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Sesame Tahini Cookies for #SundaySupper

Sesame Tahini Cookies | Magnolia Days

The Middle East brings many images to mind. Veiled women walking through an open-air market. Rich colors and intricate patterns on textiles. A vast dry desert leading to a beautiful oasis. Camels readied for a long journey. Mosques with their exquisite architecture and colorful tiled interiors. Tagines, fragrant spices, tall metal pitchers, festive plates, and so much more. It is a broad region with many cultures and foods. There is one Middle Eastern ingredient I’ve been wanting to use for the longest time. I finally tackled it and made Sesame Tahini Cookies.

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. If you like peanut butter or any nut butter you should like tahini. It isn’t as sweet or as thick as some store-bought peanut butter. It separates and needs to be stirred well before using. Be patient, keep stirring, and it will smooth out and eventually come together. Try not to make a mess like I did by stirring hard and splashing oil all over the place.

How are the sesame tahini cookies? They are crunchy, mildly sweet, and reminiscent taste of peanut butter cookies. If you do not care for overly sweet desserts, these are for you. Sesame seeds coat the outside giving a hint to the flavor inside. Bake a batch then grab a glass of milk and be ready to enjoy a special Middle Eastern treat.

Sesame Tahini Cookies | Magnolia Days

Do you enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine? What is your favorite dish? Scroll down to find more recipes by Sunday Supper bloggers. We are taking a virtual culinary journey across the region. It’s an exploration you do not want to miss.

Sesame Tahini Cookies | Magnolia Days
2.67 from 3 votes

Sesame Tahini Cookies

A recipe for sesame tahini cookies. The cookies are slightly sweet, crunchy, and coated with sesame seeds. They are a great dessert or snack for any occasion.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Author Renee


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup well-stirred tahini
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the tahini and vanilla and beat to combine.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add flour. Mix until just combined (you will have a crumbly dough).
  5. Press dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill dough until firm, about 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  6. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or non-stick liners.
  7. Stir together sesame seeds and sugar and spread out on a small plate.
  8. Roll dough into 24 balls of equal size. Roll balls one at a time in seeds to coat. Place rolled balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
  9. Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating halfway through, until puffed and starting to crack.
  10. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 10 minutes. (Cookies will easily break when hot). Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

Recipe Notes

A recipe for sesame tahini cookies. The cookies are slightly sweet, crunchy, and coated with sesame seeds. They are a great dessert or snack for any occasion.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious – Gilded Sesame Cookies

Check out these Middle Eastern recipes by Sunday Supper bloggers:

Mezze {Appetizers}

Salata {Salads and Sides}


Halwa {Desserts}

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Recipe Rating

Anita at Hungry Couple

Friday 8th of November 2013

I am a complete tahini freak but I'd only ever had it as a dip - made with water, lemon juice, garlic and seasonings. Last year, my sister-in-law, who is Israeli, made tahini cookies and I was shocked that it could even be used sweet. When I first tasted them, I wasn't a huge fan but she left them with me and they actually quite grew on me. :)


Saturday 9th of November 2013

I adore all kinds of nut and seed butter (peanut butter is all all-time favorite) so I was very happy with these cookies. They can become quite addictive too.


Wednesday 6th of November 2013

These cookies look so delicious, Renee! I love tahini but I never thought about it in cookies. Middle Eastern food is a favorite for me and I'm definitely trying these. Great post!


Saturday 9th of November 2013

Thanks Bill. Tahini is for so much more than savory food. I'm now wondering if it would be good in a cake or some other baked good.

Lane @ Supper for a Steal

Tuesday 5th of November 2013

I didn't used to like tahini but I have come around. These sound crunchy and tasty. I don't like very sweet desserts anymore.


Saturday 9th of November 2013

I'm sure you would like these cookies if you don't care for very sweet desserts. They are similar in sweetness to European cookies.

The Wimpy Vegetarian

Monday 4th of November 2013

Several months ago, someone gifted me with some sesame seed tahini cookies and I loved them. Thanks to you, now I have a recipe to make my own. Yay!!!! Thanks so much for this gift!!


Saturday 9th of November 2013

You are very welcome and very lucky to have received such a wonderful gift of the cookies.

Jane's Adventures in Dinner

Monday 4th of November 2013

Could I have about a dozen of these delivered to my classroom-right now?


Saturday 9th of November 2013

I'm sure they would ship well, however they are all gone. I guess you will have to make a batch for yourself.