April 14, 2023

Tahini Cookies with Halva and Chocolate

Chewy in the center, crispy edged tahini cookies packed with bits of nutty halva, and a combination of dark and white chocolate for that perfect sweet balance. 

5 from 3 votes
Yield: 16 cookies
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I love marbled halva, love love love it – I want it babka, muffins, in cakes, absolutely in cookies. I haven’t always been a tahini in cookies kind of person (for a long time tahini solely belonged in the savory realm; I think this came down to the fact that I was using a not-so-great brand) but these cookies really changed that for me. 


These started out as just tahini cookies with halva (marbled halva being the inspiration). I wanted to make a cookie solely focused on the two sesame-based ingredients. Eventually, I decided to add some chocolate. A mix of very dark and some white strikes the perfect balance between the two chocolates, much like the cookie against the tahini. 


When they first come out of the oven the edges will be crispy and the centers soft. The next day, when stored in an airtight container, they’ll turn chewy all over. 


Recipe Ingredients 

Tahini: Avoid a tahini that is part block, part oil and use one that’s naturally well-blended. I find the best kinds are the ones imported; usually you can find them at middle eastern stores or in the ‘international’ sections at any grocery store. (Trader Joes carries a tahini jar, but I’m sorry but it’s awful don’t buy it). 

Sugar: We’re only using brown for maximum chewiness. Dark or light is fine. 

Flour: All purpose flour, I use KAF AP which has a protein content of 11.7%. These cookies spread quite a bit so if you use a lower protein content flour add another 1-2 tablespoons of flour. 

Halva: Marbled if you can find it! Marbled halva has bits of chocolate in it and it’s oh such a good combination here. 

Chocolate: I like a mix of white chocolate (use a good quality – the label should say cocoa butter!) and dark chocolate (mine was around 78% but that’s quite high for some people, so you do you)


Let’s make the best Tahini Cookie Dough 

Use a scale: To measure the flour and the tahini exactly, a scale is best. If your butter doesn’t come in sticks, a scale is best to measure it as well. 


Don’t let the butter sputter: I’ll ask you to melt the butter but stop before it’s fully melted, we don’t want it browning if you’re doing it on the stovetop, or sputtering out of the bowl if you’re melting in the microwave. Loss of butter = loss of moisture. 


Whisk to emulsify: In the video you’ll notice how the sugar & butter mix goes from rough with a noticeable separation of butter from sugar to a very smooth, beautifully emulsified mixture. Make sure you get to that point! If you like, you can use a hand mixer to get there quicker but don’t over do it once the flour goes in (and definitely don’t do it once you’ve added the halva). 


Add what you want: I’ll give you an estimate of add-ins for the cookies but truthfully I rarely measure this part. I add until I like the balance of the dough to chocolate or halva. But you do what you like – more or less, and add what you like. 


Chill the dough: Like most melted butter cookie dough this needs to chill for the butter to firm up into the dough again, without the chill time the cookies will spread far too much. Chilling also helps deepen the nutty flavor of the base cookie. 


Bake until golden: In the photos I baked BIG cookies (I used this disher which holds just over 3 tablespoons of dough) and I baked them for about 14 minutes. If you don’t want darker edges and like them slightly underbaked, make smaller cookies (2 TB) and bake for about 10 minutes, you can stop just as the edges are turning golden. 


Dough Freezing Instructions 


Don’t want to bake all the cookies right away? Make the dough and chill it for an hour, then portion and scoop the cookies onto a plate. Set the plate in the freezer for about 15 minutes, until the dough balls are solid. Then, transfer them to a ziplock or airtight container and freeze. They’ll be fine frozen for months. If baking from frozen add a couple of minutes to the total bake time.


Tahini Cookies with Halva & Chocolate

Chewy tahini brown sugar cookies packed with bits of nutty halva and a mix of chocolate chunks.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Yields: 16 cookies
5 from 3 votes


  • 113g or 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 200g or 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 120g or ½ cup tahini stirred if separated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 190g or 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • about 1 cup or 200g g add-ins mix of halva, white chocolate and dark chocolate


  • In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla and whisk well to combine, 3-5 minutes until you cannot see any butter separated. Pour in the tahini and whisk just a bit. Now add the egg and whisk well.
  • Sprinkle in the flour, salt, powder and soda and use a rubber spatula to mix the dough. Crumble the halva over the dough and stir to combine, stir in the chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for two hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two greased cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Scoop the dough onto the pan, about 1 ½ tablespoons per cookie, or 3 tablespoons dough per cookie if you want large ones; but leave about 1 inch between as they will spread. Press in some extra chocolate on top.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden for smaller cookies and up to 15 minutes for bigger cookies.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    These were so delicious. I baked one after refrigerating it for 8 hrs the edges were crispy, the dark chocolate was melty and the center was so gooey and delicious. Will definitely make this again.