These Chocolate Chip Tahini Shortbread Cookies Are Instant Classics

I’m just gonna say it: my ideal Friday evening this month includes Love, Actually and these cookies. The common denominator? They’re both instant classics. If you need a new Christmas cookie recipe to add to your lineup, these Chocolate Chip Tahini Shortbread Cookies are for you. Think classic shortbread with the flavor turned up several notches. The nutty richness of sesame lends an extra savory note to these sweet and salty cookies, while chopped dark chocolate speckles indulgence throughout. And the dough freezes beautifully—just wrap up the log of dough in a double layer of plastic wrap and pop in the freezer so that you’re ready for cravings whenever they hit.

These were one of the standout recipes in our Holiday Cookie E-book (you can download it for free right here!) Daphne Oz created these beauties, and they’ve quickly become one of our family’s favorites. They’re a modern take on a Christmas classic, and I love the contrast of savory tahini and sesame seeds with the buttery sweet shortbread. Scroll on for exactly how to make these Chocolate Chip Tahini Shortbread Cookies.

What are shortbread cookies?

Shortbread cookies are a classic holiday cookie. These buttery delights are known for their crumbly texture and richness. The foundation of these surprisingly simple cookies consists of three primary components: butter, sugar, and flour. High-quality butter is essential, giving these cookies the perfect amount of richness that defines shortbread. Sugar adds a touch of sweetness and contributes to the cookie’s delicate texture, and the flour acts as a binder.

How to make these shortbread cookies

This recipe takes elements from the classic cookie recipe and adds a savory twist. Here’s what you need to make them:

  • Sesame seeds: for a unique textural element and a visually appealing bite.
  • Demerara or turbinado sugar: to give these cookies the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • Butter: unsalted butter will do the trick here, but go for a high-quality option.
  • Tahini: this is the key ingredient—it adds that certain something that sets these cookies apart.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: for the perfect light texture.
  • Flour: to hold your cookies together.
  • Bittersweet Chocolate: because what’s a chocolate chip cookie without it!


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The nutty richness of sesame lends an extra savory note to these sweet and salty cookies, while chopped dark chocolate speckles indulgence throughout. 

  • 1/2 cup (71 grams) toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup (71 grams) black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) demerara or turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (128 grams) tahini plus 1-2 tablespoons, well-stirred and divided
  • ? cup (76 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ? cups (200 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, fairly finely chopped but not completely into a sandy consistency (about 3/4 cup)

  1. Combine the toasted sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, and demerara sugar in a medium baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer add the butter, ½ cup tahini, and confectioners’ sugar. Mix on medium speed until smooth and combined, 1-2 minutes. This will look like a delicious tahini spread. Add the vanilla extract and mix for another couple of seconds until combined. Add the flour and sea salt and continue beating until a dough forms. The dough will be crumbly but easy to press together with your fingers.
  3. Now is the time to add the chocolate! Be sure your chocolate is fairly finely chopped, this ensures that when you go to slice the chilled dough into rounds the dough doesn’t fall apart when slicing because the chocolate chunks are too large.
  4. Add the chocolate to the stand mixer and gently turn on low speed until the chocolate is almost all combined. The dough will still be crumbly at this point but should be easy to press together using your fingers.
  5. Remove the stand mixer bowl and start by drizzling 1 tablespoon of tahini over the mixture. This will help you form the dough into a log more easily. Fold gently with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together more. This won’t look like classic chocolate chip cookie dough but should come together more easily while still retaining some crumbles.
  6. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a log that’s 5 inches x 1 ½ inches. If the dough is still difficult to form, add another tablespoon of tahini to the dough and shape again.
  7. Roll each log of dough into the sesame seed mixture until completely coated. Gently press to adhere the sesame seeds and sugar. Wrap the dough logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight until the dough is completely chilled and hard.
  8. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the cookies into 1/2-inch thick slices and place the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. When slicing the cookies, the chocolate pieces may cause the dough to break in places, gently press the dough back together and form into a circle. Bake for 12-15 minutes on the center rack until just lightly golden and dry to the touch. Repeat with the second baking sheet.
  9. Remove and allow to cool on the baking sheet completely to set. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


These cookies freeze well. Just wrap the log of uncooked dough in a double layer of plastic wrap, then freeze for up to a month. When ready to bake, remove from freezer, slice, and continue with the recipe.

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Chilling Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 min

Keywords: holiday cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Are the Ultimate Cozy Season Treat

I know what you’re thinking: does the world really need another chocolate chip cookie recipe? And I’m here to say absolutely. Because what’s better than having a chocolate chip cookie recipe for every moment and occasion? Some are thick and gooey, others thin and chewy. Some use a mix of milk and dark chocolate and others swear by adding extra flaky salt or walnuts. What makes the best cookie is truly up to your taste and preference—and of course, the season. That’s why today, we’re exploring what I consider the perfect fall treat: pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that are spicy, buttery, and totally delish alongside a cup of hot cider.

Cozy season is here, y’all—and there’s no better way to celebrate than with fuzzy socks, hot beverages, and sweets that warm you from the inside out. Ever since making Sarah Kieffer’s pan-banging chocolate chip cookies, I’ve been obsessed with the extra thin and chewy cookie. And I won’t lie: it’s my absolute preference over a thicker cookie. I love how crisp the edges get as the cookies spread in the oven. The chewy middles with shards and pools of dark chocolate add that rich satisfaction while being balanced out with extra salt. For me, this is the ultimate chocolate chip cookie.

Ingredients for Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Browned Butter. Nothing screams cozy fall baking like browned butter. You’ll notice its nutty flavor, and it adds a delicious dimension of flavor to your baked goods.

Brown and White Sugar. As you may know, both sugars serve different purposes with chocolate chip cookies. Brown sugar helps with chewiness while white sugar adds a crispy texture.

Pumpkin Puree. The pumpkin adds moisture and the slightest sweet flavor while also giving the cookies that extra autumn orange tint. Note: Do NOT use pumpkin pie mix. Make sure you are using only pumpkin.

All-Purpose Flour. I highly recommend measuring with a scale when baking for 100% accuracy. If you don’t have a scale, make sure to fluff up your flour, spoon it into your measuring cup without patting it down, and then scrape off the top to level.

Pumpkin Spice. While this is a chocolate chip cookie, the pumpkin spice shines through in this recipe, adding warmth and spice to the cookies. You can make your own or use store-bought.

Chocolate. For chocolate chip cookies, I prefer using chopped bar chocolate over chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are made with stabilizers which prevent them from spreading or melting as a chocolate bar would. Use good-quality chocolate and chop both ways on the diagonal, both into large chunks and little shards that will spread throughout the entire batter of the cookies.

Salt. I tend to add extra salt when making other baked goods because I prefer desserts that lean slightly on the savory/salty side. Use the salt in the batter and add flaky salt over the top when the cookies come out of the oven. Bonus: It helps bring out the chocolatey flavor.

How to Bake Better Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve learned a lot from all the chocolate chip cookie recipes I’ve made over the years. This is how to ensure you’re making the very best batch:

  1. Salt is your friend. The easiest way to bring out the best in your chocolate chip cookie is to incorporate salt into each layer. Salt the dough and add a little flaky salt under the cookie as well as over the cookie when they come out of the oven. If you love your sweets sweet, go ahead and ignore this advice. But for the best balance of flavor, don’t skimp on the salt.
  2. Chill the dough. I tested this recipe by baking the dough right away as well as after chilling the dough for an hour. There was a noticeable difference in flavor and texture between the batches, and I liked the chilled version better. Letting the dough rest in the fridge ensures proper hydration of the dough and helps everything meld together. Because this recipe doesn’t use an egg, chilling also helps maintain structure during the bake so that the cookie doesn’t spread too much.
  3. Don’t overdo the chocolate. I know that sounds like wild advice for a CCC, but especially when chopping from a bar of chocolate, it’s very easy to end up with bites that are basically just chocolate. And while that’s not really a problem—especially for my fellow chocolate lovers—these are cookies. We want to taste the cookie-ness of them in every bite. We also want the warm spices in these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to shine—so exercise a little restraint with the chocolate.
  4. Tip: To ensure you get aesthetic (and tasty) pools of chocolate on top of each cookie, once you’ve balled up your dough, dip the tops in chopped chocolate pieces.

Storage Tips

Chocolate chip cookies will last a week when stored in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can bake a few cookies and freeze the dough for fresh cookies ready at a moment’s notice. Here’s how to make it happen:

Prepare the cookie dough as written. Scoop the dough into balls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Place the cookie sheet into the fridge to chill for at least an hour, the move to the freezer and freeze until the dough is solid. Once the dough is frozen, remove the dough balls from the cookie sheet and place into a Ziplock freezer bag or an airtight container. Frozen dough balls can be stored for up to two months.


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Spicy, sweet, and of course—chocolatey. These little delights are the perfect fall treat.

  • 1/2 cup butter, browned and cooled to room temperature
  • 100 grams brown sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 80 grams white sugar (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 60 grams pumpkin puree (1/4 cup)
  • 185 grams flour (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 50 grams chopped dark chocolate


  1. In a small stovetop pot over low heat, add the stick of butter. Let the butter melt, it will soon start to bubble and make splattering sounds. Stir occasionally, keeping your eye on the butter. As the butter stops bubbling, stir occasionally until it just starts to take on a brown color. It’s very easy to burn the butter, so keep a close eye on it. Remove from heat as soon as color starts. Pour butter into a small bowl and let cool to room temperature.

  2. In a large bowl, add the cooled brown butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Stir to combine with a spatula until light in color. Add the pumpkin puree and stir until the sugar granules have dissolved. The texture of the wet ingredients should be light and smooth.

  3. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice to the bowl. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet. The dough will feel dry at first, so continue to press the flour into the wet ingredients until smooth. (Sometimes I’ll use my hands here to help combine everything.)

  4. Once the dough comes together, add the dark chocolate and stir to combine. Once the dough is combined, using a tablespoon scoop, scoop out 1 ½ tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten slightly between your palms and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough has been scooped. Cover with plastic wrap or a parchment sheet and a kitchen towel.

  5. Place dough into the fridge and chill for about an hour.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place cookies at least 2 inches apart. You may bake in two batches to prevent crowding the pan.

  7. Bake for 10 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, tap the baking pan onto the oven rack to de-puff the cookies. Bake for another 2 minutes, then tap again, bake another 2 minutes, then tap again, for a total bake time of 14-15 minutes.

  8. Remove from oven and tap once more on a kitchen towel over the counter. Let cookies cool for five minutes on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

  9. Top with salt, enjoy!

These Healthy Oatmeal Cookies Are a Back-To-School Essential

There’s a dramatic shift that happens toward the end of August. One day I’m packing for vacay and feeling free, and the next? I’m packing up lunch boxes and scrolling through a feed that’s somehow already full of pumpkins. Whether you’re sending littles off to school or your work schedule is ramping up, it’s a busy time of year for all. And after a summer full of YOLO-style eating, for many of us there’s an internal pull to return to those healthy habits that make us feel our best.

Enter: these healthy oatmeal cookies that are at once nourishing fuel and a delicious treat. They’re perfect for satisfying sweet cravings, and also for an on-the-go protein snack that won’t leave you crashing. When I’m juggling a million things, from school drop-offs to meetings to endless to-do lists—it feels good to know that I’ve meal prepped a recipe that checks all the boxes: flavor, nutrition, and a burst of energy that lasts.

Read on for exactly how to make these healthy oatmeal cookies—and why you should, STAT.

Meal Prep Magic

One of the best things about these healthy oatmeal cookies is how well they lend themselves to meal prepping for the week ahead. On Sunday, I love to mix up a big batch of these, then chill, scoop, and bake whenever we need a cookie.

Or, you can roll the chilled dough into balls, spread out on a parchment-lined plate in the freezer, and then when they’re set, pop into a Ziploc bag and store in the freezer for up to a month. You can bake them straight from the freezer—just add a few minutes to the total cook time.

Packed With Nutrients

Sure, these have some sugar and butter, but when I’m creating “healthy” snacks for my kids, I’m really looking at whether or not they have wholesome ingredients that’ll give them lasting energy throughout the day. These have a relatively small amount of sugar, and get an additional burst of sweetness from raisins and dark chocolate. Whole-wheat flour and old-fashioned oats provide complex carbs for a slower energy burn, and coconut flakes and walnuts give healthy fats to keep them feeling satisfied longer.

How to Make These Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

I’m a big fan of one-bowl cookie recipes, because again: we’re saving time and keeping it simple.

  • First, combine your egg, coconut oil/butter, sugars, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in a stand mixer.
  • Add the raisins, dark chocolate, walnuts, coconut, and oats. Mix together then chill for an hour.
  • You can either bake them off immediately, store in the fridge for up to a week, or roll into balls and freeze for up to a month.

These could not be simpler!

Conquer Back-To-Routine Season With These Healthy Oatmeal Cookies!

Scroll on for the recipe, but first—a few other cookie recipes you’ll love:


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These healthy oatmeal cookies are packed with nutrients and so delicious. Perfect for school lunches and on-the-go snacking, I meal prep these on Sunday for the week ahead.

  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup California raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate bar
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • Flaky salt for topping

  1. Beat together egg, coconut oil, both sugars, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda on low. Add flour and mix on low just until combined.
  2. Add California raisins, chocolate, walnuts, coconut, and oats. Mix on low until everything is coated in dough. Cover and chill for an hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350, then use a big cookie scoop to portion out dough onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Press cookies into disks about ¾” thick and sprinkle with flaky salt.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets, and devour!


After chilling the dough, you can either bake these off immediately, store in the fridge for up to a week, or roll into balls and freeze for up to a month.

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 12

Keywords: healthy oatmeal cookie recipe