a couple of cookies immediately after the dough was made and a couple of cookies the next day after refrigerating the dough and then did a little taste test. I found that the flavors had mingled and we’re better after the dough sat overnight. But, if you don’t have time to wait, the cookies made the same day were still insanely delicious.
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- ½ cup +3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- ½ cup tahini, well stirred
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar, well packed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups flour, measured correctly
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups dark chocolate
- ¾ cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place pistachios on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Let cool completely before incorporating into dough.
- Brown butter until an amber color, cool to room temperature (solid, not melted). See our tips on browning butter here
- Cream together brown butter, tahini, both sugars, eggs, and vanilla for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Scrape down sides of bowl if needed. In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add in to batter a little bit at a time. Mix until the flour is just incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Stir in dark chocolate chips and pistachios. I reserved some pistachios to top cookie dough balls with. If you have time, wrap cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. I found that flavor is better as they mingle together overnight. However, your cookies will still turn out and be delicious if you don’t have time.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take about ¼ cup of dough top cookie dough balls with some of the reserved pistachios (optional). Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 147mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 4g
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More Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Recipes:
Got Leftover Tahini? Try out these other delicious recipes that use Tahini!
Originally posted November 18, 2018