7 tahini shortbread cookies covered in sesame seeds on white parchment

Tahini Shortbread Cookies

This LA Times award winning cookie is buttery, with a crisp chew and rich nutty flavor you will absolutely love!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Keyword christmas cookies, holiday cookies, shortbread, tahini
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 165 kcal
Author Deana Kabakibi


  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp. carob molasses molasses
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (I add an additional 1/8)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds (use black sesame to pop color)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180C). Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet.

  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.

  3. Add tahini and mix well. Add molasses until evenly combined.

  4. In a separate bowl add flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.

  5. Gradually add to the butter mixture. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 min.

  6. Fill sesame seeds into a bowl. Take a tbsp of dough (I use a scale at 25g per cookie), roll into a ball and roll in the bowl of sesame seeds until fully covered. Press ball down on baking sheet to flatten (or leave as a ball to have more dome shape). Repeat

  7. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool before transferring or they may break.

Recipe Notes

Carob molasses are not necessary at all. You can omit it altogether or you can add regular molasses if you have. If you'd like to buy carob molasses you can do so here!