tahini chocolate chip levain bakery inspired cookies

giant chocolate chip cookies made with tahini, brown butter, and halva. a fun twist on the classic cookie inspired by levain bakery.

we survived the first week of virtual homeschooling. bless it. we deserve all the cookies. not just any cookies. these giant tahini chocolate chip levain bakery inspired cookies.

if you’re homeschooling this year too, I feel you and I see you. make yourself a batch of these cookies. warm, gooey, fresh from the oven cookies are magic.

true to the original version made famous by Levain Bakery, these massive cookies are:

  • perfectly toasted, golden brown on the outside
  • perfectly chewy, slightly under baked on the inside
  • nutty
  • filled with chocolate chips and halva pieces
  • massive! each cookie weighs nearly half a pound
  • the perfect treat for the end of a long week
giant chocolate chip cookies made with tahini, brown butter, and halva. a fun twist on the classic inspired by levain bakery.

key features of these cookies

  • cake flour: cake flour makes a more tender cookie. with a lower protein content (around 7-9%), less gluten is formed. thus, giving the cookie a softer, fluffier texture.
  • cornstarch: this allows the cookie to remain chewy and tender. it helps with thickening the cookie without drying it out.
  • brown butter: my go to for the best tasting cc cookie. adds a great nutty element.
  • tahini: my fun twist on this modern classic. this adds another, more in depth nutty flavor.
  • brown and granulated sugar: the classic duo of the cc cookie. a must for the classic flavor we all know and love.
  • halva: the halva caramelizes while baking, adding yet another layer of flavor. this is my personal favorite. halva can also be found a trader joes or amazon. sub this with walnuts (original). pb or butterscotch chips would also be delicious!

how to make + bake these tahini chocolate chip levain bakery inspired cookies

  • cold ingredients: this is how LB does it. cube the butter into small pieces to help with creaming process.
  • chill: technically this step could be skipped. but, the creators of this cookie chill their dough, so I am, too! overall, this helps rest the glutens. this helps prevent spread and gives the cookie a chewier texture.
  • food scale: these cookies weigh 6oz. each. grab that scale to get it exact. otherwise, generously fill 1/2c measuring cup. this makes 8 cookies.
  • shape: use your hand or a spoon. think rustic. (see recipe pics)
  • fold the chocolate chips and halva at the same time
  • baking temperature: baking them in a super hot oven for a short amount of time sets the exterior. meanwhile, the interior stays soft and gooey. the perfect cookie in my opinion.
  • “baking” out of the oven: allow the cookies to finish “baking” on the hot baking sheet for 15 minutes.
  • more cooling: if you can wait, let them set for a full hour
giant chocolate chip cookies made with tahini, brown butter, and halva. a fun twist on the classic inspired by levain bakery.
giant chocolate chip cookies made with tahini, brown butter, and halva. a fun twist on the classic inspired by levain bakery.
giant chocolate chip cookies made with tahini, brown butter, and halva. a fun twist on the classic inspired by levain bakery.
giant chocolate chip cookies made with tahini, brown butter, and halva. a fun twist on the classic inspired by levain bakery.

check out these fall inspired cookies

giant chocolate chip cookies made with tahini, brown butter, and halva. a fun twist on the classic inspired by levain bakery.

tahini chocolate chip levain bakery inspired cookies

giant chocolate chip cookies made with brown butter, tahini, halva pieces and chocolate chips. baked to have a toasted outside and chewy inside. nutty and sweet, with caramelized pieces of halva and melted chocolate chips. they're perfectly irresistible and meant to be shared (or not) !
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Rest Time 15 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Celebrations, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8 6 oz. cookies


  • cookie sheet
  • stand or electric mixer
  • parchement paper or silpat
  • food scale or 1/2 c measuring cup


  • 1 1/4 c (150g) cake flour
  • 1 3/4 c (210) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c (175g) browned butter, cold sub with 3/4 c regular cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c (56g) tahini, cold and well stirred
  • 3/4 c (150g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c (130g) halva sub with more chocolate chips or pb chips
  • 2 c semi sweet chocolate chips


  • To make the brown butter, melt 2 sticks (1 c) unsalted butter in a medium sauce pan over low-medium heat. Once the butter starts to foam, stir frequently with a whisk. The foam will increase, then subside while brown bits form at the bottom of the pan. The butter will smell nutty. Once this happens, remove the butter from the heat. Pour into a heat proof container with a lid. Cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge until firm.
    This whole process takes about 2-3 hours. Make a day (or up to 2 weeks ahead) or opt for regular unsalted butter if you don't want to spend all day making cookies!
  • Preheat the oven to 410F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Sift together the flours, cornstartch, baking soda and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
  • On low speed, increasing to medium speed, cream together the cold brown butter, tahini, brown and granulated sugars together until creamy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating about 20 seconds before adding the next.
  • By hand or on the lowest setting of your mixer ( i prefer by hand), sitr in the dry ingredients 1/3 at a time. Leaving some flour streaks before adding the next 1/3. When the last 1/3 dry has been added to the wet, fold the halva and chocolate chips. Fold unitl the dough is combined with no visible streaks of flour. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Grab a food scale or a measuring cup. These cookies need to be measured out to 6oz. each. This is what makes the cookie so BIG! Measure out (4) 6oz. cookies to start. The rest of the dough can go back in the fridge while the other cookies bake.
    Place each 6oz. cookie at least 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Place into a fully preheated 410 F oven. Bake for 9-12 minutes. The edges should be set, the top of the cookie should be golden, but not burned. The middle will be slighly underbaked. The cookie will continue to "bake" on the baking sheet once removed from the oven.
  • Remove cookies and leave on the hot baking sheet set on top of a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Once the cookies are ready, remove from the baking sheet and cool completely on a cooling rack.
    While the cookies are cooling on the baking sheet (right from the oven), pull out the cookies chilling in the fridge. Meaning, pull the second batch from the fridge about 10 minutes before you plan to bake them.
  • Enjoy with someone becuase these cookies are meant to be shared!
Keyword brown butter cookies, homemade cookies, levain copy cat cookies, tahini chocolate chip cookies
did you make this recipe?tag @olivesnthyme on Instagram

love this recipe?!

let others know by leaving a rating in the recipe + comment below


    1. Hi Zoe! You can use all purpose flour in place of cake flour. If you would like to make cake flour, measure out 1 c (120-125g) all purpose flour. Scoop out 2 tbsp flour. Replace the 2 tbsp flour with 2 tbsp cornstarch. Sift this cup of flour 4 times. Now you have a cup of cake flour! 🙂

  1. I noticed your list says 3/4 C browned butter and the directions mention 1 C. Which should I follow? Thanks again!

    1. Hi Zoe! If you plan on browning the butter, use 1 c. The water evaporates, but you’ll need the weight of 3/4 for this recipe. By using 1c, after browning the butter, you will he left with 3/4c.
      If you do not plan on browning the butter, you can use 3/4c cold unsalted butter.

  2. These were sooo delicious! Looking forward to the double chocolate version Congrats Megan your recipes and blog are keepers for sure!


  3. Can the dough be frozen if I don’t intend to bake all of them at once, or want to make in advance to have on hand?

    1. Hi! The cookies can be and frozen ( wrap tightly and store in freezer proof container). Bring them to room temperature until cold but not frozen solid or let defrost in the fridge overnight. Follow the baking directions, but watch the cookies closely to see if they need to make a touch longer.

  4. I was so excited about these, but I made them and they spread like crazy! Not at all the fluffy cookies I was expecting. I followed the recipe, browning and chilling the butter, then chilling the dough for 20 min and fridge, so I’m not sure what happened! Any ideas? I would like to try again!

    1. Hi Liz!
      Hmm, my first thought would be the cookie dough having a bit too much fat from the butter + tahini and not enough flour. Try switching to only all purpose (3c, 360g). If the dough is still sticky or really soft, add 2-3 more tbsp flour only after mixing in the 3 c stated in the recipe.
      Next, I would chill the dough for an hour in the fridge. Additionally, make sure your oven is fully preheated and is running at the right temperature (mine runs cooler so I use an oven thermometer). Use a non treated parchment paper over silpat to reduce the spreading.
      You may also want to scoop and test one cookie from the batch and see how it bakes. If it spreads too much, chill an additional 30 minutes.
      Please let me know how they turn out for your next batch!

  5. Hi what brand of choco chips that you recommend for this? does the choco stay kind of melted or they get hardened after a few hours afer coming out of the oven? Thank you

    1. Hi Lin,

      I have yet to find a chocolate that stays “melty” and soft after cooling down to room temperature. An easy way to fix this is to warm the cookies in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. I typically use whatever brand ive picked up from the store. I like ghirardelli or guittard. Enjoy!

  6. Hi! Super excited to try these. Do you think it would work to use this dough to make regular size cookies? Thanks!

    1. Hi Rebecca! Yes, I think they will work for smaller cookies. I actually just tested a version of these made, “mini.” For those I scooped out 3oz. or half the size called for in this recipe. I would think a heaping 2″ (3tbsp) cookie scoop would be about the same size. I baked them at the same temperature for about 8-10 minutes and followed the cooling directions as stated in the recipe. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

  7. Hey! I am a bit confused about the butter. I browned 175 grams of butter, is that the right amount? Thankss

    1. Hi! Apologies for any confusion. Start with 1 c (226g) of butter. Brown that amount. It will reduce down to weigh 175g or 3/4 c butter. Let this butter cool and solidify before using in the recipe. If you don’t want to brown more, just add a 2-3 tbsp more tahini to account for the difference in the fat from the butter. 🙂 Let me know if you have any other questions!

  8. If I find it toooo chocolatey, can I remove a cup of chocolate chips? I would like to enhance the halva flavor a tiny bit as well.

    1. Hi Noor, You can absolutely leave out some of the chocolate chips. Make it your own! As far as the bottoms burning, I bake my cookies in the middle rack of the oven. You could try reducing the temperature by 25F and check your internal oven temperature with an oven thermometer (I have the one I use in the “shop” section). In addition, I would make sure to bake on conventional or if you’re using convection, lower the temperature by 25F.

  9. I use TinStar browned butter ‘ghee’…it’s wonderful product in a glass jar…always in my fridge! DO you think I could sub that for the melted/cooled butter in your recipe, going by weight of the 3/4 cup? And I use Seed+Mill tahini and halva…as they’re local for me (also in my Whole Foods!) Thanks for your thoughts on the TInStar (an Austin based woman owned business!!(

  10. I just came across these on feedfeedchocolate’s Instagram and the pregnancy cravings came in hard and I knew I needed to make these ASAP. I realized I was out of all-purpose flour after I got started so I used bread flour instead of all-purpose and it still worked great. I didn’t have halva and just used 2c of dark chocolate chips which was amazing and also PLENTY. Could even use a little less. Turned out exactly as pictured, so moist and sweet, and made precisely 8 GIANT cookies. Got rave reviews from my neighbours! And loved learning how to make browned butter.

    1. Hi! After roughly shaping the dough into 6oz. balls, there’s no need to flatten the cookie prior to baking. Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, please let me know!

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