blood orange tahini chocolate chunk cookies

around this time last year, i set out to work my favorite winter citrus into my favorite classic cookie. thus, blood orange meets chocolate chip cookie and the results are spectacular, my friends. i don’t think there is a “perfect” version of any cookie out there, much less “the recipe to end all recipes.” however, i do think a my perfect cookie needs to have a few things going for it

  • the edges should be lightly crisp with stable/set edges, while the middle should be slightly under baked. think ooey-gooey center.
  • the chocolate chips should be swapped for various size chunks of chocolate. this means pools of chocolate (literally drooling while typing this).
  • the cookie should be delicious straight from the oven, as well as in the days after its been made. truth be told, no fresh cookie lasts longer than a couple of days in my house. but, i did manage to hold a couple back to try throughout the week. these cookies are great for 3-4 days.
  • finally, the cookies should be able to go straight from freezer or fridge to the oven. we’re talking cookie cravings here!

now that all my requirements are out of the way, let’s talk about the FLAVORS of this fabulous cookie. the tahini brings a slight bitter/nuttiness to the cookie, while also making it chewy. if you haven’t tried baking with tahini, i highly suggest starting with these! browned butter brings another nutty element that truly elevates all the other flavors of the cookie. it sounds more intimidating that it actually is. if you’re in a rush, or don’t want to try it, feel free to use melted butter. blood orange brings a bright citrus note to the cookie. its much more pronounced after the cookie has cooled. it vaguely reminds me of those chocolate oranges that break apart. so, so delicious! chocolate chunks are the way to go when it comes to elevating a cookie from homemade to bakery, in my opinion. chocolate chunks retain their shape fairly well, but also make melty pools of chocolate that are pretty irresistible. for these cookies, i used a 65% cocoa bar coarsely chopped.

a few tips…

  • while blood oranges were used in this recipe, you can absolutely substitute with any in season oranges, or even lemons! you will use the juice, zest and extracts, so just make sure to use all three elements when swapping out ingredients
  • any kind of chocolate can be used to make these cookies. if you prefer more bitter- go with 70% or above. sweeter should be 45-55% cocoa. if using a bar, coarsely chop so most pieces are the same size.
  • tahini- while i adore baking with tahini and find this to be a great intro recipe for baking with tahini, i know it may not be your thing. if not, just use more melted butter in its place.
  • baking pans- lighter baking pans mean the cookies will take longer to set as the heat doesn’t conduct as fast as darker pans. this means the bottoms will spread for longer before setting. darker pans transmit heat more efficiently, so the bottoms of the of the cookies will set faster. what does this mean?! if you’re using a lighter pan, expect your cookies to spread more (like those pictured in this recipe). if using a darker pan, the bottoms will set more quickly, lending a higher cookie, with a more under baked center.
  • baking times and temperatures- these will vary somewhat depending on your oven and baking sheets, as well as how you want your cookies to look. 325 F (163 C), on a lighter baking sheet will yield a larger, thinner cookie with a more even bake from edge to center. 350 F (177 C) on a darker baking sheet will yield, smaller/higher cookies with more well done edges and slightly under baked centers. the baking times for both temperatures is around 14-18 minutes. what you’re looking for are golden brown edges and depending on the kind of cookie you want, either a lightly golden brown color across the whole cookie, or a lightly baked center.
  • cooling times- its important to allow the cookies to “cool” for 3-4 minutes on the hot baking sheet. this allows the cookie to continue cooking all the way through. however, you do not want to leave the cookies on the baking sheet the entire time, as they can easily become over baked. set a timer and allow the cookies to finish cooling on a cooling rack.
  • store these cookies in a single layer in an airtight storage container at room temperature for 3-4 days. if stacking, place wax or parchment paper over the first single layer of cookies.
  • these cookies freezer very well. as stated in the recipe, the cookies will be scooped and placed in the freezer prior to baking. if storing long term, make sure the cookies are wrapped in parchment paper, wrapped in plastic wrap and then placed in an airtight container until ready to bake. they can go straight from freezer to preheated oven.

these are some of my favorite cookies and im thrilled to finally have the recipe written up for you to enjoy, too! -megs

hands pulling apart a melty chocolate chip cookie

blood orange + tahini chocolate chunk cookies

Megan
THE most classic of all the cookies gets a modern update thanks to the always delicious blood orange. slightly crisp around the edges, chewy in the center, pools of melted chocolate with a bright citrus note.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
cooling time 16 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 18 cookies

Equipment

  • stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • heavy bottom pan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/2 c all purpose flour (300g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp usalted butter, browned and cooled to room temperature (reduced to 113g)
  • 1 1/2 c light moscovado sugar (330g) (sub with packed light brown )
  • 2/3 c tahini, well stirred (150g)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • zest of one blood orange
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1/4 c blood orange juice (~ 1-2 med oranges)
  • 2 c assorted chocolate chips, chunks and disks

Instructions
 

  • To make the brown butter, melt butter in a clear heavy bottom pot. Once the butter starts to foam, whisk continuously until brown bits start to form. Remove from heat, pour into clean bowl, skim the foam from the top and cool to room temperature (25 minutes). The butter should begin to solidify slightly.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and powder and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, with paddle attachment, cream together the browned butter, sugar and tahini until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add in orange zest and combine until fully incorporated. Add in eggs and yolk one at a time, beating until each is well incorporated. Add orange and vanilla vanilla extract, beat until combined. Add orange juice and and beat until well incorporated (about 1 minute).
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet 1/3 at a time. Mix on lowest setting until JUST combined. I like to leave about 10% flour mixture visible before adding more. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl before adding the next 1/3. Do not overmix. Gently fold in chocolate chips, chunks or disks. Scoop out dough using a 2" cookie scoop with trigger release onto aparchment lined baking sheet. Dough balls can be close together as you will not be baking these. Wrap sheet pan in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for minimum 4 hours to overnight.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to either 325F or 350F. (see notes for differences). Bake at for 12-18 minutes or until cookies are set around the edges. The center may still look slightly underbaked. Pull cookies from the oven, cool on the cookie sheet placed on top of a cooling rack for 3-4 minutes. Using a spatula, gently removed cookies from the pan, onto a cooling rack and cool an addiotnal 10-15 minutes.

Notes

325 F for 16-18 minutes will yield flatter, wider cookies.
350F for 12-15 minutes will yield smaller, more dense cookies.
Keyword blood orange cookies, chocolate chip cookies, homemade, simple, tahini

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