Super Sesame Cookies

Ever make hummus and then wonder what to do with the remaining jar of tahini? I’ve been experimenting and discovered it makes a surprisingly good cookie. These little biscuits are buttery sweet and infused with both sesame paste and toasted sesame seeds. Crisp to the bite, you might just discover you’re buying tahini to make cookies and no longer for hummus!

I’ll admit that I’m addicted to sesame seeds, so I am extremely biased about these little cookies. Maybe my body is secretly craving the health benefits of sesame seeds or maybe I’m just drawn to the toasty, nutty flavor they bring to the party.


I wanted the cookies to be more crisp than chewy and therefore baked them for 13 minutes. The cookies will be slightly chewy in the center after baking but when allowed to cool and sit overnight, they are light and crisp. I can’t stop eating them. Seriously.


Ironically, while writing this post, I discovered that Cake on the Brain (also a Vancouver food blogger) just posted about black sesame butter cookies she’s working on. What’s up with Vancouver and sesame? It must be the weather – it went from freakishly hot to cool and rainy, and is now sunny and mild today. All the Vancouverites are craving something warm and comforting, and sesame is a perfect fix.

Super Sesame Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup tahini
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds

Add the butter, sugars, and egg to a mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Slowly add the tahini, baking soda and salt.

Add the flour and mix until combined. Fold in sesame seeds.

Using a 2 teaspoon sized cookie scoop, place balls of dough 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. I find it easiest to get uniform cookies by using the scoop (and it isn’t as messy), but you can also use a spoon to portion the dough.


Bake at 350F (175C) for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned. I baked mine on the upper end of this time in order to make them more crisp. Store in an airtight container. Makes 4 dozen.

More sesame/tahini inspired recipes:
Crunchy Sesame Cookies – Culinary in the Desert
Gluten-Free Sesame Cookies – Elana’s Pantry
Chewy Sesame Cookies – Rosa’s Yum Yum’s

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Alta August 12, 2009, 2:46 pm

    Yummy! I love sesame too, but have never made sesame cookies. Perhaps I should go buy a jar of tahini, JUST to make these! I’m perfectly okay with that idea. I love that you say that right out of the oven, they’re a little soft in the middle, but then crisp throughout the next day…sounds perfect!

  • lisa (dandysugar) August 12, 2009, 3:18 pm

    These look perfectly delicious. I love the flavor and aroma of sesame. I actually do have a bit of tahini in the kitchen, just might give these a go.

  • Allen August 12, 2009, 4:32 pm

    I’ve continued to munch on them all day … I’m really pleased with the texture ;-) I bet they would be good with a few mini chocolate chips added too.

  • Gretchen August 12, 2009, 4:59 pm

    I frequently toast sesame seeds just to eat plain, and surprised myself by eating them raw one time when I didn’t plan ahead. My sesame cookie experiments were long ago and evidently not worth remembering, so I am thankful to you for sharing this recipe.

  • Jen @ MaplenCornbread August 12, 2009, 6:53 pm

    These are perfect!! I

  • Charles Thompson August 12, 2009, 7:59 pm

    Delicious and healthy – a perfect combination. Beautiful cookies!

  • tigress August 12, 2009, 9:02 pm

    i absolutely love sesame seeds and tahini. i am actually making hummus tomorrow. i might try some of these for dessert!

  • cakebrain August 12, 2009, 10:13 pm

    zowee! we are on the same wavelength! (great minds think alike?) Sesame so belongs in cookies. Yours look amazing! Addictive, aren’t they? It’s so toasty good! I like my sesame cookies on the crisp side too. I’ve been wanting those deep-fried sesame balls you get at dim sum lately. I’ll have to head out this weekend to get me some!

  • Peter G August 13, 2009, 3:55 am

    I love sesame as well Allen! Clever use of the tahini too. And I think a few chocolate chips would be perfect!

  • kat August 13, 2009, 7:43 am

    Oh what a fabulous use of leftovers!

  • Dawn (foodnfit) August 13, 2009, 9:50 am

    What a great idea–they look absolutely delicious!

  • Aysegul - NY's Delight August 14, 2009, 7:28 am

    Looks incredibly delicious! A great and simple recipe – will most definitely try! Also has tahini in it – my favorite!

  • Mark Scarbrough August 14, 2009, 12:26 pm

    Where I am, it went the other way: from freakishly cold and rainy to hot as heck. But I can still imagine these cookies. Yum. I love adding a little tahini to chocolate chip cookies, so I’m just imagining it on its own as the star.

  • food librarian August 14, 2009, 2:20 pm

    Yum. Simply yum. I can make falafels and this. That’s a great pair.

  • arugulove August 15, 2009, 11:41 am

    I love cookies but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a cookie recipe that I’ve been really excited about. These look like they probably taste like a more interesting peanut butter cookie. Yum! I can’t wait to make them!

  • Carolyn Jung August 15, 2009, 3:57 pm

    Yay! Something besides hummus and salad dressing to use my tahini for. Since I’m a cookie addict, these are an especially welcome alternative. Can’t wait to bake a few dozen.

  • Karen August 15, 2009, 4:09 pm

    What a great idea! I have an opened jar I’ve been wondering what to do with. I’m all hummus’d out for the moment :D

  • sweetbird August 15, 2009, 5:48 pm

    I’ve honestly never thought of using tahini in cookies – after seeing this I can’t wait to try it out myself!

  • Lizzie August 15, 2009, 6:17 pm

    What a cool idea! I would have never thought to use tahini in cookies, but now that you mention it, it sounds like a capital idea. I’ll have to give these a go–they look fab!

  • Manggy August 16, 2009, 6:50 am

    I’m usually for chewy cookies, but I think it’s because I’m imagining these are peanut butter cookies– no doubt for sesame, crispy is the way to go. I’m sure I’d have trouble stopping myself from eating these too! :)

  • Adrian Larose September 3, 2009, 12:49 pm

    These are terrific. Try’em! They have a hint of that halvah taste to them. People can guess what it is, but it takes a minute :-)

    I’m going to make them tonight subbing peanut butter (just peanuts & salt) for the tahini, so I’ll leave out the extra salt. The texture should be great.

  • Elana October 24, 2009, 1:22 pm

    Hi Allen,

    Love your blog –the look, your voice and the recipes you make. This sesame cookie recipe is giving me cravings for more sesame, which I can’t seem get enough of. Thanks for the link to my gluten free sesame cookies, you are so sweet!

    xo Elana

  • The Fashionable Foodie December 6, 2009, 6:54 pm

    Wow, we ALWAYS wind up tossing out tahini. We’re going to have to try this one out for sure.

  • Mr. I. January 19, 2010, 12:42 pm

    I recently made a batch of cookies from a botched batch of halva. It was the first time I tried to make it, and I did something wrong. It was just syrupy and didn’t crystallize right. I decided to add egg and flour and a couple of other things to salvage the ingredients. They came out pretty good, but a little too much flour made them more cake-like than I wanted. The halva had pistachios, which were also a nice texture and flavor compliment in the cookies. Since I won’t really be able to re-create that recipe, I’m glad to have found this one. It sounds just like what I was trying to do, and much more thoroughly tested. Thanks! |:{)}

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