sesame blossom cookies

5 from 1 review

loosely adapted from this NYT recipe


  • 230g all purpose flour (1 3/4 cups)
  • 6g baking soda (1 teaspoon)
  • 115g unsalted butter (1 stick), softened to room temperature
  • 100g granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 100g brown sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 3g salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 large egg (55g), at room temperature
  • 125g tahini (1/2 cup)
  • 15g milk (1 tablespoon)
  • 5g vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
  • 70g sesame seeds (1/2 cup) – for coating
  • 3 dozen unwrapped chocolate kisses*


  1. Sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed for about 1 minute, just until it lightens slightly.
  3. Add the egg, tahini, milk, and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until smooth (just about 30 seconds). Scrape down the sides halfway through to make sure it fully incorporates.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir together at low speed until it comes together. Don’t overmix it, and stop as soon as there are no dry patches.
  5. Cover and chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, up to 24.
  6. Once the cookie dough is ready, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) convection**, and shape it into about 3 dozen small balls (about 20g each, with a #50 cookie scoop, or 1 slightly heaping tablespoon). Roll them generously in sesame seeds, and place a couple inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for about 8 minutes, just until they’re puffy and light brown. Remove from the oven, place a kiss in the center of each (push them down slightly so they’re a little embedded in the dough), and return to the oven for 2 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown.
  8. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for 1 minute, then slide the parchment off the sheet pan to cool the rest of the way. The chocolate will harden slightly at room temperature, until it’s a little softer and gooier than before, but set. Feel free to chill them in the fridge to hurry the cooling along.


* If you don’t like chocolate, feel free to omit the chocolate altogether (my baker friend Lysa made these without the chocolate, and still called them “the absolute best cookie in the world”). On the other hand, if you want to include the chocolate but can’t easily find chocolate kisses where you live (they’re a bit of a US thing, and not always available worldwide), you can totally use chocolate buttons instead (even 2 stacked on top of each other if they’re wafer-thin). If all else fails, you can even use chunks of chocolate or a cluster of chocolate chips, for a more rustic look. (Thanks to everyone who has written in with these suggestions, after successfully trying them out. Glad to know these cookies can be enjoyed no matter what your chocolate situation!)

** No worries if you don’t have convection—they might just take a little longer to bake, and you might need to rotate the cookie sheets.

Make ahead and storage: These cookies keep super well at room temperature for several days. The cookie dough freezes wonderfully—just roll and coat balls in sesame seeds, freeze them on a sheet pan, and store them in a plastic bag. You can bake them right from frozen, but they might just take an extra minute or so to bake.