These Black Sesame Cookies are an absolute show-stopper. And they live up to their eye-catching appeal with a delicious nutty flavor and chewy texture. The cookies get their signature color and flavor from black sesame paste, aka, black tahini. The baked cookies then get topped with a drizzle of white chocolate or ruby chocolate or pop of color and a silky-smooth sweet finish. 

Chewy Black Sesame Cookies

These cookies are made with black sesame paste—also sold as black tahini. The flavor of these black tahini cookies is somewhat reminiscent of peanut butter cookies, but with a deeper more refined flavor. They’re nutty and sweet and perfectly chewy.

These are absolutely delicious with a drizzle of white chocolate or ruby chocolate but they also stand on their own without any chocolate. 

Black Sesame Cookie ingredients set out on a counter including black tahini, white chocolate, ruby chocolate, eggs, vanilla, butter, flour, brown sugar, and salt.

Ingredients Needed

  • All-Purpose Flour: no special notes here. You’ll need 1 ¼ cups flour. When measuring out the flour, be sure to fluff the flour then spoon it into your measuring cups and level it off. Better yet, if you have a food scale, use that! 
  • Baking Soda: you’ll need ¾ teaspoon to give these cookies adequate lift (and subsequent drop post-bake). 
  • Unsalted butter: I always recommend using unsalted butter so you can control the seasoning level. Eight tablespoons will get melted and two tablespoons should be at room temperature. 
  • Brown Sugar: you’ll need on cup packed. I recommend using dark brown sugar, though light brown will also work. 
  • Black Sesame Tahini: aka black sesame paste. Tahini is a sesame seed paste and black sesame tahini is made from ground black sesame seeds. I buy black tahini on Amazon. 
  • Eggs: for these cookies you will need one large egg and one large egg yolk. Reserve the leftover egg white for your morning scramble! be sure to use eggs labeled and sold as large. One large egg, out of shell, should weigh about 50 grams. 
  • Salt: I recommend using kosher salt—that’s what we develop recipes with here. I use Morton kosher salt for recipe development, so if you’re using Diamond Crystal, refer to this Kosher Salt article on how to make the conversion, 
  • Vanilla Extract: one teaspoon of good vanilla is all this dough needs! I like Simply Organic vanilla extract.
  • Chocolate: this is optional—but if you want to finish the cookies with a bit of chocolate, use white chocolate or ruby chocolate
Chewy black sesame cookies with white chocolate and ruby chocolate drizzled over top.

How to Make Sesame Cookies

  1. Brown the Butter

Brown 8 tablespoons of butter in a skillet on the stove top. Be sure to cut the butter into chunks before browning, this—and swirling the butter occasionally—will encourage even browning. Once the butter is golden brown and fragrant, remove from heat and pour the butter into a stand mixer with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir the butter together until the unmelted butter is melted. 

  1. Mix the Butter and Sugar

Add the brown sugar and mix, using the whisk attachment, until it’s evenly combined. It should look like really wet sand. 

  1. Beat in the Egg and Yolk 

Add the egg and egg yolk and beat on medium until the mixture is pale, smooth, sticky and slightly fluffy. 

  1. Mix in the Flour 

Add the flour then mix until a dough comes together—mix for about a minute. You don’t need to be too afraid of overworking the dough here. You want to mix it well to encourage gluten development, which will make these cookies nice and chewy. 

  1. Chill the Dough 

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours—this is an annoying step but it does result in a thick and chewy cookie. If the dough is not adequately chilled, they will turn out thinner and crisper than intended. 

  1. Scoop and Bake 

I use a #24 scoop for these cookies—if you don’t have a cookie scoop, you can measure out the dough by 3 tablespoon amounts. Bake the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet just until the edges are set and the centers should look under-baked. It’s key to not over-bake these, if anything they are better under-baked! 

  1. Cool and Drizzle with Chocolate 

Allow the cookies to cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cookies are cool, drizzle with melted chocolate, if using.

Chewy black sesame cookies with white chocolate and ruby chocolate drizzled over top set on a light pink plate.

Black Sesame Seed Paste aka Black Tahini 

The base flavor of this cookie recipe is black tahini, or black sesame. I recommend buying black tahini instead of grinding your own from black sesame seeds. I buy black sesame seed paste on Amazon.

The flavor of black sesame is deeply nutty and adds great depth and nuance to these cookies! Use any leftover black sesame paste in these Black Sesame Rice Krispies!

Expert Tips and FAQs

  • Use black tahini instead of grinding sesame seeds—it should be drippy and oily texture. This is key to creating the right texture in these cookies. I buy mine from amazon and I prefer Kevala black tahini
  • Brown (most) for the butter—browning butter removes excess moisture which can make for a cagey cookie. It also adds a toasty nutty flavor that enhances the natural nuttiness of black sesame.
  • Use only brown sugar—I tested this with a combo of brown and white sugar and found that using only brown sugar was key to making these ultra-chewy. I like dark brown sugar, but light brown sugar will also work. 
  • Q. Can these be rolled out and cut into shapes prior to cooling in the fridge?
    A. If you add ¼ cup flour to the dough, you can roll the dough into a log and turn these into slice ‘n bake cookies. The dough should also work for rolling and cutting out. Bake time should be the same, if they don’t feel quite done after 14 minutes, add on a couple minutes. 
Chewy black sesame cookies with white chocolate and ruby chocolate drizzled over top.

Storage

Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container or zipper-lock bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months. 

The dough can be made and stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly in plastic wrap, up to 3 days ahead of time.

Black Sesame Cookie Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Yield 14 cookies
Category Dessert
Cuisine American

Description

Imagine a peanut butter cookie with deeper flavor, more nuttiness and a stunning black color to boot? These black sesame cookies have such a delicious and chewy texture and the flavor is unlike anything else out there!

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups (160g) all-purpose flour flour
  • ¾ teaspoon (5g) baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons (140g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (130g) black sesame tahini
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt or 1 ¼ teaspoons Diamond Crystal
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces bar white chocolate or ruby chocolate, chopped
  • White sprinkles, optional

Instructions

  • Whisk together 1¼ cups (160g) flour and ¾ teaspoon baking soda; set aside.
  • Melt 8 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Continue cooking melted butter, swirling pan constantly, until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 3–4 more minutes. Transfer browned butter to bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and stir until completely melted.
  • Add 1 cup (200g) brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon salt; beat until fully incorporated.
  • Add 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk and beat vigorously until mixture is light pale in color, fluffy, 3 minutes.
  • Add ½ cup (130g) black tahini and mix until combined.
  • Add flour mixture and mix for 1 minute on medium speed.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
  • Divide dough into 14 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop) and arrange on a baking sheet.
  • Heat oven to 350ºF (177ºC) ; line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Arrange 6 dough balls, 3-inches apart, on a prepared sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require multiple batches. Bake 3 cookies at a time on quarter sheet pans).
  • Transfer sheet to oven and bake until edges are set but centers still look puffy and raw, about 14 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and cool on sheet 3 minutes then transfer cooking to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • If using chocolate, melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in microwave in 30-second increments on 50% power until melted, stirring after each heating.
  • Drizzle cookies with chocolate and top with sprinkles, if using. Allow chocolate to set.

Notes

Use black tahini: the drippy, oily texture is key to creating the right texture on these cookies. I buy mine from amazon and I prefer the XX brand.
Brown (most) for the butter: browning butter removes excess moisture which can make for a cagey cookie. It also adds a toasty nutty flavor that enhances the natural nuttiness of black sesame.
Use only brown sugar: I tested this with a combo of brown and white sugar and found that using only brown sugar was key to making these ultra-chewy. I like dark brown sugar, but light brown sugar will also work.
Storage: Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container or zipper-lock bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months. 
The dough can be made and stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly in plastic wrap, up to 3 days ahead of time.

Nutrition

Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Chewy black sesame cookies with white chocolate and ruby chocolate drizzled over top stacked on a light pink plate.

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The original recipe was published on October 27, 2017 and was written to be gluten-free using a 1:1 GF baking flour. The recipe has since been updated. If you are looking for the original recipe, leave a comment and let me know. Alternatively, a 1:1 GF flour should work fine in the new recipe.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. New to your site. Is black tahini easy to find? Whole Foods maybe…? And can I use regular flour? Excited to make these…!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I have found it at only a few Whole Foods, I always call them first just to make sure! But I usually order mine off of Amazon, I link to it earlier in the post (right under the dough ball photo). If you can’t find tahini or don’t want to order it, regular works just as well! Let me know how you like them, thanks for stopping by!

  2. Delicious and easy to make. I found adults like them more than little kids tho I’ve yet to try them on big kids.

  3. I just made these cookies. The dough was wonderful to work with and the cookies have a nice little crunch when you bite into them and soft and chewy inside. It has a subtle nutty taste from the sesame paste. With the amount of sesame paste in the recipe though, I was expecting a stronger sesame flavour and was a little disappointed that it was so subtle, which is why I only gave it 4 stars. Definitely a recipe that I would make again but I might add ground black sesame to boost the flavour.

  4. These cookies are delicious! I made some “energy balls” with black sesame seeds (1 cup) and raisins (1 cup) as well as cacao powder (1/2 cup), that I hated. The flavor was too intense. I subbed the black tahini for the entirety of the energy ball mixture and cut the sugar in the original recipe down to 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I’m very pleased. Thanks for saving me!

  5. I love black sesame and there is a ton you can do with it. Looking forward to your black sesame cookies. and rolls. and shortbread. and well, you get the idea ;-P